Ma­hon on fire as Rapps fin­ish in sec­ond po­si­tion

Wexford People - - SPORT - DEAN GOOD­I­SON in In­no­vate Wex­ford Park

RAP­PA­REES SE­CURED sec­ond spot in Group A of the Pet­titt’s Se­nior hurl­ing championship and a quar­ter-fi­nal against Rath­nure with vic­tory over Shel­maliers in In­no­vate Wex­ford Park on Satur­day.

The En­nis­cor­thy club did most of the hard work in the sec­ond-half against the breeze, hav­ing con­ceded three goals and gone in one point down at the break (3-3 to 0-11).

How­ever, their strong run­ning in pos­ses­sion was a key fac­tor in a pa­tient sec­ond pe­riod and they even­tu­ally wore down the Hol­ly­mount club.

Both sides went into the game com­fort­able in the knowl­edge that only po­si­tion­ing in the ta­ble was at stake as both had al­ready qual­i­fied. How­ever, it didn’t nec­es­sar­ily feel like ei­ther was in the mood to take the foot off the gas in an en­ter­tain­ing en­counter.

De­spite a sec­ond-minute Ryan Ma­hon free, Shel­maliers got off to a fan­tas­tic start against the el­e­ments when Eoghan Nolan col­lected pos­ses­sion just in­side the ‘45, used his pace and the space on the left of goal and flashed low across Ea­monn Fur­long to the Rapps net.

Ross Banville al­most got though a minute later but ended up do­ing a fine job pop­ping over un­der pres­sure from the edge of the ‘20.

Ma­hon kept Rap­pa­rees in touch with a string of points, while Ciarán O’Shaugh­nessy and James Cash reg­is­tered for Shel­maliers, but it was level at 1-3 to 0-6 af­ter 18 min­utes.

Ma­hon’s sev­enth point gave his side their sec­ond lead, but it lasted just sec­onds as good work by Banville sent Seán Keane-Car­roll in on goal and the rangy at­tacker made no mis­take with a crisp fin­ish past Ea­monn Fur­long.

Shel­maliers didn’t score for ten min­utes af­ter that sec­ond ma­jor and it looked like Rap­pa­rees might just about build an in­ter­val lead when Kevin Ryan, Alan Tobin, Ma­hon and Lenny Con­nolly all reg­is­tered to make it 0-11 to 2-3.

Yet there was one more first pe­riod twist and it came when Keane-Car­roll com­mit­ted de­fend­ers and found Brian Malone on the run. With only Fur­long to beat, the ex­pe­ri­enced Shels man didn’t con­nect cleanly but it was to his ben­e­fit as the strike gave the off-bal­ance Rapps ‘keeper no chance.

The pick of his side’s for­wards on the day, Keane-Car­roll ex­tended Shel­maliers’ lead af­ter the re­sump­tion but Alan Tobin got away in the 32nd minute and bat­ted pow­er­fully past Brian Mur­phy.

Three third quar­ter points was not ex­actly what the Hol­ly­mount men were look­ing for but they did even­tu­ally put a few scores to­gether.

When Conor Hearne grabbed his sec­ond point af­ter com­ing off the bench, Shel­maliers led by 3-11 to 1-15 in the 53rd minute. Yet they added just a sin­gle Joe Kelly free in the time re­main­ing.

The key score came with five min­utes left af­ter a su­perb Dar­ragh Pep­per run ended with a flip pass and bul­let bat­ted fin­ish by Ma­hon.

Kevin Fo­ley put the Rapps two up in added time and it was fit­ting that Ma­hon, scorer of 1-14, ended the game with an­other con­verted dead-ball.

While the win left the En­nis­cor­thy side with a District derby in the quar­ters, it will be a lo­cal ri­valry tie for Shel­maliers against Oyle­gate-Glen­brien.

Rap­pa­rees: Ea­monn Fur­long; Dil­lon Red­mond, Liam Ryan, Mel Doyle; Jack Kelly, Ricky Fox, James Peare; Lenny Con­nolly (0-1), Kevin Fo­ley (0-1); Kevin Ryan (0-1), Ryan Ma­hon (1-14, 0-11 frees), Nick Doyle; Aaron Ro­nan, Alan Tobin (1-1), Dar­ragh Pep­per. Subs. - Tom Wall for Red­mond (31), Ben Ed­wards for M. Doyle (31), An­thony Roche for Ro­nan (45), Ed Tobin for Con­nolly (50).

Shel­maliers: Brian Mur­phy; An­dre O’Brien, Eoin Doyle, Ciarán Walsh; Conor Walsh, Glen Malone, Jody Dono­hoe; Ciarán O’Shaugh­nessy (01), Si­mon Dono­hoe; James Cash (0-2), Brian Malone (1-0), Seán Keane-Car­roll (1-3); Eoghan Nolan (1-0), Conor Byrne, Ross Banville (0-3, 2 frees). Subs. - Conor Hearne (0-2) for Byrne (40), Joe Kelly (0-1 free) for Banville (53), Tommy Bar­ron for G. Malone (60).

Ref­eree: Gearóid McGrath (St. James’).

Eoin Doyle of Shel­maliers try­ing to steal a march on Lenny Con­nolly (Rap­pa­rees).

Liam Ryan of Rap­pa­rees tack­les Ciarán O’Shaugh­nessy.

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