Rhode qualified for a semi-final meeting with Sean O’Mahony’s of Louth when they secured a three point victory over Simonstown Gaels in front of 2,097 supporters at O’Connor Pk this afternoon.
The Meath side were reduced to 14 men when Shane O’Rourke was sent off for a second yellow card in the 50th minute.
Simonstown Gaels burst out of the blocks and were 0-4 to 0-1 in front after 12 minutes. However, Rhode slowly got to grips with their opponents and had levelled matters by the 21st minute. Further points from Niall McNamee and Brian Darby edged Rhode two in front at the break 0-6 to 0-4.
Two early points for Simonstown Gaels on the resumption levelled matters, but again Rhode pulled two in front, before Shane O’Rourke received his marching orders. Rhode then edged three in front, before Conor McNamee blasted to the net to leave the Offaly Champions 1-10 to 0-7 in front after 47 minutes and it appeared they would run out easy winners. However, a goal from an Eanna Donoghue penalty in the 54th minute threw Colm O’Rourke’s side a lifeline and with the game entering injury time they had the deficit down to two points. In injury time Niall McNamee kicked his fifth point of the game to ease Rhode into the semi-final.
Rhode: Ken Garry; Brian Darby (0-01), Eoin Rigney, Jake Kavanagh; Niall Darby (0-01), Shane Sullivan, James McPadden; Alan McNamee, Conor McNamee (1-01); Stephen Hannon, Pauric Sullivan, Anton Sullivan (0-01); Paul McPadden (0-01 free), Ruairi McNamee, Niall McNamee (0-05, 0-01 free).
Subs: Darren Garry (0-02) for P McPadden (38), Glen O’Connell for P Sullivan (45), Ciaran Heavey for N Darby (57), Gareth McNamee for R McNamee (60+2)
Simonstown Gaels: Robbie Burlingham; Shane Gallagher, Niall McMahon, Stephen Moran; Michael O’Rourke, Brian Conlon, Niall Kane; Shane O’Rourke, Conor Sheridan; Joe Lyons (0-01), Seamus Kenny, Mark McCabe; Eanna Donoghue (1-01, 1-00 pen, 0-01 free), Sean Tobin (0-05, 0-02 frees), Pauric McKeever (0-01).
Subs: Brian McGrath for M O’Rourke (HT), Michael Brennan (0-01, ’45) for Lyons (41), Shane Barry for Sheridan (52), Conor Nash for Kenny (55)
Referee: Patrick Maguire (Longford)