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Rhode v Clara Report

Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship Round 1
Rhode on fire as they literally send Clara packing
Rhode: 4-20
Clara: 0-10
By Mary Dunne
2013 beaten County Finalists Rhode well and truly sent out a warning signal to the rest of the County when they literally railroaded an extremely lacklustre Clara side in what was nothing short of a drubbing with a capital D on Saturday evening last in O’Connor Park, Tullamore.
Pain staking to say the least from a neutral perspective, Clara were so far off the boil it really was alarming with Niall McNamee in flying form with 2-7 and 2-3 of that in the first half alone it really was a bad day at the office for Clara from as early as the first half.
Playing against a strong wind in the first half Rhode did what they liked with Clara. Their support play and movement off the ball was immense to say the least and with the aforementioned Niall McNamee doing what he wanted it was no wonder Clara found themselves on the back of a 2-6 to 0-5 drubbing at the half time break.
A small crowd made the Saturday evening trip to O’Connor Park and a in a double header clash with Edenderry and reigning champs Tullamore and maybe it is a reflection on how bad club football in Offaly is becoming.
Saturday’s Rhode/Clara game should have been enough to raise a huge amount of interest throughout the county with their meetings in the past being nothing short of superb, but on the other side of things it’s very early to be showing your hand with four games still to be played in the group stages.
Clara looked unfit for huge spells in this one and the last thing they wanted was a first round drubbing but Rhode made it look so easy from the off and even though Clara did make more of a push in the second half Rhode were never in any danger.
In fact it was Clara who got this one off to a flying start and by the seventh minute they found themselves in a commanding 0-3 to no score lead thanks to Thomas Deehan with two and a superbly kicked ’45 from Graham Guilfoyle.
Rhode were a little longer to settle but with nine minutes on the clock wing back Eoghan Byrne showed his forwards the way just before Niall McNamee fired over this first of 2-3 for the half to bring the scores to 0-3 to 0-2 after ten.
Thomas Deehan hit Clara back in front but that’s when Rhode took over completely and with two more scores from Niall McNamee the sides were level at 0-4 apiece, but it wasn’t long until Rhode upped the ante big time.
With twenty minutes on the clock they attacked with a cracking goal from Niall McNamee giving them a lead they would never surrender.
Stephen Deehan the only player who looked any way in form for Clara did pull one back but Rhode had this one effectively shut out by the half time break.
Brian Darby bisected the uprights following a top class run from his own full back line and then with twenty seven minutes on the clock Niall McNamee drove home goal number two, just before Anton Sullivan fired over a beauty of a score to leave the half time scores reading 2-6 to 0-5.
Clara needed a mammoth second half to say the least but it was Rhode who started the second half off much like they ended the first with Niall Darby giving them a 2-7 to 0-5 cushion.
Ross Brady moving to middle of the field did make a slight difference and with a nice score from him he brought Clara to within seven but it wasn’t too long until Rhode were on the board again with a brace of scores from Niall McNamee and Niall Darby extending their lead.
Thomas and Stephen Deehan fired over for Clara by the ninth minute but Rhode were on fire to say the least and with two more scores from Niall McNamee and Eoghan Byrne they paved their way for more scores.
A fabulous ball from Alan McNamee picked out Anton Sullivan who in turn played to Ruairi McNamee and with no hope for Clara he was pulled down in the square. Up stepped Glenn O’Connell to the spot and making no mistake he literally rifled the ball to the roof of the net to give Rhode a 3-11 to 0-8 lead.
Clara managed two more scores in this one thanks to Thomas and Stephen Deehan, but the even only went from bad to worse for them with Rhode literally doing what they wanted for the remainder of the half.
Points from Anton Sullivan and Glenn O’Connell paved the way for goal number four with Glenn O’Connell firing home his second a superb shot off his right and with more scores from Anton Sullivan, Niall McNamee, Glenn O’Connell, Sullivan again, Ruairi McNamee, Cathal Nolan and Niall McNamee finishing off a super day with his seventh point. Rhode were all too easy winners by 4-20 to 0-10.
The Scorers
Rhode: Niall McNamee 2-7, Glenn O’Connell 2-2 (1-0 Penalty, 0-2 Frees), Anton Sullivan 0-4, Eoghan Byrne 0-2, Niall Darby 0-2 (Frees), Brian Darby 0-1, Ruairi McNamee 0-1, Cathal Nolan 0-1.
Clara: Thomas Deehan 0-5 (0-3 Frees), Stephen Deehan 0-3 (0-1 Free), Ross Brady 0-1, Graham Guilfoyle 0-1 (’45).
The Teams
Rhode: Kenneth Gary; Jake Kavanagh, Shane Sullivan, Brian Darby; James McPadden, Eoin Rigney, Eoghan Byrne; Alan McNamee, Conor McNamee; Niall Darby, Paraic Sullivan, Glenn O’Connell; Paul McPadden, Anton Sullivan, Niall McNamee.
Subs: Ruairi McNamee for Paul McPadden (42 mins), Ciaran Heavey for Eoghan Byrne (50 mins), Cathal Nolan for Niall Darby (55 mins).
Clara: Alan Cronin; Richie Slammon, John Ledwith, Lorcan Hiney; Liam Monaghan, Ross Brady (Capt.), John Flattery; Scott Brady, Graham Guilfoyle; Stephen Deehan, John Reynolds, Caomhán Sheridan; Thomas Deehan, Barry Cushen, Paul Deehan.
Subs: Deasun Baggott for Caomhán Sheridan (29 mins), David Ledwith for Paul Deehan (Half Time).
Referee: David Walsh (Gracefield).


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