Devereux free gives Mary's narrow win
St. Mary's (Rosslare) 0-18 Rapparees 1-14
A free from Lee Devereux in the fourth minute of injury earned St. Mary's (Rosslare) a precious win in a hard-fought Junior hurling championship Group A clash in Bree on Saturday.
It was fitting that Devereux should land the winning score, given that the nippy corner-forward contributed 14 points of the winners' tally, with eleven of those coming from placed balls.
The concession of too many frees in scoreable positions unquestionably inhibited Rapparees' hopes, and sharp-shooter Devereux made sure their indiscretions were punished to the full.
There was never much between the sides, although the Enniscorthy outfit did hold a three-point advantage at the interval (0-10 to 0-7).
The Rapparees forward line were ticking along nicely in that opening half, with Aaron Ronan and Lee Treacy in particular looking lively, contributing five points between them.
St. Mary's were reliant on the accuracy Lee Devereux as he racked up all but one of their points in the opening period, with Ultan Quirke providing the other, a sweet effort from near the right sideline.
St. Mary's closed the gap to two just after the re-start when Paul Kinsella floated over a sideline cut that Joe Canning would have been proud of, and after Declan Ruth (free) and Andrew Murphy swapped points the Rosslare men enjoyed a brief purple patch.
Lee Devereux began the bright five-minute spell with an eye-catching turn and score and he followed it up with three more points to give St. Mary's a two-point lead (0-13 to 0-11).
However, Rapparees wrested back the advantage in the 50th minute when Tom Ryan lofted a delivery into the danger zone and it fell for the inrushing Lee Treacy, who arrowed a first-time pull to the back of the net.
The St Mary's response was instant with Robert Butler drawing them level with a fine point from the left wing, and then it was nip and tuck during a tense final ten minutes.
Rapparees twice took the lead, through Lee Treacy and Gary Murphy points, but on both occasions Lee Devereux responded with frees.
As the game ticked into injury time Devereux fired over another placed ball to edge St. Mary's in front, but two minutes later Neil McCrea looked to have rescued a point for the Rapps with a free at the other end.
Devereux was handed one last chance to win it for St. Mary's though, and he made no mistake, sending his free high and handsome between the posts.
St. Mary's (Rosslare): Niall Walsh; Ned Power, Conor Cafferkey, Conal Grant; Gearóid Byrne, David Murphy, Larry Morrissey; Naomhan Rossiter, Tiarnan Rossiter; Paul Kinsella (0-1 line ball), Andrew Murphy (0-1), Robert Butler (0-1); Ultan Quirke (0-1), Peter Carr, Lee Devereux (0-14, 11 frees). Sub. - Jason Ellard for Carr.
Rapparees: Aaron Sinnott; Pa O'Shea, Mark Redmond, Joe Carley, Brendan Kearney, Declan Ruth (0-2 frees), Brian Ronan; Seán O'Gorman, Tommy Foley; Lee Treacy (1-3), Tom Ryan (0-1), Neil McCrea (0-3, 2 frees); Brendan Doyle, Gary Murphy (0-2), Aaron Ronan (0-3). Subs. - Daniel O'Brien for Carley, Lee Murphy for Kearney, Mick O'Toole for Doyle.
Referee: Lar Doyle (Taghmon-Camross).