Rhode’s win over Ferbane consigned both sides to the quarter-finals after a high scoring affair, as Durrow topped the group in a very unexpected outcome for this group. Offaly star Niall McNamee was in scintillating form, scoring 3-8, 3-6 of it coming from open play.
Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship group 1 round 3
After a poor start, Rhode were full value for this victory thanks to a virtuoso performance from Niall McNamee who scored 3-8, to ensure a second victory for Rhode after their shock loss to Durrow in their opening game.
Ferbane got off to a dream start with a goal in less than 20 seconds when Leon Fox sent Joe Maher running through the centre and he shot to the net
It wasn’t long before Rhode were in for a goal of their own when Niall McNamee gathered a long ball and shot home with less than three minutes played.
Maher, and in particular, McNamee would be the dominant players of that half.
Rhode were carved open again on seven minutes when Leon Fox ran through the middle to score their second goal.
But as the half wore on, Rhode came more into it and their second goal arrived Darren Garry just after the water break.
In that half, Niall McNamee shot an impressive 1-6, all from play apart from one mark.
By half time, Rhode had edged in front by 2-9 to 2-6.
The game was relatively low key but it turned niggly after that with two bookings for Ferbane before both sides were reduced to 14 men when Paddy Clancy of Ferbane and Rhode’s Brian Darby were red carded for an off the ball incident between the pair.
The game threatened to boil over at this stage but eventually settled down again.
Just before that, Niall McNamee had scored his second goal with a clever side-step and finish by him.
Rhode held the advantage for much of this half and with Niall McNamee adding further points before his third goal with 12 minutes left, Rhode led by 4-11 to 2-11.
Ferbane didn’t really look like breaching that gap and while there were just two points in it at the end, Ferbane’s final goal came deep into injury time from Jack Egan just seconds before the final whistle.
Rhode did have Kenneth Garry to thank for two good saves in those closing minutes, but even with Alan McNamee black-carded late on, they always looked like the likely winners.
Rhode now face Shamrocks while Ferbane will face Edenderry in two difficult enough quarter finals.
There was a brief scare for Rhode when Niall McNamee needed treatment late on, but he was able to continue and finish the game. He will be key for Rhode if they are to lift the Dowling Cup again this year and anyone who beats Rhode will have to nullify his threat.
Niall McNamee 3-8 (1mark, 1f), Ruari McNamee 0-3, Darren Garry 1-0, and James McPadden 0-1.
Joe Maher 1-10 (6 frees), Leon Fox 1-1, Jack Egan 1-0, Ciaran McManus and Kyle Higgins 0-1 each.
Jack Cullinane; Stephen Wren, Conor Butler, Shane Nally; Mark Cahill, Jack Egan, Leon Fox; Kyle Higgins, Ciaran McManus; Cathal Flynn, Joe Maher, David Nally; Darragh Flynn, Paddy Clancy, Ronan Maguire. Subs: Jack Clancy for Darragh Flynn (51 mins), Ryan Heavin for Ciaran McManus (52 mins).
Rhode: Kenneth Garry; Tomas Muldoon, Conor McNamee, Keith Murphy; Brian Darby, Gareth McNamee, James McPadden; Alan McNamee, Dylan Kavanagh; Pauric Sullivan, Ruairi McNamee, Ciaran Heavy; Darren Garry, Anton Sullivan, Niall McNamee. Subs: Lorcan Reilly for Pauric Sullivan, Shane Sullivan for Ciaran Heavy (both 61 mins).
Referee: Eamon O’Connor (Shamrocks).
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.