JJ Hutchinson kicked six points as Gaultier got the better of Brickey Rangers at Carrickbeg on Wednesday night in round one of the Waterford SFC (0-13 to 0-8).
The former Déise attacker is back for his 21st season in club colours. He got three points in each half while younger brother Dessie and county hurler Mark Fitzgerald chipped in with two apiece. Fitzgerald ran the game from midfield. He glided through the Brickeys defence all night.
The Eastern side were guilty of five wides in the opening nine minutes as Brickeys settled quicker with points from Mikey Hanlon and Tom O'Connell. Callum O'Neill raised Gaultier's first white flag in the tenth minute before Caomhan Maguire levelled matters. Full back Phillip Walsh edged the Brickeys back in front on the quarter hour (0-3 to 0-2).
Gaultier pressurised the opposition kickout and the Hutchinson brothers took over with four unanswered points (three from JJ and one from Dessie). JJ also struck the post after he intercepted a Brickeys' restart. Michael Flynn's men finished the half with nine wides. Mark Cummins got an injury time point for Brickeys as they trailed 6-4 at the break.
Mark Fitzgerald landed two monster points within 80 seconds of the restart for the leaders. JJ Hutchinson added two more (one from a free and one from a mark). Niall McSweeney opened up an 11-4 lead by the 42nd minute.
In a scrappy second half, referee Tom Dee issued six yellow cards and a black card. Gaultier forward Billy O'Keeffe was sent to the stand for ten minutes. The Easterners also lost Dale Cullinane and David Jones to injury.
Brickeys narrowed the gap to four in added time courtesy of points from Hanlon, O'Connell and James Hahessy. Gaultier never looked in any grave danger however. A late, late JJ Hutchinson free wrapped up their first win of the campaign.