Ferbane ended their Senior Football drought when saw off the challenge of reigning champions Rhode on Sunday afternoon last in Bord na Mona, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, ending a 25 year wait for the Dowling Cup to head to the West Offaly town.
In what was a thrilling encounter, the reigning champions were five to the good with forty minutes on the clock, 0-11 to 0-6, but up step Cian Johnson and with two goals in the space of four minutes he turned the game completely on its head putting Ferbane 2-8 to 0-11 ahead.
Rhode who were aiming to collect their 12th Title since 1998, masters to say the least, still had more to come and with three in a row from Niall Darby the Ferbane lead was whittled to one with four minutes remaining.
Ferbane could have easily lost their way at the point, but the dream of finally lifting the Title pushed them on even further and with four more scores courtesy of Cian Johnson, Joe Maher, Oisin Kelly and Cathal Flynn, they well and truly sealed the deal. The final scores reading 2-13 to 0-14.
Ferbane: Cian Johnson 2-3, Joe Maher 0-6 (0-4 Frees), Kevin Nugent 0-1, David Nally 0-1, Oisin Kelly 0-1, Cathal Flynn 0-1.
Rhode: Niall Darby 0-7 (0-6 Frees), Anton Sullivan 0-3, Brian Darby 0-1, Aaron Kellaghan 0-1, Ciaran Heavey 0-1, Darren Garry 0-1.
Ferbane: Jack Cullinane; Stephen Wren (Capt.), Leon Fox, Shane Nally; David Nally, Conor Lowry, Kevin Nugent; Ciaran Cahill, Kyle Higgins; Cathal Flynn, Joe Maher, Aidan Keenaghan; Cian Johnson, Oisin Kelly, Sean Flynn.
Subs: Jack Clancy for Sean Flynn (Half Time), David Kelly for Kyle Higgins (39 mins), James Nally for Conor Lowry (43 mins), Kieran McManus for Kevin Nugent (62 mins Black Card), David Cox for Ciaran Cahill (63 mins), Paddy Moore for Joe Maher (64 mins).
Rhode: Dean Morris; Jake Kavanagh, Dylan Kavanagh, James McPadden; Brian Darby, Eoin Rigney, Niall Darby (Joint Capt.); Alan McNamee, Conor McNamee; Ciaran Heavey, Stephen Hannon, Anton Sullivan; Aaron Kellaghan, Ruairi McNamee (Joint Capt.), Darren Garry.
Subs: Shane Sullivan for Ciaran Heavey (inj 28 mins), Shane Lowry for Aaron Kellaghan (46 mins), Niall McNamee for Dylan Kavanagh (49 mins).
Referee: Martin Carty (Walsh Island)
Man of the Match: Cian Johnson (Ferbane).