Rapps rule ok

Rapparees 3-14 Davidstown-Courtnacuddy 0-12

Dean Goodison

Three first-half goals were more than enough to see Rapparees to an opening round Group B victory in the Permanent TSB Junior hurling championship at St. Patrick's Park.

Pace was the big weapon at the Bellefield boys' disposal and they used it to shred Davidstown-Courtnacuddy with regularity throughout an impressive first period. On top of their speed in attack, they were nippy and clever in defence, rarely allowing their opponents easy scores inside their own '65.

Johnny Delaney converted a very early free for the Boolabawn club but it was two excellent points from Walter Furlong that allowed them to keep pace in the opening eight minutes (0-4 each). Neil McCrea had three minors on the board early but embellished his record further when he swept home from close range after Brendan Doyle's initial effort was blocked.

There was just four points in the game after 21 minutes but Rapparees soon delivered a significant blow. If you are going to follow your man upfield you might as well make a nuisance of yourself, and Joe Carley did just that when hauling in John Ryan's pass and flashing high to the net.

Supreme handling aided the second goal and it was a factor in the third when it came in the 25th minute. This time it was Anthony Peare who caught a lovely crossfield Brendan Doyle pass and coolly rattled it past Ger O'Leary in the Davidstown-Courtnacuddy goal to leave the Rapps 3-8 to 0-7 ahead at the break.

The intensity of the first-half melted away as the second wore on. Davidstown-Courtnacuddy threw a few balls into the goalmouth but the Bellefield side dealt with them well. In the end the victors won a tame enough second-half by six points to five to get off to the perfect championship start.

Rapparees: Gary Murphy; Mark Redmond, Ryan Hadley, Joe Carley (1-0); Ciarán Cronin, Brendan Kearney (0-2 '65s), Brian Ronan; Seánie O'Gorman (capt.), Conor Farrell; Anthony Peare (1-2), Tom Ryan, John Ryan (0-2); Brendan Doyle (0-1), Mick O'Toole, Neil McCrea (1-7, 0-5 frees).

Davidstown-Courtnacuddy: Ger O'Leary; Ger Martin, Pa Rowsome, Donal O'Shea; Michael Murphy (capt.), Daryl Freeman, Stephen Kennedy; James Doyle (0-1), Danny Delaney; Alan Hickey, Stephen Dunbar (0-1), James Kelly; Colm O'Shea, Walter Furlong (0-3), Johnny Delaney (0-6, 5 frees). Subs. - Billy Martin for O'Shea (25), Martin Murphy (0-1) for Dunbar (37), Eoin Keane for Hickey (37), Stephen Sheridan for D. Delaney (51).

Referee: Seán Slaven (Faythe Harriers).

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