Rapparees make it four wins out of four
Rapparees continued their impressive season with a hard-earned eight-point victory over Horeswood in their Junior hurling championship Group A game in O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Sunday, writes Brendan Furlong.
Rapparees 4-16 Horeswood 2-14
Two goals from Patrick Hore, one in each half, helped ignite the Rapparees challenge, and with Barry Nolan also in sparkling form at centre-forward they eventually got the better of a Horeswood team which had midfielder Declan Murphy as its outstanding player.
Missing a number of key players, Rapparees despite two early Barry Nolan pointed frees struggled for most of the opening half, as Horeswood through fine points from Michael O'Hanlon (five frees) and Craig Murphy led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the end of the opening quarter.
Patrick Hore got in on the scoring act with a 20th-minute goal, but after John Bradley found the net on 25 minutes it was Horeswood who went in leading by 1-9 to 1-7 at the interval.
Very little separated the sides during the early second-half exchanges, but Hore with a 36th-minute goal edged his side into a 2-10 to 1-10 lead, and when substitute Lenny Connolly added a third three minutes later the Rapps began to assume control.
Michael O'Hanlon and Craig Murphy pointed frees were keeping Horeswood in touch, while an O'Hanlon 50th-minute goal from a 25-metre free reduced the deficit to 3-12 to 2-12.
The expected rally failed to materialise from the south county side though, as a goal from substitute Tom Ryan three minutes from the end secured the victory for the town side, who maintained their unbeaten record and secured a quarter-final spot.
Rapparees: Jim Connors; Joe Carley, John Barron, Ryan Hadley; Ciarán Cronin, Patrick Doyle, Mark Redmond; Seánie O'Gorman (0-1), Anthony Roche; Caolan Carty, Barry Nolan (0-13, 9 frees), Anthony Peare; Gary Murphy, John Ryan (0-1), Patrick Hore (2-1). Subs. - Lenny Connolly (1-0) for Peare, Tom Ryan (1-0) for G. Murphy, Lee Treacy for Carty.
Horeswood: Eoin Mythen; Gavin Murphy, Shane O'Hanlon, Damien Hearn; Paddy Roche, Barry Hearn, Johnny Keating; Declan Murphy (0-1), Craig Murphy (0-4, 3 frees); David O'Shea, Michael O'Hanlon (1-8, 1-6 frees), Seán Stafford (0-1); Jim Wall, John Bradley (1-0), Kevin Rowe. Sub. - Brian Kehoe for O'Shea.
Referee: Fintan Whyte (St. James').