Man of the match Barry O’Connor (son of Wexford legend George) and Cathal Devereux finally got the better of resolute Moate CS goalkeeper Jordan Nugent, who up to that juncture had almost single-handedly kept his side in contention. Nugent produced three top-class saves and had either Robert Forde or Sean Petit been able to find the net at the other end after his tremendous stop from Devereux, the game would have been back in the melting pot. Instead, after Moate defender Kieran Hartnett was sent off on a straight red card, O’Connor and Devereux sealed the deal for the impressive Wexford school.
St Peter’s, who had Wexford’s Brian Malone sharing management duties with Chris Murphy, flew out of the blocks with three points in eight minutes from Barry O’Connor, Cathal Devereux and the first from play, by Rory O’Connor.
Moate, with former Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham and Westmeath footballer Jamie Gonoud among their management team, gave the first indication of their character by wiping out the deficit in a similar timeframe, courtesy of Forde, Petit and attacking half-back Ciaran Kelly. The Wexford side took the game by the scruff of the neck in the last quarter though with four consecutive points to lead by 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval.
Hartnett made it a three-point game soon after the resumption and substitute Ben Cox was desperately unlucky to see his shot come back off the upright soon after. That was the signal for St Peter’s to take it up another level as Barry O’Connor and Devereux converted frees, while team captain Conor Firman shot the second of his two points as suddenly they moved eight points clear.
And when Hartnett got his marching orders, the gaps opened for Barry O’Connor and Devereux to find the net in the 57th and 59th minutes.
C Devereux 1-5(0-3fs); B O’Connor 1-4(0-3fs); C Firman 0-2; R O’Connor, B Moore 0-1 each.
S Petit 0-3(2fs); R Forde 0-2; C Kelly, K Hartnett 0-1 each.
R Ryan, E O’Leary, B Maddock, D O’Keeffe, Q Saunders, C Firman, F O’Driscoll, B Deeney, R O’Connor, D Gouldson, B O’Connor, P Barry, C Deverux, B Moore, D Lyne.
D Furlong for Gouldson (35), M Codd for Lyne (54), J Devereux for Barry (60+1)
J Nugent, C Parker, K Hartnett, LG Mangan, D Mullins, R Aspell, C Kelly, S Clinton, P Gorman, S Farrell, D Heavin, H Cornally, D Fleming, R Forde, S Petit. Subs: B Cox for Mullins (27), J Bradbury Hughes for Clinton (47), L O’Neill for Farrell (54)/
S Mulhare (Laois)