The Faithful star hit eight points and oozed class, as Rhode set up a repeat of the 2014 provincial decider against St Vincent’s.
The first five points all were all from frees as McNamee and Conor Finnegan engaged in a private shoot-out. But Rhode carried the greater threat from play and the hosts would have been content to reach the 20-minute mark just a point in arrears, 0-3 to 0-2. But McNamee lofted over the first score from play and he added another free in injury-time to make it three points without reply, and chisel out a 0-5 to 0-2 lead at half-time.
Crucially, Rhode repeated the trick straight after the break, plundering three more points in quick succession. McNamee opened the scoring before laying on a second for Brian Darby, and he converted another free to make it 0-8 to 0-2.
O’Mahony’s big break came on 40 minutes when Conor Crawley was pulled down by Alan McNamee, but Stephen Fisher’s tame penalty was easily saved by Kenny Garry. O’Mahony’s did rescue a point from the situation as Finnegan broke their duck from open play, making it 0-8 to 0-4. After Paul McPadden had extended Rhode’s lead to five, they passed up two glorious goal chances. Then McPadden was on target again to cancel out a Stpehen Kilcoyne free and Rhode had further points from Niall and Ruriri McNamee. Depsite his earlier miss, Fisher didn’t shirk taking a second penalty, and this time he found the bottom corner to make it 0-12 to 1-5.
But O’Mahony’s made no headway thereafter and their manager Alan Craven summed up their afternoon:
“They’re a super outfit and our centre-half who was doing the man-marking job on Niall McNamee said if there’s a better footballer in the game then he’s retiring.’
Rhode boss Pascal Kellaghan knows the Dublin champions will be a big step up. “Two years ago we were well beaten by St Vincent’s, so we’ve a lot of work to do.”
N McNamee 0-8 (5f), P McPadden 0-2, R McNBamee, B Darby 0-1 each.
C Finnegan 0-4 (3f), S Fisher 1-0, S Kilcoyne 0-1f.
K Garry; S Sullivan, E Rigney, J McPadden; C Heavey, B Darby, N Darby; A McNamee, C McNamee; S Hannon, R McNamee, P McPadden; P Sullivan, D Garry, N McNamee.
G O’Connell for S Hannon (51), G McNamee for C Heavey (59), D Kavanagh for P Sullivan (59), E Byrne for P McPadden (60+).
B Traynor, K Murphy, R Byrne, M Clarke; L Dullaghan, J O’Brien, J Connolly; C Martin, S Brennan; C Finnegan, K McLaughlin, S Fisher; S Kilcoyne, C Crawley, B McLaughlin.
D Dowling for B McLaughlin (41), B Mackin for J Connolly (48), N McLaughlin for S Kilcoyne (55), P O’Brien for M Clarke (60+).
J Hickey (Carlow).