Rapparees rejoice after Junior 'B' win
Rapparees outpointed Oylegate-Glenbrien, winning a dour battle in the Enniscorthy District Junior B Hurling Championship final at St Patrick's Park on Thursday evening last.
Rapparees 0-12 Oylegate-Glenbrien 0-6
The Bellefield boys fully deserved their victory but were indebted to several last-gasp, stunning saves around the goal, as Oylegate battered on their door without ever being able to find a way through.
When Ronan Furlong was excellent keeping Mark Kavanagh at bay, save of the night had to go to wing-back Nick Doyle. In the last minute of normal time, Oylegate put together their best move of the match, which looked to be ending with a simple enough John Lambert goal.
The substitute, only on the field two minutes, has the sliothar fall at his feet with the right side of the goal gaping. Lambert connected well and the ball looked destined for the rigging until, out of nowhere, Doyle dived full-length across goal and somehow flicked it away.
Doyle would go on to clear a more sedate Barry Dunne shot off the line in injury-time but by then Oylegate were a beaten team. The first half was fairly ugly. Rapps held a 0-2 to nil lead after the opening quarter on the back of scores from Dayle Donohoe and 'Superman' Doyle.
Oylegate didn't threaten much in that spell but did slowly gather themselves. They drew level with points from Craig Heffernan and Brian Doran.
Jeremiah O'Connor and Doran traded overs as the half wore on but Adrian Fenlon's '65 eventually gave Rapps a 0-4 to 0-3 interval lead.
Damien Barron came alive with a nice pair of overs early in the second period but Barry Dunne responded with just his club's second point from play in the contest.
Eddie Mernagh, who had a busy first half, continued to repel the danger as Rapparees looked to find a clinching goal.
It didn't come but the points slowly started to flow. Richie Farrell scored with his first touch off the bench, Barron added a free before veteran Fenlon scored his sides next three minors. Doran threw over a pair of dead-balls but Donohoe's clincher, and the late defensive heroics, meant Rapparees advanced to the county semi-final with a double-scores win.
Rapparees: Ronan Furlong; Maurice Donohoe, Jason Russell, Fiachra Ryan; Chris Doyle, Liam Boland (capt), Nick Doyle (0-1); Alan Tobin, Barry Deegan; Damien Barron (0-3, 1 free), Adrian Fenlon (0-4, 1 '65), Willie Dunne; Dayle Donohoe (0-2), Jeremiah O'Connor (0-1), Brendan Doyle. Subs. - Adam Kirwan for G. O'Connor (34), Richie Farrell (0-1) for Dunne (38), Colm Doran for B. Doyle (41).
Oylegate-Glenbrien: Eddie Mernagh; Dathai O'Mahony, Dave Doyle, Ciaran Dagger; Shane Lambert, Aidan Murphy, Ciaran O'Brien; Brian Doran (0-4 frees), Conor Doyle; Stephen McCormack (capt), Adam Harris, Craig Heffernan (0-1); Ray Jennings, Tomás Stamp, Barry Dunne (0-1). Subs. - Mark Kavanagh for Murphy (27), John French for Jennings (31), Conor Hill for Heffernan (38), Davy Phillips for McCormack (53), John Lambert for Stamp (57).
Referee: David O'Leary (Rathnure)