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McNamee Remembers Pat Smullen As Rhode Reign In Offaly

McNamee Remembers Pat Smullen As Rhode Reign In Offaly

Rhode won their 11th Offaly Senior Football Championship title of the past 17 years on Sunday, defeating Tullamore by two points at O'Connor Park.

Niall McNamee has been there for all 11 of those victories. Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday, the forward - who scored five points in the game - was full of emotion.

McNamee remembered nine-time champion jockey Pat Smullen, a Rhode native, who died recently.

"Just for the village itself, it's been a sad couple of weeks, couple of months with everything that's going on," said McNamee.

There was a lot of sadness in the village a couple of weeks ago with Pat Smullen passing away. It was only a small number that could go to the funeral. You saw the whole village lining the streets for miles. It's a special place to be from.

We always know, we feel it, it's all part of who we are. It's a deep feeling there within the club. It's just great to get over the line.

Sunday's win was Rhode's 30th Offaly senior title. They sit top of the county's roll of honour, ahead of Tullamore.

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"We've been knocking on the door for a couple of years," McNamee continued.

"It's very, very hard to keep coming back year in year out when every team in Offaly is challenging every year trying to push on.

"It was a tough year this year with everything that went on but we trained supremely hard. During lockdown we did a lot of online stuff as well, kept the show on the road.

"It's just sensational to be able to get over the line today in tough conditions, tough game. To be able to get the job done, we're thrilled with it.

"We're only a small little village. We're probably punching above our weight in lots of ways in terms of the pick that we have. In fairness we don't lose anybody. Everybody plays, everybody commits every year. We've serious commitment from everybody."

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