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Rhode carve out an easy route to book final position

Rhode delivered a polished performance to see off Moorefield 1-15 to 2-4 in their Leinster club SFC semi-final at O'Connor Park in Tullamore.

The displays of attacking duo Niall McNamee and Anton Sullivan, who hit 1-9 between them and were involved in many more scores, proved obvious pillars of this Rhode success.

Apart from a brief period just after the restart, Rhode controlled just about every facet of the game. At midfield, they were utterly dominant no matter who Moorefield introduced. Defensively they were solid too, conceding only 1-3 from play.

Moorefield manager Luke Dempsey didn't offer any excuses afterwards. His team, he admitted, were outdone all over the field.

"We went in with far too much of a deficit to pick up," he agreed. "That was aided by some outstanding Rhode play. Their two inside forwards (McNamee and Sullivan) were outstanding throughout the game. When the chips were down they came up with the scores. Out the field I'd say they won far more breaks than we did.

"With that performance and the one against Navan, there's no reason they can't win that elusive Leinster title."

decider

Rhode manager Pat Daly wants the high-level performance his side delivered for most of the semi-final to be brought into the decider against St Vincent's.

"We're delighted to be back in a Leinster club final," said Rhode boss Pat Daly.

"But it's important to bring that performance into the final now. We were a little bit disappointed allow Moorefield back into the game and its something we have to look into.

"It's very hard dominate for the 60 minutes and we have to be prepared when the opposition get their purple patch. So I was extremely pleased with the way our lads reacted when Moorefield got the goal and a handful of points at the start of the second half."

Right from the off, Rhode were dominant, soon hitting 1-5 without reply, with the Kildare champions struggling to get out of their own half as Tom Corley's kick-outs were consistently snapped up by Rhode's willingness to hunt in packs for breaks.

Nerves seemed to spread through the Moorefield side and it wasn't long before they coughed up the game's first goal. Ross Glavin, who had struggled with illness all week, miscalculated his pass out of defence and Paul McPadden transferred inside to Sullivan, whose finish was superb.

Moorefield got a goal through Niall Hurley-Lynch, but the Offaly men took in a commanding 1-9 to 1-1 lead in at the break. There was a switch in momentum briefly in the second half with Ronan Sweeney's penalty helping the Kildare side get within a goal of Rhode but that was as a good as it got. Sweeney picked up a second yellow card before Fergal Kelly's final confirmed Rhode were in their fourth provincial final.


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