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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Chin's class seals win

Faythe Harriers 0-22 Rapparees 1-14

Alan Aherne

James Peare (Rapparees) is challenged by Faythe Harriers defender Cormac Byrne
James Peare (Rapparees) is challenged by Faythe Harriers defender Cormac Byrne

Every single one of Lee Chin's opponents will realise he is a difficult man to deal with, regardless of the code.

However, knowing that and doing something about it are two completely different things, and Rapparees were the latest unfortunates to be reminded of that as the town battle in Group B of the Pettitt's Senior hurling championship in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday was won decisively by a Chin-inspired Faythe Harriers.

It was by no means a one-man show from the well-drilled victors, but the influence exerted by their star performer was clear.

He scored exactly half of their impressive 0-22 tally, with four coming from play while he also earned two of the frees that he converted.

Chin also set up points for the impressive duo of Rhys Clarke and Pádraigh Farrell on an evening when Alex Lynch did a fine marking job on Rapps dangerman Kevin Foley who was restricted to one score.

Jack Kelly had the unenviable task of trying to keep tabs on Chin, while he briefly locked horns with county colleague Liam Ryan late on when the Enniscorthy side brought their full-back out the field in a last throw of the dice.

However, while the game's only goal near half-time gave them a lifeline, Faythe Harriers ensured the gap never dropped below three points on the re-start as they drove on to victory.

Darragh Pepper's point for the Rapps inside 30 seconds was a false dawn as the Harriers availed fully of the wind to hit seven without reply in a strong response by the tenth minute.

Five came from Chin, including two from play, while the accurate Rhys Clarke chipped in with the other brace as the Wexford town team looked very sharp.

However, they did have a let-off in the twelfth minute when Tomás Mahon could only manage a point from a penalty awarded after teenage defender Cormac Byrne fouled James Peare.

Starting midfielder Mahon matched Chin's personal tally of 0-11 in a game where the forward sextet for the Rapps only contributed a paltry 1-2 between them.

They were struggling in several areas, but some hope re-surfaced in the 28th minute when the flight of a long delivery was misjudged by a Harriers defender and Darragh Pepper stole in behind him to beat the ageless Ian Scallan with a low drive.

While Pádraigh Farrell finished a move started by Scallan and carried on by David Mooney with a fine point in added time, the Harriers' half-time lead of 0-11 to 1-5 could have been greater.

Chin - whose only blemish was shooting four of the ten Harriers wides - converted a free on the re-start, and there was always a relatively small but significant gap between the sides thereafter as more often than not the leaders responded immediately to a Rapps score.

Indeed, on the only time the Enniscorthy men picked off points back-to-back, courtesy of Tomás Mahon ('65 and free), it left them trailing by 0-15 to 1-9 entering the last quarter.

Chin (free) and John Bridges responded and, after another Mahon free, Pádraigh Farrell showed admirable vision to pick out Colm Heffernan for a point with a crossfield pass before Chin made it 0-19 to 1-10 despite being under heavy pressure.

Although Mahon pointed three late frees, and a Ricky Fox drive was touched over by the alert Scallan, Shane Wilde, Farrell and Rhys Clarke ensured the determined Harriers topped the 20-point mark and claimed a merited opening round victory.

Faythe Harriers: Ian Scallan; Cormac Byrne, David Mooney, Ross Lynch; Brendan Mulligan (capt.), Richie Kehoe, Colm Heffernan (0-1); Lee Chin (0-11, 6 frees, 1 '65), Rhys Clarke (0-4); Alex Lynch, Shane Wilde (0-1), John Bridges (0-2); Dean Walsh, Pádraigh Farrell (0-3), Con O Donnagáin. Subs. - Stephen Kearney for Walsh (38), Michael Hanrahan for O Donnagáin (45).

Rapparees: Eamonn Furlong; Dillon Redmond, Liam Ryan, Mel Doyle; Anthony Roche, Ricky Fox (0-1), Ben Edwards; Jack Kelly, Tomás Mahon (0-11, 5 frees, 1 pen., 1 '65); Kevin Ryan, Kevin Foley (capt., 0-1), Eoin Quigley; Darragh Pepper (1-1), Ryan Mahon, James Peare. Subs. - Ed Tobin for Quigley (HT), Joe Cullen for K. Ryan (43), Tom Wall for Roche, inj. (47), Nick Doyle for Tobin (57), Lenny Connolly for Peare (57).

Referee: David O'Leary (Rathnure).

Wexford People

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