Dooley delivers victory for dogged Tullamore

Tullamore 2-07 Rhode 0-09
Tullamore produced a stunning defensive performance in O’Connor Park yesterday to secure a famous victory over Rhode, reversing a 2-16 to 0-7 defeat to the same club in the first round of this year’s championship.

This was a physical battle and after Shane Dooley opened the scoring for Tullamore in the first minute, 15 minutes of hard-hitting and scoreless football followed. Dooley, who has declared his interest in playing both codes for Offaly in 2014, struck for the first of two goals midway through the first half and there were nearly 20 minutes gone before Mark Dunne opened Rhode’s account.

A flurry of scores before the break allowed Rhode draw level at 1-2 to 0-5, but their full forward line’s inaccuracy (they shot 14 wides in total) cost them dearly.

Dooley’s second major eight minutes into the second half rocked them and a wonderful 40m kick from John Moloney stretched the lead to four points with 20 minutes left.

Rhode manager Pat Daly withdrew four of his starting forwards to energise his team and one of those switches almost bore fruit when David Hope found himself with just the keeper to beat. Hope dragged his shot wide and any hope of the 2012 champions salvaging a result disappeared as Tullamore hung on.

Scores for Tullamore: S Dooley 2-3 (1f), C Moloney, M Brazil, J Moloney, S Kelly 0-1 each. Scorers for Rhode: N Darby & G O’Connell 0-2 (1f) each, M Dunne, N McNamee, E Byrne, P Kelleghan, J McPadden 0-1 each.

TULLAMORE: E Brennan; D Carroll, P McConway, M Conlon; K O’Brien, J Keane, G Ward; J O’Donoghue, M Brazil; N Bracken, K Williamson, C Moloney; S Kelly, J Moloney, S Dooley. Subs: B Francis for O’Brien (50), J Kenny for C Moloney (53), D O’Neill for Kelly (60).

RHODE: K Garry; E Byrne, S Sullivan, J McPadden; C Heavey, B Darby, D Murphy; A McNamee, M Dunne; S Hannon, G O’Connell, P Sullivan; N Darby, N McNamee, P McPadden. Subs: E Rigney for S Sullivan (35), P Kelleghan for J McPadden (temp 37), C McNamee for Hannon (39), P Kelleghan for P McPadden (43), D Hope for O’Connell (45), R McNamee for N Darby (49).

Referee: Fergal Smyth (Kilclonfert).

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