Pepper rubs salt into Glynn wounds
Rapps garb dramatic late winning goal
Mere seconds after falling behind for the first time since the opening quarter, Rapparees responded with an injury-time Darragh Pepper goal to take their second consecutive victory in the Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group A in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.
Glynn-Barntown 2-17 Rapparees 2-15
The Bellefield boys had led all the way through a topsy-turvy second period but were under pressure, just two points ahead, when the superb Gary Moore scored his fifth point of the second-half in the final minute of normal time.
Glynn-Barntown, tails up, battled for and won a free close to the right touchline, just over halfway. Mark Fanning trotted up to take it, like he had for four other successful long-range frees during the contest, but sent this one careering off Eamonn Furlong's right upright.
It could have bounced anywhere around the goalmouth but happened to land perfectly for Craig Doyle to sweep home a vicious pulled effort that the Rapparees goalkeeper had no opportunity to save (2-15 to 1-17).
What Furlong could do is re-start the game quickly, and it was his speed of thinking that helped create the winning goal, less than 30 seconds later. His ball found Conor Ronan who quickly off-loaded to the forward-bursting Pepper.
Pepper only had one thought once in possession and it wasn't an equalising point. The Glynn-Barntown defence opened up through the middle like the Red Sea and Pepper hared, untouched, right through the left centre and fired low past Fanning to win in for the Rapps.
There was early drama as well as late. Just 23 seconds had passed when Craig Doyle drove at the Rapparees defence and handpassed over to Moore on the overlap on the right, with the latter cutting in to net the opening major from six yards out.
The early goal certainly didn't upset the Enniscorthy town club, as they responded with a quartet of points and took the lead in the 13th minute when Peter O'Sullivan found Kevin Foley with a long ball.
He was defended brilliantly one-on-one by Jack Fenlon, but the Glynn-Barntown full-back couldn't have known that Tomás Mahon had got free inside and he netted after a clever pass.
Joe Cullen hit the foot of the post to end the first quarter but his side scored six of the last eight points of the half, with Tomás Mahon taking his tally to 1-6 and Ryan Mahon adding a brace to give their club a 1-10 to 1-6 interval advantage.
'Mossy' Mahon almost added a second goal when he intercepted Fanning and pulled wide in the 32nd minute, but he and his side kept chipping away against the zephyr coming from the town end and still led by four with seven minutes remaining.
Moore was exceptional for Glynn-Barntown in the second-half as his points kept them in the contest. Despite Craig Doyle's injury-time goal, his efforts proved to be in vain as Rapparees took the spoils and top spot in Group A.
Rapparees: Eamonn Furlong; Dillon Redmond, Kevin Courtney, Mel Doyle; Jack Kelly, Liam Ryan (0-1), Ben Edwards; Peter O'Sullivan, Ryan Mahon (0-2); Kevin Ryan (0-2), Tomás Mahon (1-10, 0-6 frees), Ed Tobin; James Peare, Kevin Foley (capt.), Joe Cullen (0-1). Subs. - Darragh Pepper (1-1) for Peare (35), Ricky Fox for Edwards (44), Conor Ronan for Cullen (60).
Glynn-Barntown: Mark Fanning (0-4 frees); David Clarke, Jack Fenlon, Pádraig Donnelly; Brendan Doyle, Michael O'Regan (capt., 0-1), Barry Doyle; Michael Doyle, Craig Doyle (1-3, 0-2 frees); Daire Barron, Alan Cowman, Pádraic Weafer (0-1); Rowan White (0-1), Gary Moore (1-5, 0-3 frees), Matthew Joyce. Subs. - Kevin Crean for O'Regan, inj. (35), Ian Moran for Joyce (50), Fionn Cooney for Weafer (60).
Referee: David O'Leary (Rathnure).