Rhode created history winning their 28th Offaly Senior Football title and in the process passed out Tullamore for the first time in the Roll of Honour. In addition veteran mid-fielder Alan McNamee created his own bit of history, becoming the first Offaly footballer to win 10 Senior Championship medals. Played in front of a crowd of 5,272, this was not a classic and in the end it came down to the more experienced Rhode side who showed more composure in front of goal and in particular Man of The Match Niall McNamee who finished top scorer with 0-8.
On a day when scores were at a premium, Rhode came out of the blocks the quicker and raced into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after nine minutes, three of those points coming from McNamee. John O’Hara opened Clara’s account on 10 minutes and then had a goal chance, but Ken Garry saved Graham Guilfoyle’s close range effort. McNamee extended Rhode’s advantage from play, before O’Hara had his second point on 19 minutes. McNamee (f) again edged Rhode four clear, before points from Robert Mitchell and Thomas Deehan left the half time score Rhode 0-6 Clara 0-4.
Clara had the first two points of the second half, both coming from Pa Smith to level proceedings after 41 minutes. However, Rhode were soon back on track and points from Ruairi McNamee and Niall McNamee (2), had them back three in front 0-9 to 0-6 on 49 minutes. Deehan (f) and Stephen Hannon then swapped points, before Paul McPadden and Niall McNamee (f), pointed to put Rhode five up with two minutes left Clara did have late scores from Graham Guilfoyle and Thomas Deehan, but it was too little too late and Rhode now go on to meet Portlaoise in the Leinster Club Championship at Bord na Móna O’Connor Pk in two weeks’ time.
Rhode: Ken Garry; James McPadden, Brian Darby, Jake Kavanagh; Stephen Hannon (0-01), Niall Darby, Dylan Kavanagh; Alan McNamee, Darren Garry; Pauric Sullivan, Ruairi McNamee (0-02), Conor McNamee; Paul McPadden (0-01), Anton Sullivan, Niall McNamee (0-08, 0-05 frees, 0-01 ’45).
Subs: Ciarán Heavey for D Kavanagh (45), Shane Sullivan for Garry (45), Garrett McNamee for P McPadden, Mark Rigney for R McNamee (60+2)
Clara: Joey Deehan; Colm Doyle, Richie Slammon, Liam Monaghan; Matthew Mitchell, Carl Stewart, John Ledwith; Thomas Deehan (0-03, 0-02 frees), Ross Brady; Robert Mitchell (0-01), John O’Hara (0-02), Pa Smith (0-02); Scott Brady, Graham Guilfoyle (0-01), Luke Dignam.
Subs: Josh Fleming for O’Hara (36 – B/C), David Fleming for Smith (53), David Falsey for M Mitchell (56), Paul Deehan for Dignam (59), Alan Gavin for Ledwith (60+2)
Referee: Ger Keyes (Shamrocks)