St Vincent's 1-16 (Dublin) Rhode 0-12 (Offaly)
St Vincent’s claimed a record-equalling seventh Leinster senior club football title with relative ease in O’Moore Park, beating Rhode in the final for the second time in three seasons, writes John Fogarty.
An early Diarmuid Connolly goal set them on their way but it was four points on the bounce midway through the second half that saw them deny Rhode a first provincial crown at the fifth time of asking.
Despite losing Ger Brennan to a black card in first-half additional time, St Vincent’s were rarely troubled thereafter and dominated the middle where Gavin Burke and Shane Carthy excelled.
They set the tone for their first half when Connolly finished low and true past Kenny Garry after Enda Varley had managed to turn over the ball and supply Carthy who fed the ball into his captain.
Rhode responded well with a brace of points but they were cancelled out in the space of three minutes when Connolly and Mossy Quinn found their range.
A Conor McNamee point was followed by three unanswered St Vincents’ points and they were five up by the 22nd minute.
Rhode were guilty at times of overplaying the ball and were turned over regularly but enjoyed a purple patch towards the end of the half and St Vincents’ advantage was cut to three.
It would have been all square but for Michael Savage saving Ruairi McNamee’s penalty in the first minute of stoppage time, the Dublin reserve goalkeeper saving Brennan’s blushes after the defender was black carded for tripping Niall McNamee in the parallelogram.
Within seconds, Burke had sent the ball over the bar for his second point to add insult to injury for Rhode. Instead of going level into the half-time break, they trailed by five, 1-8 to 0-6.
Scorers for St Vincent’s: D. Connolly (1-2); T. Quinn (0-4, 2 frees); G. Burke (0-3): E. Varley, S. Carthy (0-2 each); Cormac Diamond, J. Feeney, R. Trainor (0-1 each).
Scorers for Rhode: N. McNamee (0-6, 5 frees); D. Garry (0-2); P. McPadden, C. McNamee, N. Darby, D. Heavey (0-1 each).
ST VINCENT’S: M. Savage; M. Concarr, J. Curley, C. Wilson; Cameron Diamond, G. Brennan, N. Mullins; D. Murphy, S. Carthy; G. Burke, D. Connolly (c), Cormac Diamond; E. Varley, R. Trainor, T. Quinn.
Subs for St Vincent’s: F. Breathnach for G. Brennan (black, h-t); A. Martin for D. Murphy (39); J. Feeney for A. Martin (inj, 45); J. McCusker for Cormac Diamond (58); K. Bonnie for E. Varley (60+3).
RHODE: K. Garry; E. Rigney, C. Heavey, J. McPadden; B. Darby, E. Rigney, N. Darby; A. McNamee, D. Garry; P. Sullivan, N. McNamee, C. McNamee; S. Hannon, R. McNamee, P. McPadden.
Subs for Rhode: G. O’Connell for P. Sullivan (40); D. Kavanagh for C. Heavey (53); G. McNamee for S. Sullivan (56); S. Lowry for J. McPadden (60+4); E. Byrne for C. McNamee (black 60+4).
Referee: B. Cawley (Kildare).