Rhode captain Pauric Sullivan lauded his side’s defensive ability in seeing off St Patrick’s at O’Connor Park in Tullamore in the Leinster club SFC.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the Offaly champions’ 2-08 to 0-09 win, Sullivan said it had been “a dogged game. We knew what they were going to bring to the table: a very rough, hard-hitting, direct team.”

He singled out as a highlight Rhode’s defensive efforts as they protected a six-point lead.

“We had that six-point cushion, and we could have blocked it up, try and keep a barrier between the goals,” he said. “If they got in around three then we were in a kind of itchy situation. But we held tight, the boys dug deep and ground it out.”

O’Sullivan also noted the contribution of a small number of sets of brothers, and pointed out that Rhode was quite a small club that was very fortunate to have such a high concentration of talent.

As well him and his two brothers – Anton Sullivan scored one of his side’s goals, and Shane came on as a substitute - Rhode featured a set of Garry (Kenneth and Darren), McNamee (Niall and Alan) and McPadden (twins James and Paul) brothers.

“It’s a small village,” Sullivan said. “It’s basically only a crossroads. We’re blessed to have the talent we have and the desire we have. Hopefully we can keep it together [and take] run at this competition and see where it takes us.”