Syl fires Rathnure home
SYL BARRON fired Rathnure to the final of the Permanent TSB Junior hurling championship after a consummate second-half display saw the Blackstairs men see off St. Mary’s (Rosslare) in this closely-fought encounter in Oylegate on Saturday.
After going in a goal behind at the break, it remained to be seen whether Rathnure had the firepower to turn things around in the second-half.
But with Barron deadly accurate from placed balls, he brought his personal salvo to 1-10 as his side powered home to topple a game Rosslare side.
There was a lively opening to the contest as Lee Devereux hit three points for Rosslare while good work from Rathnure saw them go one in front after ten minutes thanks to Nigel Higgins, Brendan O’Leary, Mark Boland and Syl Barron.
Barron fired over three more midway through the half, but their Wexford District opponents took a firm hold of proceedings leading up to the break.
Devereux added two more placed balls while the hard-working Tiarnan Rossiter struck two from midfield, before a build-up involving Ned Power and Gearóid Byrne finished with Devereux crashing the ball to the roof of the net, giving them the confidence to take a three-point lead at the break.
Rathnure needed to come up with an answer to swing the momentum back in their favour and, after Devereux resumed scoring almost immediately after the throwin, Syl Barron put on a masterclass from dead balls, accounting for the next five scores.
Barron firstly hit three points in as many minutes before he put his side back in front with a penalty, expertly converted to the roof of the net after Brendan O’Leary was hauled back in the square.
Another point put Rathnure three in front and, with Teddy O’Connor keeping Devereux quiet and Mick O’Leary sweeping up alongside him, Rathnure finished out the half with a confident display that sees them through to the final where they await the winners of Rapparees and St. Martin’s. They are just one step away from a swift return to Intermediate ‘A’ ranks.
Rathnure: Seán Nolan; Aodhán Foley, Mick O’Leary, John O’Connor; Philip Redmond, Teddy O’Connor, Alan Ronan (0-1); Michael Martin, Seán O’Neill; Syl Barron (1-10, 1-0 pen., 0-7 frees, 0-2 ‘65s), Francis Murphy (0-1), Mark Boland (0-1); Nigel Higgins (0-2), James Flynn, Brendan O’Leary (0-1). Subs. - Micheál O’Connor for Flynn (HT), Kialle Byrne for B. O’Leary (58).
St. Mary’s (Rosslare): Niall Walsh; Emmet Byrne, Conor Cafferkey, Conal Grant; Shea Boggan, David Murphy, Ned Power; Tiarnan Rossiter (0-4), Gearóid Byrne; Paul Kinsella, Robert Butler, Larry Morrissey (0-1); Lee Devereux (1-6, 0-6 frees), Jason Ellard, Rees Broaders (0-1 ’65). Subs. - Ultan Quirke for Ellard (48), Naomhan Rossiter for Butler (56).
Referee: James Flood (St. Mary’s, Maudlintown).