Niall McNamee leads Offaly champions Rhode back to Leinster Club Final

Rhode to face St Vincent's in provincial decider

Offaly Express Reporter

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Rhode

Rhode return to Leinster Final

AIB Leinster Club Senior Football semi-final

Sean O’Mahony’s (Louth) 1-5

Rhode (Offaly) 0-12

Despite conceding a late goal from the penalty spot, Rhode advanced to their fifth Leinster Club Senior Football Final since 2006 with a win over Louth champions Sean O’Mahony’s on Sunday.

Leading by 0-5 to 0-2 at the end of a low scoring first-half, Pascal Kellaghan's side pulled away as the second-half progressed although they were thankful for a penalty save early in the half from Kenneth Garry. Niall McNamee led the way again scoring eight of his side's 12 points.

Entering the last five minutes, the Offaly champions held a 0-12 to 1-5 lead but the home side gave themselves a chance when Stephen Fisher scored from the penalty spot.

Rhode however had done the hard work in the preceding 55 minutes and they saw out the game despite missing a late penalty themselves.

There was little to choose between the sides in the opening minutes with the sides level at 0-2 apiece after 16 minutes with Niall McNamee scoring Rhode’s opening two points.

However for the remainder of the half, Rhode pulled away with the outstanding Niall McNamee scoring three more points to give his side a three point half-time led.

Niall McNamee added his sixth point after the restart and that was followed by another from Brian Darby and yet another from McNamee as Rhode extended their lead to six.

Conor Finnegan ended a long scoring drought for the home side with a point and they had a chance to get right back in the game but Kenneth Garry saved a penalty.

Paul McPadden put Rhode six ahead again midway through the half and that gap remained entering the last seven minutes with Niall McNamee continuing to lead from the front for Rhode.

Ruairi McNamee extended the lead to seven at 0-12 to 0-5 entering the last five minutes but Sean O’Mahony’s were given a lifeline with another penalty which Stephen Fisher converted.

That reduced the gap to four but Rhode were in full control and could even afford a missed late penalty from Glen O'Connell which hit the woodwork.

Rhode will now play St Vincent’s in the Leinster Club Senior Football Final on December 11 after the Dublin champions defeated Longford champions Mullinalaghta.

Rhode: K Garry; E Rigney, S Sullivan, J McPadden; C Heavey, B Darby (0-1), N Darby; A McNamee, C McNamee; S Hannon, R McNamee (0-1), P McPadden (0-2); P Sullivan, D Garry, N McNamee (0-8, 0-5f). Subs: G O’Connell for S Hannon (50mins); D Kavanagh for P Sullivan (57mins); G McNamee for C Heavey (57mins); E Byrne for P McPadden (60mins).

Sean O’Mahony’s: B Traynor; K Murphy, R Byrne, M Clarke; L Dullaghan, J O’Brien, J Connolly; C Martin, S Brennan; C Finnegan (0-04, 0-03 frees), K McLaughlin, S Fisher (1-0 pen); S Kilcoyne (0-01), C Crawley, B McLaughlin.

Subs: D Dowling for B McLaughlin (40mins); B Mackin for J Connolly (48mins); N McLaughlin for S Kilcoyne (55mins); P O’Brien for M Clarke (60mins).

Referee: J Hickey (Carlow).