Rhode and Clara continue to lead the way in Offaly Senior Football Championship

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

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Rhode and Clara maintained their 100% record in the Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship but both were pushed all the way in their respective games last weekend.

Rhode and Clara maintained their 100% record in the Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship but both were pushed all the way in their respective games last weekend.

Rhode and Gracefield produced the game of the weekend with the defending champions just edging through on a scoreline of 2-16 to 3-12. There was little to chose between the sides on the scoreboard throughout the game but Rhode looked to be easing away with 12 minutes to go when Paul McPadden fired home his second goal to put his side 2-12 to 1-9 ahead.

However Gracefield were far from finished and they put in a storming finish with goals from Karol Slattery and Stephen Flanagan but Rhode just held on to secure their fourth consecutive win.

Despite the defeat, Gracefield remain second in the table ahead of both Tullamore and Ferbane on score difference.

Tullamore had the chance to jump to second place but they suffered a seven point defeat to Tubber, 1-10 to 0-6. Tubber lead by 1-7 to 0-2 at the break and they closed out the game in a low scoring second-half to keep alive their chances of reaching the quarter-finals. They face Ferbane in their final game and a win would likely see them jump to fourth in the table.

Ferbane meanwhile boosted their chances of being involved in the knock-out stages with a 1-11 to 0-7 win over Walsh Island with Joe Maher’s goal midway through the second-half proving the decisive score. They are level on points with Gracefield and Tullamore and a win in their final game could propel them as high as second depending on other results.

Walsh Island meanwhile are in serious danger of ending up in the relegation battle as they are currently second from bottom with a game against group leaders Rhode to come.

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In the other group Clara made it three wins from three after they ground out a 0-9 to 0-7 win over Ballycumber. The sides were locked at 0-4 apiece at half time and there was little to chose between in the second-half with Clara just pulling clear in the closing stages.

Ballycumber have dropped to third in the group after Edenderry registered their third win in four games seeing off St Rynagh’s by 2-15 to 1-7. The first half was nip and tuck and the sides were level at 1-6 apiece however Edenderry romped clear after the break adding another 1-9 while restricting St Rynagh’s to just a point. St Rynagh’s, who have a game in hand against Clara, have now dropped into the bottom two off the back of their defeat.

They have been overtaken by St Brigid’s who are currently in the quarter-final places after an 11 point win over Erin Rovers. Leading by just two points at half-time at 1-6 to 0-7, St Brigid’s added two vital goals in the second-half while restricting Erin Rovers to just three points to come away 3-12 to 0-10 winners.

The result leaves Erin Rovers firmly rooted to the bottom of the group and their chances of making the knock-out stages have gone. The focus now will switch to avoiding relegation to a very competitive Intermediate Championship.