Accurate Murphy twins had Ferns seeing double
RAPPAREES FERNS ST. AIDAN’S
THE MURPHY twins led the scoring stakes in Bree on Friday as Rapparees underlined their standing as the top team in Group A of the Permanent TSB Junior hurling championship with a commanding win over Ferns St. Aidan’s.
Talented teenagers John and Anthony both played at Under-17 level with Wexford in last year’s Celtic Challenge, and they accounted for 1-9 from play between them as the town side eased their way towards a quarter-final clash with another neighbouring club, Monageer-Boolavogue.
Ferns knew beforehand that a defeat would take qualification out of their own hands, but they were relieved afterwards as Horeswood did them a huge favour by beating the other contenders for fourth place, Faythe Harriers.
As a result, the Gorey District side will also take their place in the quarter-finals, albeit as big underdogs against Group B table-toppers St. Martin’s.
Rapparees quickly established superiority as they raced clear by 0-6 to nil after 18 minutes, with the top-scoring Murphys grabbing a brace apiece while veteran captain Declan Ruth and Diarmuid Cullen also contributed from placed balls.
While the opening Ferns point from Seán Walsh was followed quickly by a second from Peter O’Toole, it proved a false dawn as the Rapps ended the half with a 0-10 to 0-2 lead after Cullen (free), Anthony Murphy and John Murphy (two) added to their tally.
To make matters even worse for Ferns, they had corner-back Willie Bolger dismissed on a second yellow card in the 28th minute, making an already difficult task next to impossible.
It led to a pedestrian second-half, especially as the leaders goaled after just 34 seconds when Garry Murphy finished a fine move featuring Diarmuid Cullen and the Murphy twins.
Just one of the four Ferns points after the break, from Brian O’Neill in the 49th minute, came from play, with free-taker Lee Quigley slotting over the remainder.
Although it wasn’t an ill-tempered game by any stretch of the imagination, the teams finished with 14 and 13 players respectively after Declan Ruth and Paddy O’Leary saw red for separate incidents in the closing quarter.
It was fitting that the Murphy twins should combine for the winners’ second goal given their huge contributions to the win, with Anthony setting up John for an emphatic finish in the 58th minute.
Rapparees: Jim O’Connor; Declan Courtney, Eoin Quigley, Ryan Hadley; Mark Redmond, Declan Ruth (capt., 0-1 ’65), Nathan O’Connor; Anthony Russell, Cathal Ryan; Peter O’Sullivan, Lee Murphy, Diarmuid Cullen (0-3, 2 frees); Anthony Murphy (0-5), John Murphy (1-4), Garry Murphy (1-0). Subs. - Lee Treacy for Russell (38), Ronan Kirwan for Courtney (41), Mikey Dempsey for O’Connor (47), Tom Ryan for L. Murphy (58).
Ferns St. Aidan’s: Niall Byrne; Patrick O’Hagan, Peter Nolan, Willie Bolger; P.J. O’Neill, Seán Walsh (capt., 0-1), Jack O’Hagan; Keith Breen, Peter O’Toole (0-1); Paddy O’Leary, Brian O’Neill (0-1), Jeff Tobin; Lee Quigley (0-3 frees), Colm Whelan, Anthony Dwyer. Subs. - Aaron Cahill for Tobin (42), Jamie Whelan for Quigley (46), Ciarán Doran for O’Toole (56), Ben Cowman for B. O’Neill (58).
Referee: John Diskin (Bannow-Ballymitty).
James Gahan of Monageer-Boolavogue tries to create some space as Conal Grant (St. Mary’s, Rosslare) moves in during their Group B tie.