Sweeney double sinks Rhode
December 04, 2006
Two expertly converted first half penalties by Kildare star Ronan Sweeney proved decisive as Moorefield claimed their first Leinster club football title at Rhode's expense in atrocious weather conditions at O'Moore Park.
Offaly kingpins Rhode went into the final as favourites but were facing an uphill battle after Sweeney's brace of goals helped Moorefield to a 2-2 to 0-6 interval lead, despite having played against the elements in the first half. Rhode could only manage two points in the second half as a superbly organised Moorefield side ran out comfortable winners.
Rhode opened brightly with points from Niall McNamee and Roy Malone giving them a 0-2 to 0-1 lead at the end of the opening quarter. But the game took a decisive turn in the 16th minute when Jason Phillips was taken down for a penalty and Sweeney coolly slotted it to bottom right hand corner of the net.
Phillips was fouled again only minutes later and Sweeney obliged once again from the penalty spot to give Moorefield a 2-2 to 0-4 cushion. Niall McNamee, who scored all but one of his side's first half points, pulled back two before the break to give the Offaly champions a fighting chance.
Rhode promised a lot in the second half, but were unable to break down a resolute Moorefield full back line where Kevin O'Neill and Ian Lonergan were outstanding. Lonergan was involved in the Kildare side's third goal when his long punt was collected by substitute David Whyte who sent a dipping shot past Rhode 'keeper Colm Masterson for the killer goal.
There was no way back for Rhode after that as Moorefield easily held on to become the first Kildare team since Raheens in 1982 to lift a Leinster club title.
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