Rapparees moved out of the relegation play-off place in the Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group A after a comprehensive victory over Rathnure in Farmleigh on Thursday.
The Bellefield boys were far superior throughout the contest, never allowing their opponents to hit their stride. They set up with a conventional, balanced team and tested the Rathnure defence throughout, with their slick, speedy forwards really hitting form as a unit.
The inter-play in general was excellent from the Enniscorthy town club and they looked miles away from a team who had three championship losses, and no points, under their belts coming into the clash.
It's back to the drawing board for Rathnure, a side that gave its worst performance of the season to date just when they players needed to be at their best. As with any team that loses by 16 points, it wasn't a good day at the office at either end of the field.
In defence they couldn't match the pace of the Rapps forwards and look like a sextet more at home with a physical battle. The confidence within the attacking unit was almost non-existent. Fourteen wides, a lot of them woeful efforts, beat the nine scores they mustered with ease.
They set off the way they continued, conceding points to the excellent Kevin Ryan and Darragh Pepper in the first few minutes. That lead had stretched to 0-7 to 0-2 by the 18th minute when Pepper's feed set Kevin Foley haring away on goal and the county attacker didn't miss.
The Blackstairs men looked forlorn at 1-9 to 0-3 behind but found a foothold in the game three minutes before the interval when Dermot Flynn pulled a pass across the face of goal and Shane Lawlor swept the sliothar into the roof of the net from the deck.
Seven points separated the sides at the interval (1-11 to 1-4), but the Rapparees' advantage had grown to nine when Kevin Courtney laid off to Ryan Mahon, and he rode two ferocious swipes and forced the ball past Jamie O'Connell to the rigging.
Apart from a few nervy moments for Eamonn Furlong, Rapparees were untroubled in the remaining 21 minutes. They continued to pick off points with Tomás Mahon racking up eight altogether and Kevin Ryan getting five.
The only blot on their copybook was a second yellow card for Liam Ryan in the dying moments, but they will be full of confidence going into their final game against St. Anne's whether it's simply for a place in the quarters or just to avoid a relegation final.
Rapparees: Eamonn Furlong; Mel Doyle, Liam Ryan, Tom Wall; Ben Edwards (0-1), Declan Ruth, Jack Kelly; Peter O'Sullivan (0-2), Kevin Courtney (capt.); Ricky Fox (0-1), Kevin Foley (1-1), Kevin Ryan (0-5); Ryan Mahon (1-0), Tomás Mahon (0-8, 7 frees), Darragh Pepper (0-3). Subs. - Anthony Roche for O'Sullivan (51), Eoin Quigley for Courtney, inj. (55), Anthony Russell for Kelly (59).
Rathnure: Jamie O'Connell; Mick O'Leary, Brendan O'Leary, Antony O'Connell; Seán O'Neill, John O'Connor, Pádraig Doyle; Paddy Whiteley, Eoin Higgins (0-1); Shane Lawlor (1-0), Fran Murphy (0-1), Dermot Flynn (capt.); Aidan Redmond, Jack Guiney (0-4 frees), Robbie Codd (0-1). Subs. - Brian Quigley for O'Neill, inj. (25), Ciarán O'Connor (0-1) for Redmond (25), Chris Redmond for J. O'Connor (37), Michael Redmond for Lawlor (44), Richie Flynn for D. Flynn (51).
Referee: Barry Redmond (Clonard).