Barn­dar­rig get off to a fly­ing start

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

THE 2019 Fitzger­ald Kitchens Ju­nior ‘A’ Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship got un­der­way at Rath­new GAA grounds on Fri­day night last when Barn­dar­rig and Éire Óg squared off in the open­ing game. Usu­ally a strong breeze sup­ports the team play­ing into the vil­lage end at this venue and Éire Óg had this ad­van­tage in the first half.

In truth they needed it as Barn­dar­rig at­tacked from their own de­fence out, car­ry­ing the ball for­ward in short pass­ing move­ments. Martin Cullen and Malachy Stone were mov­ing for­ward in sup­port of their mid­field and for­wards and help­ing to keep the pres­sure on the Grey­stones men, de­spite the strong breeze.

Barn­dar­rig were hold­ing on to the bulk of pos­ses­sion but Éire Óg were fun­nel­ing back and crowd­ing out the scor­ing area to frus­trate the Barn­dar­rig at­tack.

Michael Mur­phy opened the scor­ing with a pointed free to put Barn­dar­rig ahead af­ter four min­utes.

Scor­ing was still at a pre­mium and 11 min­utes had ar­rived be­fore Gavin O’Shea lev­elled the scores with a fine left-footed kick.

The game was ap­proach­ing the quar­ter-hour mark when Michael Mur­phy put Barn­dar­rig back ahead with an­other pointed free. He fol­lowed with two more points (one free) to leave his side ahead by 0-4 to 0-1 af­ter 20 min­utes.

Éire Óg mid­fielder Conal Deeney re­duced the lee­way with a pointed 45 but cen­tre back Michael Cullen, in one of his raids up field, re­sponded with an ex­cel­lent point.

Conal Deeney came back and landed an­other ex­cel­lent point for Éire Óg from an­other 45. How­ever, with five min­utes to go to half-time, Barn­dar­rig fi­nally broke through for their first goal when John A Kin­sella got on the end of a good short pass­ing move­ment to beat Rob Nolan from close to goal.

Mid­fielder Andy Walsh re­sponded for Éire Óg with a fine lon­grange point. In the first minute of time added, An­drew Ka­vanagh fin­ished the first half scor­ing with an­other point for Barn­dar­rig to leave them ahead by 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time.

Things looked omi­nous for the Grey­stones men given that Barn­dar­rig were turn­ing over to play with the help of the el­e­ments in the sec­ond half.

Éire Óg at­tacked in the open­ing min­utes of the sec­ond half but failed to con­vert two free scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Michael Cullen got Barn­dar­rig’s open­ing point of the sec­ond pe­riod af­ter three min­utes.

By ten min­utes they had added fur­ther points from two Michael Mur­phy frees, one from Paul Ryan and an­other from cen­tre back Martin Cullen which was prob­a­bly meant as a goal ef­fort but cleared the cross­bar. Éire Óg kept bat­tling on but Barn­dar­rig were now on top and kept adding on the points.

Martin Cullen fi­nally got through for the goal he was seek­ing with eight min­utes left on the clock. Sean Ma­son got Éire Óg’s only point of the sec­ond half as Barn­dar­rig ran out very com­fort­able win­ners by 2-18 to 0-5.

The Kil­macurra based club would prob­a­bly be one of the fan­cied sides in this cham­pi­onship and never slack­ened off in their scor­ing ef­forts even though they were safe long be­fore the fi­nal whis­tle.

They will face tougher tests along the way but 2-18 is still im­pres­sive scor­ing.

Scorers – Barn­dar­rig: Michael Mur­phy 0-10, Martin Cullen 1-1, John Kin­sella 1-0, Michael Cullen 0-3, An­drew Ka­vanagh 0-1, Paul Ryan 0-1, An­thony Quinn 0-1, Malachy Stone 0-1.

Éire Óg: Conal Deeney 0-2, Gavin O’Shea 0-1, Andy Walsh 0-1, Sean Ma­son 0-1.

Ac­tion from the Éire Óg Grey­stones v. Barn­dar­rig clash last week­end.

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