Goals do the trick

Ma­jors save Gle­nealy as Ka­vanagh shines in Aughrim

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE

A dream start that saw the Gle­nealy In­ter­me­di­ate hurlers open up a 3-0 to 0-1 lead over Barn­dar­rig af­ter eight min­utes proved to be the cush­ion they would need in their en­ter­tain­ing bat­tle with last year’s Ju­nior hurl­ing cham­pi­ons in an near-empty Aughrim on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Barn­dar­rig will have to go back to the draw­ing board in terms of de­fence as they move through this com­pe­ti­tion but their 18-point haul, al­beit with 10 of that to­tal from frees and 15 from the hurl of the mas­sively im­pres­sive Andrew Ka­vanagh, sug­gests that they have it well within their ca­pa­bil­i­ties to test any of the other teams in the In­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­onship.

Those early ma­jors from Gle­nealy – Gavin Byrne, Alan Con­yard and Dean Franey – along with Con­yard’s sec­ond im­me­di­ately af­ter the restart in the sec­ond half were mas­sive boosts for the Reds who strug­gled in front of the posts with only seven points scored in 60 min­utes of hurl­ing, only six wides reg­is­tered in to­tal and a mere three points in the first half.

Barn­dar­rig would clock up 10 wides and fire a low shot di­rectly at the ex­pe­ri­enced Joey Driver Snr in a game they will surely feel they left be­hind.

Mak­ing the rise from Ju­nior to In­ter­me­di­ate can be dif­fi­cult if the work is not put in but Barn­dar­rig seem to have con­cen­trated on their new re­al­ity in a big way and they are a very wel­come ad­di­tion to the sec­ond tier of club hurl­ing in Wick­low.

The pas­sion and drive on the line and the ab­so­lute com­mit­ment from the play­ers was won­der­ful to see and with an im­pres­sive hurl­ing wall near­ing com­ple­tion back in Kil­macurra, hope­fully the Barn­dar­rig men will find their feet now be­fore some­day push­ing on to bet­ter things.

The Gle­nealy side was made up of vastly ex­pe­ri­enced war­riors and younger lieu­tenants. The afore­men­tioned Joey Driver Jnr manned the goalline while names like Colm O’Neill, Lee Ka­vanagh, Dean Franey, Alan Con­yard and MA O’Neill were spread through­out the field.

Their bright start was hugely im­pres­sive and looked to be dev­as­tat­ing from a Barn­dar­rig point of view. Gavin Byrne was the first to find the back of the net af­ter pick­ing up a break from Alan Con­yard af­ter a high ball was dropped in from Lee Ka­vanagh with about 40 sec­onds on the clock.

Barn­dar­rig would fire wide from the hurl of Paddy Red­mond af­ter a loose Gle­nealy side­line and then Alan Con­yard caught a long Bren­dan Hawes ball be­fore turn­ing and ri­fling home past Andrew Keogh in the goal with six min­utes gone.

Dis­as­trous start for the Kil­macurra men and one that ne­ces­si­tated the switch­ing of David Dick­en­son and Michael Cullen to try and stem the leak­age of ma­jors.

Thank­fully, Andrew Ka­vanagh’s first point (free) fol­lowed the goal and gave them some kind of lift but it was only a brief one as Dean Franey gath­ered a ball 30 yards from goal and drilled home past Keogh who will feel he might have done bet­ter and Gle­nealy were eight points up with as many min­utes on the clock.

Barn­dar­rig’s re­ac­tion was a pos­i­tive one. Points from Bernard Quinn, Malachy Stone and Andrew Ka­vanagh re­duced the deficit to five be­fore Dean Franey swung over a lovely score af­ter 13 to make it 3-1 to 0-4.

Andrew Ka­vanagh and Gavin Byrne ex­changed points, but it would be the 29th minute be­fore Gle­nealy would score again and in that time Barn­dar­rig would score seven points (six from Andrew Ka­vanagh, three frees) to draw level af­ter a pe­riod of to­tal dom­i­na­tion be­fore Dean Franey’s late first-half point sent the Reds in lead­ing by just a sin­gle score.

Gle­nealy got the start they needed in the open­ing min­utes of the sec­ond half when Con­yard plucked another ball out of the sky and drilled home past Keogh.

The bat­tle be­came score for score now, with Ka­vanagh (free), Con­yard, Ka­vanagh (free) and Gavin Byrne all rais­ing white flags to leave it at 4-5 to 0-13 be­fore Barn­dar­rig sent in David Byrne to the ac­tion.

Malachy Stone’s sec­ond point o the day was an­swered by a Con­yard free be­fore Ka­vanagh floated over yet another ma­jes­tic score af­ter a chop on Bernard Quinn to leave just three be­tween the sides and Barn­dar­rig look­ing more than ca­pa­ble of snatch­ing a win.

But as close as Barn­dar­rig could get, Gle­nealy al­ways had that bit of class or guile to push that gap that bit fur­ther out.

A Ka­vanagh free was fol­lowed by a pe­riod of waste­ful­ness from both sides with Gle­nealy clock­ing up four wides on the trot and Barn­dar­rig col­lect­ing two and Enda Dempsey watch­ing as his low shot was blocked by the boss of Joey Driver Snr’s hurl with six to go.

Gavin Byrne pushed the Gle­nealy lead out to three but back came Barn­dar­rig with two Andrew Ka­vanagh points (one free) to close to within one but time was against them and the fi­nal whis­tle her­alded a sweet vic­tory for Gle­nealy af­ter a very en­ter­tain­ing bat­tle.

Huge pos­i­tives for Barn­dar­rig who were with­out the ser­vices of Michael Mur­phy on the day. Andrew Ka­vanagh was im­mense and must be a cert for county duty in 2020 of he stays in­jury free.

Plenty of other fine hurlers on the Kil­macurra side with Michael Cullen cop­ing well with the threat of Alan Con­yard, and Martin Cullen, Malachy Stone, Bernard Quinn and Paddy Red­mond impressing.

They will need a bet­ter re­turn from their in­side line, but they looked com­pletely at ease at this level.

Gle­nealy will be a very tough nut to crack. They are en­dowed with vast ex­pe­ri­ence, lots of en­ergy and the tra­di­tional grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion of any team who wears the red jer­sey. An in­ter­est­ing cham­pi­onship awaits.

Scor­ers - Gle­nealy: Alan Con­yard 2-2 (1f), Gavin Byrne 1-3 (1f), Dean Franey 1-2.

Barn­dar­rig: Andrew Ka­vanagh 0-15 (10f), Malachy Stone 0-2, Bernard Quinn 0-1.

GLE­NEALY: Joey Driver Snr.; Colm O’Neill, Wes­ley Man­ning, Oisin O’Neill; Declan Con­yard, Lee Ka­vanagh, Bren­dan Hawes; Aaron Meade, Ross O’Brien; Fionn Mac Lochlainn, Dean Franey, Kil­lian Ho­gan; MA O’Neill, Alan Con­yard, Gavin Byrne. Subs: Michael Byrne for F Mac Lochlainn (45).

BARN­DAR­RIG: Andrew Keogh; Michael Doyle, David Dick­en­son, Kevin Cullen; Paddy Red­mond, Michael Cullen, Shane Whe­lan; Jonathan Devereux, Martin Cullen; Malachy Stone, Bernard Quinn, Andrew P Ka­vanagh; Enda Dempsey, Tom Doyle, Michael Crow­ley. Subs: David Byrne for D Dick­en­son (40), Philip Kinsella for M Crow­ley (52). REF­EREE: Con O Ceadaigh (Kil­coole)

Barn­dar­rig’s Andrew Ka­vanagh races away from Gle­nealy’s Lee Ka­vanagh.

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