Offaly beat Louth to pick up their first victory in Division 3 over in torrentially testing conditions at the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda.

The 2-13 to 2-10 win eases the Faithful County's relegation worries while compounding winless Louth’s, who are yet to register a point this season.

Offaly looked to have secured the points as early as the 11th minute when Ruairi McNamee struck his side’s second goal.

Anton Sullivan buried their first minutes earlier as the visitors made superb use of the wind to vault them into a winning position despite the games embryonic stages. 

Louth would rally in the second half thanks to four points from replacement Declan Byrne to bring the game down to the minimum but Offaly manager John Maughan will be grateful to his goalkeeper Paddy Dunican who made two top-drawer saves in either half.

Corner-forward McNamee landed the final two scores of the game to guide Offaly over the line.

Declan Byrne made a big impact when introduced

Offaly are no strangers to Drogheda this season, having won there earlier in the year during their fine O'Byrne Cup run.

Wing-back Eoin Carroll typified this by matching the three points he scored in the pre-season competition in the first half alone. 

Along with Carroll, Bernard Allen and Conor McNamee had three points on the board for Offaly before they hit their match-winning brace of goals.

Both came from the same source, a turnover in their own defence and rapid counter-attack finished ruthlessly by Sullivan and McNamee.

The hosts were penned in for the majority of the first half, although Conor Grimes did find the target before half-time to make it 2-07 to 0-03 at the interval.

Upon the resumption, the visitors got the quick start that Louth craved, Niall Darby and McNamee pushing their already healthy advantage out to 12 points.

Anton Sullivan scored Offaly's first goal

With nothing to lose, Louth played with abandon.

Substitute Conor Early pointed from a full-length save from Dunican. However, the Offaly goalkeeper would soon be picking the ball from his net in the next attack as Sam Mulroy powered a shot past him to give Louth some hope.

Shane Horan provided brief respite but Byrne guided the ball in the wind to perfection with three scores in a row. Byrne provided the confidence for Wayne Kierans’ side to get back into the game - and perhaps maybe feel they could win it.

With momentum, wind and the home supporters now fully engaged, Louth made it a one-point game.

Conor Grimes found the net from the narrowest of angles having been set up by the influential Byrne. 

Dramatically that would be Louth’s last score. Offaly dug deep and showed huge resilience and composure, while Louth lost theirs.

McNamee kicked the game’s final two scores as Louth lost Mulroy to a straight red and midfielder Tommy Durnin to a second yellow in their desperate chase for an equaliser.

Louth: Craig Lynch; Dan Corcoran,Niall Sharkey, Dermot Campbell; Eoghan Callaghan (0-01), Emmet Carolan, John Clutterbuck; James Califf, Tommy Durnin; Liam Jackson (0-01), Bevan Duffy (0-01), Paul Mathews; Ciaran Downey, Conor Grimes (1-01), Sam Mulroy (1-01, 0-01f).

Subs: Conall McKeever for Duffy (24), Conor Early (0-01) for Califf (36), Declan Byrne (0-04) for Sharkey (43), Eoghan Duffy for Jackson (56).

Offaly: Paddy Dunican; Colm Doyle, Eoin Rigney, Declan Hogan; Eoin Carroll (0-03), David Dempsey, Niall Darby (0-01); Conor McNamee, Michael Brazil; Cathal Mangan, Ciaran Donnelly, Shane Horan (0-01); Anton Sullivan (1-00), Bernard Allen (0-03), Ruairi McNamee (1-04, 0-01f).

Subs: Cian Donohoe for Donnelly (ht), Jordan Hayes for C McNamee (60), Aaron Leavy for Sullivan (69), Cian Johnson for Allen (70).

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down).