Rhode 1-9 Tullamore 0-11
A brilliantly taken Ruari McNamee goal proved decisive as Rhode produced a mild upset in the Offaly senior football final, pipping holders Tullamore by a solitary point.
McNamee's goal came 13 minutes from time after a high Alan McNamee mark landed in on top of him and Johnny Moloney. Moloney looked to have the ball but it spilt with Tullamore appealing for a free out. Ruari's finish was out of the top drawer and it gave Rhode a 1-7 to 0-8 lead at a crucial stage.
Aaron Kellaghan pointed to put them three in front two minutes later but Tullamore fought with everything they had. Harry Plunkett got two frees, Johnny Moloney a brilliant point from play as they got back on level terms with five minutes left.
It was wide open but Rhode got the winning point with two minutes left on the clock with Niall McNamee firing over a mark and Tullamore couldn't manufacture an equaliser.
It was a superb back to the walls win by Rhode and they laid the foundation when playing against a strong wind in the first half. It was absolutely painful to watch as they pulled thirteen men into their own half but it worked for them as they kept Tullamore away from the danger area and the champions had to resort to long range shooting – they had eight wides and these did them a lot of harm.
Rhode didn't score from play in the first half with all three points coming from Niall McNamee frees. They had only one wide and that shows how defensive they were. They were 0-3 to 0-2 up with half time approaching when Tullamore got three points to lead by 0-5 to 0-3 at the break.
For a long time in the second half, it looked like Tullamore might get there. Rhode got the deficit back to the minimum on three occasions but each time Tullamore responded with the next point to restore the two point gap.
Man of the match Anton Sullivan put a point in it again in the 46th minute and it was clear that a goal would be decisive.
It fell to Rhode and it was fitting that Alan McMamee played such a pivotal role in it – it was Rhode's 13th title since 1998, their 31st in all and McNamee has won all thirteen of those medals. He is the record holder of Offaly senior football medals and now joins hurling goalkeeping folk hero, Damien Martin on 13.
Rhode: Ken Garry; Brian Darby, Jake Kavanagh, James McPadden (0-1); Keith Murphy, Conor McNamee, Gareth McNamee; Dylan Kavanagh, Alan McNamee; Paraic Sullivan, Ruari McNamee (1-0), Ciaran Heavey; Aaron Kellaghan (0-1), Anton Sullivan (0-2), Niall McNamee (0-5, 4f and 1m).
Subs: Paul McPadden for Paraic Sullivan (HT), Stephen Hannon for Heavey (39m), Darren Garry for Gareth McNamee (60m).
Tullamore: Corey White; Paul McConway, Nigel Bracken (0-1), Declan Hogan (0-1); Kevin O'Brien, Johnny Moloney (0-2), Daire McDaid; Michael Brazil, Aaron Leavy (0-1); Ciaran Egan, Diarmuid Egan, Harry Plunkett (0-5, 4f); Cormac Egan, Luke Plunkett (0-1), Luke Egan.
Subs: Ciaran Burns for Cormac Egan (41m), Dan Fox for McConway (49m).
Referee: Fergal Smyth (Kilclonfert).