Rapps pull away after tight battle
Permanent TSB Junior Hurling Championship: Rapparees 1-22 Bannow-B'mitty 1-16
A dominant extra-time period helped Rapparees pull away as they overcame Bannow Ballymitty in a closely fought encounter in the Permamant TSB Junior Hurling Championship quarter-final on Saturday last.
Bannow took a two point lead in the early minutes with two Pat Fitzharris frees with Rapparees's Neil McCrea replying from a close range free.
Bannow corner-forward Micháel Murphy scored a fine score from an acute angle off his left side as they led 0-3 0-1 after ten minutes. Three quickfire points from Peter O'Sullivan, Alan Tobin and Tom Ryan put Rapps in front for the first time but a Pat Fitzharris free, Mark Wallace and a second Micháel Murphy point then put Bannow back in front in an end to end first 20 minutes.
Bannow then opened up a five point gap as Mark Wallace added his second point from distance before the opening goal of the game on 22 minutes as Micheál Murphy who was a big threat inside got the ball 30 yards out soloed towards goal and shot a brilliant goal from a tight angle into the top right hand corner, Bannow led 1-7 to 0-5. Keelan Carty notched a fine point from the sideline and Neil McCrea added a free to leave three between the sides at the break 1-8 0-8.
The Enniscorthy side struck a goal straight from the off as the veteran Declan Ruth dropped in a high ball into the Bannow goalmouth and after a few ricochets Neil McCrea was there to easily tap in 1-8 to 1-8.
Rapps continued their bright second half start as McCrea from a free and Keelan Carty pointed as they led by two. Two Pat Fitzharris frees had the sides level again with 20 remaining. Bannow wing forward Nicky Doyle and Rapps Alan Tobin exchanged points from play as Ruth and Fitzharris showed their accuracy from frees as Rapps led 1-13 to 1-12 with 15 left.
Gary Murphy from play and McCrea (free) extended Rapps' lead to three. With five minutes remaining Bannow made a significant substitute with corner-forward Gary Morton setting up Nicky Doyle for a score and then Morton himself added two scores from play to salvage a draw for the New Ross District side 1-15 1-15.
Extra-time saw only one side dominate that being Rapparees as Seán O'Gorman, a McCrea free and Alan Tobin all pointing as a Fitzharris free left two between the sides at the break. Rapps totally took over in second half of extra-time, albeit with the aid of Bannow's Niall Harney seeing red for a kick out on Seán O'Gorman.
Declan Ruth added a free from distance, John Ryan adding to his tally and two scores from Neil McCrea, one free and one from play saw Rapps race into a six-point lead. The best Bannow could muster up was a Pat Fitzharris penalty but his shot was brilliantly saved by Aaron Sinnott as Rapps progressed 1-22 to 1-16.
Bannow Ballymitty: Kevin Doyle, John Mernagh, John O'Leary, Art Murphy, Nicky Doyle (0-2), Arthur Sweetman, Conor Furlong, Mark Wallace (0-2), Niall Harney, Richie Walsh, David Currid, Padraig McCormack, Micheál Murphy (1-2), Pat Fitzharris (0-8f), Donal McLoughlin. Subs: David White for Mernagh (45 min), Gary Morton (0-2) for McLoughlin (52min), Alan Barden for Art Murphy (78min).
Rapparees: Aaron Sinnott, Brian Ronan, John Barron, Joe Carley, Kevin Walsh, Declan Ruth (0-2, 2f), Peter O'Sullivan (0-1), Seán O'Gorman (0-1), Conor Ronan, Gary Murphy (0-1), Tom Ryan (0-1), Alan Tobin (0-3), Keelan Carty (0-2), John Ryan (0-2), Neil McCrea (1-8, 6f). Sub: Ryan Hadley for C Ronan (72min)
Referee: John Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).