Rapparees get back on course
THIS WAS a lot better from Rapparees as they completely demolished the challenge of Oylegate-Glenbrien in this Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group A game at St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy, on Sunday last.
Rapparees had struggled in earlier games but there was no disputing their dominance on this occasion as the little things were improved upon, ensuring a relatively painless progression to the two points that keeps their chances of moving through to the knockout stages very much alive.
What probably helped the Cathedral town side was an improved defensive showing, where Minor star Liam Ryan was dominant on the fringe of the square, while the half-back line of Brendan Kearney, veteran Declan Ruth and Eoin Quigley provided the platform for most of the side's attacks. The forwards let very few chances slip away as the returning Kevin Foley and Ricky Fox were in sparkling form.
For Oylegate-Glenbrien's depleted forces it was always going to be a difficult game. They had a sparkling start, leading by 1-4 to 0-1 inside seven minutes, but that was as good as it got as despite their best efforts they lacked the strength in depth to match up to their opponents.
Jamie Reck and Tomás Mahon (free) exchanged early points, with further points following from Pauddge Doran and Eoin O'Mahoney, while Fergal Doran tagged on a pointed free to leave his side leading by 0-4 to 0-1. Seven minutes into the game, Paudge Doran worked hard to win possession down the right flank, with his ball across goal finished to the net by Eoin O'Mahoney to stretch his side into a 1-4 to 0-1 advantage.
In the ninth minute a quick free from Tomas Mahon picked out Kevin Foley who cut inside before firing an unstoppable shot to the net. It was the score that settled the side, as the same player sent over an excellent point off the sideline, while two Mahon pointed frees had the sides level, (1-4 apiece) at the end of the opening quarter.
From there to the interval, Rapparees controlled the game, adding further goals through Eamonn Furlong from a fine Ed Tobin delivery on 18 minutes, while five minutes before the break Foley clinically finished from 14 metres for his side's third goal, giving the town side a comfortable 3-9 to 1-7 interval lead.
On the resumption Oylegate-Glenbrien battled hard to get back into the game, but were unable to break down the Rapps defence. A quick counter-attack after 36 minutes saw Kevin Foley flicking a long Brendan Kearney free to the net. While Tomás Stamp responded with a point, it was all one-way traffic with Tomás Mahon goaling nine minutes from the end as his side cruised to two points.
Rapparees: Aaron Sinnott; John Ryan, Liam Ryan, Tom Wall; Brendan Kearney (0-1 '65), Declan Ruth (0-1), Eoin Quigley (0-1); Kevin Courtney, Anthony Russell; Ricky Fox (0-1), Tomás Mahon (1-8, 0-8 frees), Cathal Murphy; Ed Tobin, Eamonn Furlong (1-0), Kevin Foley (3-1). Subs. - Peter O'Sullivan for Kearney, Conor Ronan for Russell, John Barron for J. Ryan, Aaron Ronan (0-1) for Murphy.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: James Doyle; Pádraic O'Connor, Jim White (0-1), Robert O'Connor; Daithí O'Mahoney, Aidan Murphy, Anthony Doyle; Jamie Reck (0-2), Fergal Doran (0-4 frees); Mark Kavanagh, Eoin O'Mahoney (1-1), Mark Morris; Tomás Stamp (0-2), Paudge Doran (0-1), Peter Nolan. Subs. - Robert Doran for Kavanagh, Shane Lambert for Morris.
Referee: Barry Redmond (Clonard).