A sad day for Offaly hurling as the trap door came crashing down on them in Parnell Park, ensuring elimination from the Leinster championship next year.
They become the first victims of the new system, which despatches the bottom team in the Leinster ’round robin’ series into the Joe McDonagh Cup in the following season.
The odds were always against them beating Dublin in what was, in effect, a relegation shoot-out and after a reasonably enterprising opening 30 minutes they were completely overwhelmed.
They lost the second half by 1-14 to 0-8 against a Dublin team that gave the clear impression they had a lot more in them if the occasion demanded.
Offaly’s energy levels dropped in the second half, which may have been down to the fact that this was their fourth championship game in 22 days. Their confidence drained too as the inevitability of another big defeat became ever more apparent.
It was all too easy for Dublin, who now will head to Pearse Stadium next Saturday to take on Galway in what is a dead rubber. Galway have already qualified for the Leinster final while Dublin are out of contention for a top two finish and cannot be relegated.
Despite shooting 13 wides, Dublin led by 1-10 to 0-5 at half-time, the goal coming from Paul Ryan late in stoppage time. Dublin’s wastefulness would have proved far serious on another day but Offaly were wayward too, shooing eight wides.
Three of them came from frees by Joe Bergin, chances that really should have been converted into points. He pointed three other frees while midfielder, Dan Currams added the other two from open play. It meant that none of Offaly’s starting six forwards scored from open play in the first half.
Dublin wing-backs, Chris Crummey and Shane Barrett contributed 0-5 between them of Dublin’s first half-total, while Ryan hit 1-3, 0-2 from frees.
Scorers: Dublin P Ryan 1-5 (4f), S Barrett, C Cummey 0-4 each, F Whitley 1-1, L Rushe, J Malone, C Keaney, C Boland 0-2 each, F McGibb, R McBride 0-1 each.
Offaly: J Bergin 0-4 (4f), D Currams, P Murphy, S Dooley (2f) 0-2 each, J Gorman, E Cahill, K Dunne 0-1 each.
Dublin: A Nolan; P Smyth, C O’Callaghan, E O’Donnell; C Crummey, S Moran, S Barrett; R McBride, J Malone; F McGibb, C Keaney, D Sutcliffe; F Whitley, L Rushe, P Ryan.
Subs: C Boland for Whitley (17), T Connolly for McBride (55), D Treacy for Keaney (56), J McCaffrey for McGibb (61f), P Winters for Rushe (63).
Offaly: E Cahill; D O’Toole Greene, B Conneely, T Spain; D Shortt, P Camon, D King; D Currams, D Egan; S Kinsella, C Egan, T Geraghty; S Ryan, C Mahon, J Bergin.
Subs: S Dooley for Ryan (42), K Dunne for Kinsella (48), R Hughes for D Egan (48), P Murphy for C Egan (48), J Gorman for Bergin (55).
Ref – C Lyons (Cork)