Monday 18 December 2017

Peter's ease home

Plain sailing for hurlers in opener

Alan Aherne

The St. Peter's squad before Saturday's comfortable win over St. Brendan's (Birr) in Dunmore
The St. Peter's squad before Saturday's comfortable win over St. Brendan's (Birr) in Dunmore

The first hurdle in the quest for a Top Oil Leinster Post-Primary Schools Senior 'A' championship double was cleared with the minimum of fuss in the MW Hire Kilkenny Training Centre in Dunmore on Saturday when St. Peter's College (Wexford) breezed to a commanding 16-point win over an outclassed St. Brendan's (Birr) in this one-sided hurling quarter-final.

St. Peter's 1-21 St. Brendan's (Birr)0-8

The writing was on the wall for the midlanders from an early stage, with three pointed frees from ace marksman and captain Rory O'Connor inside five minutes settling the favourites.

Birr struggled to cope with the quick, intelligent passes played into a lively forward line, with five of the sextet from St. Martin's and showing the type of understanding that one would expect from players who have grown up together.

St. Peter's were equally solid at the back, but they will know themselves that the real test will come next Saturday as the 'big four' of Leinster hurling at this level are left in the race for provincial honours, and they will face St. Kieran's.

Ten of the 18 players utilised in the football success eight days earlier featured in this game, and they showed they are equally adept with hurl in hand as fouls on Kyle Firman, Eoin O'Leary and Rory O'Connor led to those first three points from the latter.

Birr defender Pat Gilligan was booked for a challenge on O'Connor in the seventh minute, and the result was the same as the lead was widened to four.

The first of Birr's nine wides (Peter's hit six) resulted in Barry O'Connor catching James Henebery's puck-out and feeding midfielder Jack Brazzill for the opening score from play in the ninth minute.

Eventually, after three more misses, St. Brendan's got off the mark from a Ryan Hogan '65 near the end of the first quarter.

Rory O'Connor responded with the first of his three points from play before a converted Eoin Gath free was cancelled by lively and accurate corner-forward Jack Devereux (0-7 to 0-2).

Birr were barely hanging on to their superior opponents, and they were completely undone in the lead-up to half-time when St. Peter's added another 1-4 without reply.

Rory O'Connor knocked over another free before the goal which killed the game as a contest arrived in the 27th minute. Kyle Firman did the donkey work in the left corner before setting up Barry O'Connor who had moved to full-forward, and his crisp low drive beat Brian Fletcher between the posts.

Rory O'Connor - now on the '40 with the hard-working Michael Codd on his right - availed of a Jack Devereux flick to tack on a point before the latter and Barry O'Connor stretched the advantage to 1-11 to 0-2 by the break.

Normal service continued on the re-start as Rory O'Connor added a hat-trick of points inside six minutes, with the first and last from frees.

Birr had introduced a lively substitute in corner-forward Paddy Byrne whose short free from the right set up Brendan Hoctor for their opening score from play in the 38th minute.

Byrne added the remainder of their five points, four from frees, but his side never seemed capable of eating into that big Peter's lead.

It was 1-16 to 0-5 at the start of the last quarter after further points from Rory O'Connor (free) and Jack Devereux.

O'Connor brought his tally to 15 before the finish with four more placed balls, and substitute Ross Banville also raised a white flag while Birr lost half-time substitute Barry Kealy to a second yellow card.

St. Peter's: James Henebery (Faythe Harriers); Seán Banville (Faythe Harriers), Ben Maddock (St. Martin's), Finn O'Driscoll (St. Anne's); Eoin O'Leary (St. Martin's), Conor Firman (St. Martin's), Seán Keane-Carroll (Shelmaliers); Quinn Saunders (Our Lady's Island), Jack Brazzill (Glynn-Barntown, 0-1); Barry O'Connor (St. Martin's, 1-1), Michael Codd (St. Martin's), Kyle Firman (St. Martin's); Jack Devereux (St. Martin's, 0-3), Rory O'Connor (St. Martin's, capt., 0-15, 12 frees), Fiach O Crualaoich (Faythe Harriers). Subs. - Ross Banville (Shelmaliers, 0-1) for O Crualaoich (36), Dylan Lyne (Glynn-Barntown) for S. Banville (48), Cian Meyler (Our Lady's Island) for Codd (48), Philip Dempsey (St. Martin's) for O'Leary (57), Conall O Crualaoich (Faythe Harriers) for Devereux (57).

St. Brendan's: Brian Fletcher; Conor Meaney, Dylan Watkins (capt.), Pat Gilligan; Ciarán Guinan, Ryan Hogan (0-1 '65), Cathal Byrne; Rory Carthy, Jack Pardy; Brendan Hoctor (0-1), Oisín Murphy, Mark O'Brien; Aidan King, David Connolly, Eoin Gath (0-1 free). Subs. - Paddy Byrne (0-5, 4 frees) for Gath (HT), Barry Kealy for C. Byrne (HT), Michael Fitzgerald for Gilligan (48).

Referee: Gavin Quilty (Kilkenny).

Wexford People

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