Glynn-Barntown lifeline after Shelmaliers slip-up
GLYNN-BARNTOWN SHELMALIERS 2-11 0-15
WITH A chance to book their quarter-final place in the Pettitt’s Senior hurling championship, Shelmaliers slipped up and Glynn-Barntown forced themselves back into the Group A reckoning in Bellefield on Saturday.
The Over The Water side needed just a draw to cement a spot in the knockout stages and were playing against opponents with three losses under their belts this championship season. While their fortunes were markedly different, in reality very little separates these sides.
In any game where the margin of victory is just a puck of the ball, there will be moments that are critical to the outcome. This clash was no different and maybe the biggest single change of fortunes happened in the 17th minute of the first-half.
For all the world it looked like Brian Malone would point when he ghosted into space barely 40 metres out from goal. He didn’t strike it perfectly but the county footballer seemed to get enough on it to register the point.
But the hours of dedication it takes to man the Wexford goal have clearly stood to Mark Fanning. He stretched up the hurl, robbed the score and softened the sliothar enough so he could collect. He set Glynn-Barntown off with comfortable possession down the field, and they won a free that Gary Moore pointed.
It was a two-point swing in a game that was decided by just the two points and further proof that there can be subtle big moments too. In truth, Glynn-Barntown got the very most they could out of this game, as they weren’t particularly good and never hit top gear but they did enough.
They didn’t have a shed-load of wides but they could never get a run going. Only three times in the game were they able to follow a score with another before missing the target. They failed to put threein-a-row together.
Shelmaliers managed just six points from play themselves. Maybe one could look at referee Gearóid McGrath for blowing for too many soft frees, and there might be an element of truth in that, but he wasn’t helped by clumsy tackling and messy play.
It was 0-4 each after the opening quarter with Joe Kelly notching three points for the Hollymount side while Fionn Cooney and Rowan White both registered a point apiece at the other end.
Just after he scored a nice point from the right wing to make it 0-7 to 0-5 after 20 minutes, Simon Donohoe had the best goal chance of the half when Stephen Banville’s handpass rolled towards him. He pulled on it but the ball whizzed past the opposite post.
Gary Moore kept the scoreboard ticking over for Glynn-Barntown in the second quarter but Shelmaliers were able to build a 0-10 to 0-7 half-time advantage. That lead was upped to five by the 32nd minute after Kelly tapped over a free and nailed a line ball from the right wing.
The Killurin crew clearly needed something special to get themselves going and it came when Daire Barron’s long ball into the goalmouth was pulled on overhead by Michael Doyle, past Brian Murphy to the net.
The game was level (0-12 to 1-9) when Doyle’s savvy move to full-forward paid dividends once again.
This time it was Craig Doyle with a thump forward from inside his own ’65. Michael Doyle plucked the ball out of the sky, made a yard of space and buried the sliothar past Murphy.
The Hollymount club broke a 19-minute spell without a score when Conor Byrne converted a 51st-minute free but just couldn’t pull themselves closer than two points down.
Despite the late dismissal of Stephen Banville for a second yellow card, there was still a goal in the game five minutes into added-time when Byrne chose to tap over a dead-ball rather than drop it in. The full-time whistle went after Fanning’s puck-out.
Shelmaliers will qualify if they beat Buffers Alley in their final game while Glynn-Barntown need the Monamolin men to get something from that game and better that result in their own match against Cloughbawn. Should they lose, they will drop into the relegation final.
One of these two will progress, to almost certainly play either St. Martin’s or Oulart-The Ballagh, but it’s hard to see either of them living with that type of opposition if current form continues into the next few weeks.
Glynn-Barntown: Mark Fanning; Jack Fenlon, Pádraig Donnelly, Ger Dempsey; Michael O’Regan, John Leacy, Craig Doyle; Brendan Doyle, Alan Cowman; Gary Moore (0-6 frees), Michael Doyle (2-2), Rowan White (0-2); Fionn Cooney (0-1), Matthew Joyce, Daire Barron. Sub. - Frankie Hynes for Joyce (38).
Shelmaliers: Brian Murphy; Andre O’Brien, Conor Walsh, Ciarán Walsh; Glen Malone, Aidan Cash, Benny Barron; Simon Donohoe (0-1), Eoin Doyle (0-1); Brian Malone, Joe Kelly (0-7, 5 frees, 1 line ball), Tommy Barron (0-1); Ciarán O’Shaughnessy (0-2), Stephen Banville, Conor Hearne. Subs. - James Cash for T. Barron (31), Páraic O’Leary for Hearne (45), Conor Byrne (0-3 frees) for Kelly (48), Aidan Murphy for Conor Walsh (51).
Referee: Gearóid McGrath (St. James’).
Glen Malone of Shelmaliers under pressure from Fionn Cooney.