Polished Peter's show
St. Peter's College played with skill and composure as they recorded a comfortable 14-point victory over St. Brendan's in this Leinster Colleges Senior hurling 'A' championship preliminary round game played in the James Stephens grounds in Kilkenny on Saturday.
St Peter's 3-20 St. Brendan's 1-12
The boys in green and white eased past their Offaly opponents with a dominant display of hurling. Tight in defence, excellent in midfield, and with the attack picking off splendid scores, it was a matter of what they would win by after the first quarter such was their control.
A pleasing feature of the St. Peter's game was their excellent first touch, coupled with their striking, and this helped them create space which they utilised to the full. They sprayed the ball to their inter-changing forwards who in turn utilised the quality possession to tear the opposing defence to shreds.
Really such was their second-half control in particular that their winning margin could have been greater, with only desperate defending on the part of the opposition denying them goals on a couple of occasions.
After Jack Pettit and Eoin Cahill traded early points, St. Peter's - led by Jake Firman and Conor Hearne in midfield - carried the fight to the Offaly side, with Darren Byrne, Aaron Maddock and Glen Malone prominent in defence. The scores soon began to flow and by the end of the opening quarter they had stretched into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead.
With the half-forward line of Jack Pettit, Joe O'Connor and Rowan White beginning to make an impact, the inside line of John Lee Meyler, Matthew Joyce in particular and Billy Dunne followed suit.
Having settled into the game, the opening goal arrived in the 18th minute. An excellent run and lay-off from Billy Dunne set up Matthew Joyce who cut inside, but his shot was brilliantly parried by 'keeper William Malone.
However, John Lee Meyler was on hand to neatly tuck the breaking ball to the net, giving his side a 1-5 to 0-2 lead.
St. Peter's continued to press forward as Jack Pettit, Matthew Joyce and Rowan White picked off some excellent points, while it was only the free-taking of Eoin Cahill that was causing problems at the opposite end.
Still, the Wexford boys went in with a comfortable 1-12 to 0-6 interval lead.
The second-half was to follow much the same pattern, with the St. Peter's dominance continuing after St. Brendan's had resumed with a Michael Gilligan point inside 30 seconds of the re-start.
The St. Peter's attack continued to capitalise on the quality outfield play with two Rowan White goals as they totally outplayed their opponents in every sector, going on to lead by 3-15 to 0-9 after 41 minutes.
The first of those goals arrived in the 34th minute when White worked himself into space to finish with a splendid shot to the corner of the net, while the second seven minutes later saw him capitalise on an excellent John Lee Meyler crossfield ball to round his opposite number and shoot high into the opposite corner of the net.
While Eoin Cahill pulled a goal back, St. Peter's continued to dominate as they picked off a succession of points in the closing five minutes to ease into the next round.
St. Peter's: Oisín Foley; David Clarke, Darren Byrne, Jody Donohoe; Glen Malone, Aaron Maddock, Ciáran Murphy; Jake Firman (0-1), Conor Hearne (0-1); Jack Pettit (0-4), Joe O'Connor (0-1), Rowan White (2-2); John Lee Meyler (1-2), Matthew Joyce (0-7, 1 free, 1 '65), Billy Dunne (0-1). Subs. - Rory O'Connor (0-1) for Meyler, inj., James Stafford for Clarke, Nick Greene for Pettit, Fionn Cooney for Dunne.
St. Brendan's: William Malone; Rian Dempsey, Eoin Phelan, Craig Taylor; Conor Molloy, Paddy Delaney, Dylan Watkins; Brian Dunne, Michael Gilligan (0-1); Eoin Carroll, Brian Hogan (0-1), Eoin O'Callaghan; Eoin Cahill (1-8, 0-7 frees), Shane Kinsella (0-1), John Murray (0-1). Sub. - Conor Hogan for O'Callaghan.
Referee: Eamonn Mansfield (Kilkenny).