Glynn-Barn­town life­line af­ter Shel­maliers slip-up

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - DEAN GOOD­I­SON


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.

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