Ferbane and Rhode will meet in the Tullamore Court Hotel Offaly Senior Football final for the first time since 1989, following their wins over Tullamore and Gracefield respectively at O’Connor Pk this afternoon.
Ferbane 3-10 Tullamore 1-10
Ferbane caused a minor shock as they defeated Tullamore by six points to qualify for their first County final in 19 years. Playing with the aid of a stiff breeze in the opening half Ferbane took the game to Tullamore and were 0-5 to 0-2 in front at the end of the first quarter, when goalkeeper Kevin Sammon brought off a great save to deny Shane Dooley. Two minutes late Ferbane were awarded a penalty when Jack Clancy was fouled, but Joe Maher’s spot kick went wide. By half time Tullamore had reduced the deficit to two points and with wind advantage to come The Blues looked to be in a good position to advance to the final.
On the resumption Ferbane kicked the two opening points of the half through Shane Nally and Oisín Kelly and then in the 38th minute came the game’s opening goal as Aidan Keenaghan set up Jack Clancy. Keenaghan was again the provider when Shane Nally goaled on 45 minutes to leave his side 2-9 to 0-6 in front. Tullamore then responded with two Shane Dooley points, before David Cox sealed victory for the West Offaly side with goal number three on 51 minutes. Tullamore did get a consolation goal from Adam Shelly in the 59th minute, but it was too little too late as Ferbane advanced to their first county final since 1997.
Teams and scorers:
Ferbane: Kevin Sammon, Stephen Wren, Colin Egan, Jack Egan, Brian Grehan, Leon Fox, James Nally, Kieran McManus, Kevin Nugent, Oisín Kelly 0-2, Shane Nally 1-2 (0-1f), David Cox 1-2, Joseph Maher 0-2 (0-1f), Aidan Keenaghan, Jack Clancy 1-2 Subs: Darragh Keenaghan for Brian Grehan, Aaron McDonagh for Kevin Nugent, Conor Lowry for James Nally, Ciaran Cahill for Aidan Keenaghan
Tullamore: Gavin Shiels, Dean Carroll, Paul McConway, Patrick Robillard, Kevin O’Brien, Ciaran Moloney, Michael Brazil 0-2, John Kavanagh 0-2, Jonathan O’Donoghue, Brian Hogan, Nigel Bracken, Declan Hogan, Aaron Hensey, Shane Dooley 0-5 (0-1f, 0-1 65’), Adam Shelly 1-1 Subs: James Keane for Brian Hogan, Daire Foley for Ciaran Moloney
Ref: Fergal Smyth
Rhode 1-11 Gracefield 1-7
Rhode qualified for their 5th county final in a row, with a four point victory over a resilient Gracefield side in the second semi-final at O’Connor Pk. Rhode laid the foundation for their success in the opening half, when playing with the wind they took full advantage of the elements to lead by seven points at the break 1-7 to 0-3. Scores were at a premium in the first quarter after which Rhode led by 0-3 to 0-1. Rhode then added two further points to go four clear. Gracefield stayed in touch through the free taking of Stephen Flanagan and there were just four between the sides as half-time approached. However, the game’s crucial score came in the 29th minute when Stephen Hannon scored a great individual goal to go in seven points ahead at the break.
Within two minutes of the restart Gracefield were right back in the game when Stephen Flanagan found the net from close range. Rhode’s response was immediate with two points in quick succession. However, Rhode were to score just two more points as Gracefield piled on the pressure and the deficit was down to just two 1-9 to 1-7 with 15 minutes to play. Gracefiled failed to score for the remainder of the game and Rhode added two more points to qualify for a final meeting with Ferbane on October 16th
Team and Scorers:
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
Ref: Chris Dwyer