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Rhode Edge Tullamore In Offaly Final After Being 'Written Off All Year'

25 September 2022; Rhode players, from left, Darren Garry, James Mc Padden, Paraic Sullivan and Paul McPadden celebrate after the Offaly County Senior Football Championship Final match between Tullamore and Rhode at O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

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Rhode claimed their 31st Offaly Senior Football Championship title with a one-point victory over reigning champions Tullamore on Sunday.

Rhode won the game 1-9 to 0-11. The winning point came 90 seconds from the end of normal time when Man of the Match Anton Sullivan found Niall McNamee just outside the Tullamore 20m line, and the Rhode forward claimed an offensive mark. McNamee kicked his fifth point of the game with ease.

Rhode had trailed Tullamore 0-5 to 0-3 after the opening half.

"It's absolutely brilliant," Sullivan told TG4.

"I'm thrilled for the lads, for the whole backroom staff, for the little village of Rhode. We've been written off all year. We've been told we're too old, we're over the hill. We knew we'd the work done down through the years. We stayed in our own little bubble, and thank God, we got over the line today.

"The conditions were very tough. You saw the wides that Tullamore kicked in the first half. If they'd clicked, they could have been further ahead. Thank God, they didn't.

"We knew with the wind at our backs in the second half. We've been in this position so many times before. Even when Tullamore went two up, we still stayed calm and composed. We knew we'd get opportunities."

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Ruairi McNamee goal for Rhode in 2022 Offaly SFC final

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A key moment came 17 minutes into the second half when Ruairi McNamee found the net to put Rhode two points ahead.

"I've solidiered with Johnny Moloney for so many years with Offaly," Sullivan said about the goal.

"Nine times out of 10, he'd come out with that ball. Thankfully, Ruairi just clipped it over him, went around the goalkeeper in style, and put it in the back of the net.

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"That gave us a bit of a lead, but Tullamore showed they are true county champions to come back into it. They drew back level, and thankfully we got a point in the end to snatch it."

Sullivan added that he would like to see Niall McNamee continue to play with Offaly.

"I'm sure Liam Kearns is here today," said Sullivan.

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"Niall is in as good a shape as he ever was. He's a brilliant ambassador around the Rhode club. All the young lads look up to him. I'm sure Liam will have a chat with him down the line."

See Also: 47-Year-Old Brendan Cummins Hits Winner In Tipp Relegation Playoff

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