Rhode hold off Gracefield to book place in fifth consecutive Offaly Senior Football final

By Offaly Express Reporter

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Rhode hold off Gracefield to book place in fifth consecutive Offaly Senior Football final

Tullamore Court Hotel Offaly Senior Football Semi-Final

Rhode hold off Gracefield to book place in fifth consecutive final

Rhode 1-11
Gracefield 1-7


Rhode held off a late surge from Gracefield to reach the Offaly Senior Football Final for the fifth consecutive year and kept on course to win the title every second year as they have done since 2006.

Gracefield came from seven points behind at one stage to get back within two entering the final quarter but Rhode tightened up at the back and points from Niall McNamee saw them to a 1-11 to 1-7 victory.

After Niall McNamee and Stephen Flanagan exchanged early points, Rhode began to pull away with five unanswered points through Conor McNamee, Ruairi McNamee, Niall McNamee, Pauric Sullivan and Stephen Hannon.

Stephen Flanagan pulled two back for Gracefield but Rhode responded with a point from Ruairi McNamee and a goal from Stephen Hannon just before half-time put Rhode into a comfortable 1-7 to 0-3 lead at the break.

However the impressive Stephen Flanagan pulled a goal back for Gracefield after the restart to get his side back into the game. Paul McPadden and Anton Sullivan responded with points for Rhode before Jack Walsh reduced the deficit to five with a point for Gracefield.

Stephen Flanagan, who scored 1-6 of his side's 1-7, hit the next three points of the game for Gracefield to get them back within two entering the final quarter.

However with the game in the balance, Rhode tightened up and kept their opponents scoreless for the rest of the game while Niall McNamee kicked two points at the other end to see his side home and set up a final showdown with Ferbane.

Rhode: Kenneth Garry, Brian Darby, Shane Sullivan, Jake Kavanagh, Anton Sullivan 0-1, Eoin Rigney, Niall Darby, Alan McNamee, Conor McNamee 0-1, James McPadden, Niall McNamee 0-4 (0-1f), Pauric Sullivan 0-1, Paul McPadden 0-1, Ruairi McNamee 0-2, Stephen Hannon 1-1 (0-1f) Subs: Darren Garry for P Sullivan, Gareth McNamee for P McPadden, Glen O’Connell for Hannon

Gracefield: Conor Sheedy, James Flanagan, Aaron Whelan, Brian Brereton, Adrian Murphy, Ruairi Allen, Sean Finlay, Niall Smith, Craig Dunne, Keith Mullally, Graham Walsh, Jack Walsh 0-1, Philip Hurley, Ciaran Kiely, Stephen Flanagan 1-6 (0-5f, 0-1 45’) Subs: Tristan Lambe for Sean Finlay, Thomas Doyle for Graham Walsh

Referee: Chris Dwyer