Rhode through to Leinster semi-final as they see off Simonstown

Offaly Express Reporter

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Leinster GAA Fixtures

AIB Leinster Club Senior Football Championship

Rhode (Offaly) 1-12
Simonstown (Meath) 1-9

Offaly champions Rhode held off a late surge from their opponents to record a three point win over Meath champions Simonstown in Tullamore on Sunday afternoon.

Leading by 0-6 to 0-4, Rhode were briefly hauled back but after Simonstown were reduced to 14 men, Rhode pressed on and a goal from Conor McNamee ten minutes from time seemed to secured have the game with the Offaly side six points ahead.

However Simonstown put in a determined late surge and a goal from the penalty spot got them back within four with five minutes to go. They managed to get the deficit down to two but a late point from Niall McNamee, his fifth of the day, settled Rhode nerves and saw them through to the last four with three points to spare.

The Meath champions made a strong start as after Niall McNamee had opened the scoring for Rhode, they hit the next four points, with Sean Tobin hitting two, to move into a deserved three point lead.

Rhode rallied and points from Niall McNamee, Conor McNamee and Paul McPadden drew them level with further points from McNamee and Brian Darby leaving them 0-6 to 0-4 ahead at the break.

Sean Tobin and Pauric McKeever brought the Meath side level after the break with Anton Sullivan putting Rhode back in front with their first point of the second-half.

Shane O'Rourke was sent off soon after for the Meath side after picking up his second yellow card and Rhode pressed on with points from Niall McNamee, Niall Darby and sub Darren Garry. Sean Tobin pulled one back for Simonstown but Conor McNamee struck for goal after 51 minutes to put six points between the sides.

A second Darren Garry point followed to put Rhode seven clear and the home side's supporters in the crowd of just over 2,000 would have been forgiven for thinking the game was in the bag.

However Simonstown were not done yet and Eanna Donoghue rattled home a penalty to set up a nervous finish for the Offaly side.

Michael Brennan and Sean Tobin added point to get the gap down to two but Niall McNamee settled Rhode's nerves with a point to seal the win for Pascal Kellaghan's side.

They will play Sean O’Mahony’s in the last four after the Louth side held off Kildare champions Sarsfields.

Rhode: K Garry; B Darby (0-1), E Rigney, J Kavanagh; N Darby (0-1), S Sullivan, J McPadden; A McNamee, C McNamee (1-1); S Hannon, P Sullivan, A Sullivan (0-1); P McPadden (0-1f), R McNamee, N McNamee (0-5, 0-1f). Subs: D Garry (0-2) for P McPadden (38mins), G O’Connell for P Sullivan (45mins), C Heavey for N Darby (57mins), G McNamee for R McNamee (60mins)

Simonstown Gaels: R Burlingham; S Gallagher, N McMahon, S Moran; M O’Rourke, B Conlon, N Kane; S O’Rourke, C Sheridan; J Lyons (0-1), S Kenny, M McCabe; E Donoghue (1-1, 1-0 pen, 0-1f), S Tobin (0-5, 0-2 f), P McKeever (0-1). Subs: B McGrath for M O’Rourke (HT), M Brennan 0-1 (’45) for Lyons (41mins), S Barry for Sheridan (52mins), C Nash for Kenny (55mins)

Referee: P Maguire (Longford)