Rhode maintained their hunt for their first Leinster crown with a convincing win over St Pats on Sunday.
The Wicklow champions were facing an uphill battle from the word go having beaten their closest rivals Rathnew just 22 hours earlier. This did not deter the home side however and they made use of a strong breeze to race into a 0-03 to 0-01 lead. However this was as good as it got for the Wicklow men as Rhode began to exert their dominance with the ever present Niall McNamee pulling the strings up front. They controlled the remainder of the half to leave the score at the break 0-10 to 0-05.
This dominance continued shortly after the break when Ciaran Heavey dispatched the ball to the back of the St Pats net. The Wicklow sides woes were then compounded when ace marksman Stephen Duffy was shown a black card shortly after. In the 45th minute Rhode broke through again this time it was Anton Sullivan who provided the finishing touch for the Offaly men. This left the home side trailing by 12 points. To their credit they battled to the bitter end and when Tommy Kelly netted in the 52nd minute the home fans began to hope once more.
Rhode however proved that the fresher legs were key as the kicked on in the finish to leave the final score 2-16 to 1-09. This sets the Offaly men up for a date with Longford Champions Mullinalaghta on Sunday the 11th November. They will be hoping to claim that elusive first Leinster crown having come so close in the last two decades.
Rhode v Mullinalaghta Sunday 11th November 1.30pm