Tullamore 0-09 Rhode 1-04

Tullamore returning to the top of the tree in Offaly for the first time since 2013 with a richly deserved win over champions Rhode in a low-scoring affair.

Tullamore could have won in the original meeting but were denied by a Niall McNamee goal almost at the end of injury time.

They conceded a goal at the end of injury time here as well, with Anton Sullivan blasting home a penalty, but Tullamore's lead was five points and this time it counted for little.

Over the course of the two days, there was no disputing the merit of Tullamore's win. With some of the best young talent in Offaly in their ranks, the scene is set for them to win plenty more in the coming year.

It very well could be the changing of the guard in the Offaly club scene. Rhode have had a terrific run over the last 20 years and they could have a sting in their tail yet but some of their greatest servants are now entering the end of the career. Alan McNamee has a record 12 senior football medals in Offaly and won a reprieve to play here after being sent off in the drawn game while his brother Niall and Brian Darby are very much in their veteran stages now.

Niall McNamee did not produce a solitary score as Rhode mustered just four points over the game.

The final, however, was all about Tullamore really and while they left the door open too long, they never really looked like being deprived here. The new champions led by 0-04 to 0-03 at half time but really should have been further clear.

They were 0-05 to 0-04 ahead two minutes into the second half and turned in a defensive master class as Rhode didn't score again until injury time.

Declan Hogan and man of the match John Furlong, a grandson of the legendary Martin, were truly heroic in their defences and Johnny Moloney (free), Diarmuid Egan, Nigel Bracken and Furlong got the late points that made Rhode's late goal immaterial.

Tullamore: Corey White; Nigel Bracken (0-01), Declan Hogan, Paul McConway; Kevin O'Brien, Johnny Moloney (0-02, 1f), Oisin Keenan-Martin; Michael Brazil, Aaron Leavy (0-01); Harry Plunkett, Diarmuid Egan (0-01), Ciaran Egan (0-01); Luke Egan, Luke Plunklett (0-02), John Furlong (0-01).

Subs – Shane Dooley for Ciaran Egan (39m), Ciaran Burns for O'Brien (42m), Tom Furlong for Harry Plunkett (60m), Michael Fox for Luke Plunkett (62m).

Rhode: Ken Garry; James McPadden, Conor McNamee, Keith Murphy; Brian Darby, Dylan Kavanagh, Niall Darby; Alan McNamee, Anton Sullivan (1-01, 1-00 penalty); Pauric Sullivan, Ruari McNamee (0-03), Ciaran Heavey; Darren Garry, Aaron Kellaghan, Niall McNamee.

Subs – Gareth McNamee for Pauric Sullivan (HT), Shane Sullivan for Heavey (44m), Glen O'Connell for Kellaghan (52m).

Referee: Fintan Pierce (Raheen).