Barndarrig get off to a flying start
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.