Rhode (@1.53) vs Ferbane (@3.0)
13-10-2019

Our Prediction:

Rhode will win

Rhode – Ferbane Match Prediction | 13-10-2019 10:30

On form so far this year the gap between the two clubs appears to have narrowed significantly, but logic still dictates that Shamrocks should have little difficulty in Geashill. Both these teams contested county finals in 2007, one at intermediate and one at senior. Shamrocks need a big margin win here as well as a decisive result in Tullamore in order to advance to the quarter-finals and the suspicion is that they"ll hold up their end of the deal. Edenderry have turned the corner after a grim spell this decade and are an up and coming team, but it would be understandable if a sense of dj-vu was settling into the club as they once again get drawn into a relegation battle. Shamrocks to win by at least six points is the most likely outcome.

Every Offaly success has brought a generous contribution from Rhode and the representation of five of the victorious panel of 1971 and 1972 this was the highest of any club. There were great battles with Rhode and Tullamore in the 1920s and early 1930s, the razor sharp rivalry with near neighbours Edenderry through the years to the most recent dominance of Offaly football 1998 to 2018. Rhode GAA Club was formed in 1888 and Rhode GAA is legendaryas once written by Offaly GAA historian John Clarke in an article entitled Rhode The Triumphant Erigena sums up what is the essence of Rhode GAA Club. Rhodes impact on Gaelic football has not confined to the domestic scene. The first in 1900 and the most recent in 2018 sees Rhode dominance continue so much so that we are now only one title behind county leaders Tullamore. More success followed through the early 1980s with another four representing the club in 1982 and returned again in 1997 and 1998 with Leinster and National Football League wins. The history of Offaly football is lavishly adorned with the contributions from Rhode. Rhode GAA have won 29 senior football championships which is a record that no other small village in the county could boast.

In order to reach a Quarter-Final, Tullamore must win this game by four points and hope that Rhode beat Ferbane in the other match going on simultaneously in O"Connor Park. That Tullamore have the players to do this is not in question - whether they have the resolve to take on and beat a fired up Shannonbridge team is quite another matter altogether. As Sesame Street could have put it, this match is brought to you by the letters Q and F, and the number 4. Tullamore found James Grennan too much to handle at midfield last time out and it"s easy to see how John Ryan and John Egan could prove similarly difficult to get the better of this week.

A great Sen Ryan goal was the main reason that they came away with nothing from that fixture and K/K don"t offer that level of threat here. Their status as a football only club, unlike Kilcormac/Killoughey for whom hurling is the primary sport for many of their key players, should give them the edge in this fixture, provided they play with the same focus that they did against Birr. Clonbullogue will have been hugely disappointed with their year so far and all that remains for them now is to ensure that they don"t get drawn into a relegation dogfight.

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Rynagh"s could surprise a lot of people in this game, though Rovers" fighting spirit may see them sneak the draw that they need to stay in the senior ranks. Erin Rovers are competitive and committed team, but they don"t score freely, and if they can"t shake Rynagh"s loose early on, the men in hoops will grow in confidence. Players like Gary Mahon, Gary O"Connor and Stephen Wynne are well able to take a score, while if either of the Rafferty brothers can put the shackles on Alan Lynam, Rovers will find scores very hard to come by.

The second quarter-final will be formed in the same way from Group B. Those quarter-finals will be contested by the runners-up and third-placed teams in each group with the runners-up in Group A playing the third-placed team in Group A. Repeat fixtures are ruled out by virtue of the criss-cross system which will ensure those two teams did not meet in the round-robin phase. At the end of this phase, the top team in each group will go straight into opposite semi-finals while their opponents will be decided by two quarter-finals.

Tullamore too have been quite competitive at this level and their narrow win over Kilclonfert back in May gives them the whip hand, though their most recent performance was very discouraging. Ballyfore come into this game on the back of two defeats, but any kind of win here combined with a heavy defeat for Kilclonfert against Walsh Island would see the Edenderry parish club advance to the knockout stages. Ballyfore are still struggling to deal with the loss of Conor Evans, but if they can retain their belief and their focus, they have enough ability to sneak a tight game here.

Subs:S Flynnfor D Cox, J Nally for D Egan, S Ibbotson for S Flynn,D Kellyfor C Egan, K McManus for R McGuire. Ferbane - JCullinan; M Wren, C Egan,K Nugent;S Wren, C Cahill, L Fox;K Higgins,O Kelly; D Cox,J Maher(0-4, 1f),D Egan; C Johnson (0-3, 2f), A Keenaghan (0-2), R McGuire (0-1).

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Fast forward on to today and while nobody would try to argue that the two teams are equal on paper, Rhode appeared hesitant and uncertain against Shannonbridge, while Ferbane found their championship rhythm in a real ding dong battle against Tullamore. Two weeks ago this fixture would have been the easiest prediction since Scotland played Estonia in Tailinn without the Estonians on the field. Rhode had beaten Tullamore in the first round while Ferbane had folded meekly to Shannonbridge in the first round and the two clubs looked a world apart.

Rhode - K Garry; S Sullivan, E Rigney, J Kavanagh; B Darby,N Darby(0-1), J McPadden; C McNamee, A McNamee; C Heavey, R McNamee (0-3),P Sullivan; P McPadden, A Sullivan (1-4), N McNamee (0-9, 4f). Subs:D Garry(0-1) for C Heavey, D Kavanagh for C McNamee, G McNamee forS Sullivan,S Lowryfor A McNamee,M Rigney for P Sullivan.

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Raheen have been extremely disappointing in this years IFC and appear to be regressing after several years of playing very competitively at this level. Bracknagh also had a difficult outing in round two of this years championship, shipping 3-18 to St Brigid"s, but the Croghan men are demolishing all round them this year and if Bracknagh can put that one-off result behind them, they can win this. Their loss to Clara showed quite how far the club have fallen and unless they can turn things around, they look like they"ll struggle this Sunday too.