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Clarke gives St Peter's edge

ST Peter's of Wexford were the dominant force at the Carlow Hurling Club grounds, deservedly advancing at the expense of a much-fancied Athlone Community College.

Peter's held the edge over their opponents as they fielded better and their passing and distribution was also of a high order. And in left half- forward Rhys Clarke, they had a top marksman as he hit a 0-7 total.

Peter's led 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval, due mainly to the midfield dominance of Kevin Whelan and Eddie O'Byrne. Despite some surging second-half runs from Athlone players, they could not penetrate a very solid defence, in which centre-back Con O Donnagáin and left half-back A J Lehane excelled, while goalie Jack Sheridan made two superb second-half saves.

Twice in the second half Athlone cut the arrears to three points, but they could not push on despite the best promptings of Conor Daly, James Shaughnessy, Emmett Kenny and Shane Blackweir.

Clarke was best supported in attack by left corner-forward Craig McCabe, who chipped in with three fine points from play as St Peter's sealed the win.

Scorers -- St Peter's: R Clarke 0-7 (0-4f), C McCabe 0-3, K Whelan, J O'Dowd 0-1 each. Athlone CC: E Kenny (0-1f), R Connellan (2f) 0-2 each, C Daly, D Brookes, S Blackweir 0-1 each.

St Peter's -- J Sheridan; S Carroll, M Eviston, P O'Leary; B Hughes, C O'Donnagáin, A J Lehane; K Whelan, E O'Byrne; J O'Dowd, T Furlong, R Clarke; N Rossiter, G Murphy, C McCabe. Subs: R Crosbie for Rossiter (47); L Rochford for Furlong (inj 52).

Athlone CC -- M Keenan; J Donoghue, J Woods, C Hermbusche; B Shaughnessy, C Daly, D Donnelly; P Corbett, J Shaughnessy; O Milton, E Kenny, D Brookes; S Blackweir, R Connellan, T Ryan. Subs: R Daly for Ryan (37); C Sheeran for Donnelly (40); G Ware for Milton (48).

ReF-- P Kehoe (Carlow).

Irish Independent