The mighty Mur­phy

Michael fires over late free to save the day for Barn­dar­rig

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - LIAM O’LOUGHLIN at Laragh GAA Club


NEIGH­BOURS Barn­dar­rig and St Pa­tricks trav­elled to Laragh on Fri­day night last, Au­gust 2, to do bat­tle in their Fitzger­ald Kitchens Ju­nior ‘A’ foot­ball fix­ture.

It turned into a keenly fought en­counter, with both sets of defenders mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for for­wards to cre­ate open­ings from play.

Twenty scores were reg­is­tered over the course of the game. How­ever, when we note that only four points came from play, it gives some in­di­ca­tion of how tight a regime the defenders were run­ning on both sides.

Barn­dar­rig es­tab­lished a three­p­oint lead at one stage in the first half but were reined by half-time. St Pats worked very hard in the sec­ond half and looked to have es­tab­lished a win­ning lead as the game en­tered the time added pe­riod at the end of the sec­ond half.

How­ever, they too were pulled back in the four min­utes of added time and Barn­dar­rig res­cued a point from a game they looked to be in huge dan­ger of los­ing.

Barn­dar­rig got on the score­board al­most from the throw-in when Michael Mur­phy pointed a first minute free. While play moved from end to end, the op­por­tu­ni­ties for scores were min­i­mal. Michael Mur­phy was emerg­ing as the Barn­dar­rig ‘go to’ man in their at­tack but the St Pats defence were adapt­ing a tight mark­ing regime on the dan­ger­ous full-for­ward, hav­ing switched se­lected mid­fielder Matthew Traynor to the full-back role be­fore the throw-in.

Mur­phy pointed an­other free af­ter eight min­utes be­fore St Pa­trick’s opened their ac­count with a James Ka­vanagh point a minute later, also from a free.

Mid­fielder Rory Mar­ron brought the sides level when he re­ceived a pass from Cian O’Brien and scored the point of the game from about 40 me­tres.

How­ever, Barn­dar­rig mid­fielder An­thony Quinn im­me­di­ately re­sponded, putting Barn­dar­rig back into the lead when he scored his side’s only score from play.

St Pats were cop­ing well with the nor­mal ad­van­tage that Barn­dar­rig usu­ally en­joy from the ‘twin towers’ part­ner­ship of the tall Quinn broth­ers Bernard and An­thony.

The seasiders con­tin­ued to break down the ball and hoovered up more than their share of the break­ing ball.

How­ever, they were suf­fer­ing greatly from dis­put­ing ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions and had the ball moved for­ward against them on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions.

Michael Mur­phy pointed two more frees to put Barn­dar­rig 0-5 to 0-2 ahead af­ter twenty min­utes. Ref­er­ee­ing matters came to a head at this stage with the man in the mid­dle, Trevor Cul­bert, from Rath­new, call­ing both cap­tains to­gether and in­form­ing them that he would not be con­tin­u­ing the game un­less he re­ceived a name he sought from the St Pats side­line. The mat­ter was re­solved, and play con­tin­ued with St Pats im­prov­ing con­sid­er­ably once their fo­cus went off the ref­eree’s per­for­mance.

James Ka­vanagh pointed a free, added an­other when set up by a Rory Mar­ron pass and he brought the sides level when he pointed an­other free in the first minute of time added on. That left the half-time score at 0-5 apiece with every­thing still up for grabs.

Barn­dar­rig went ahead again in the first minute af­ter the res­tart with an­other pointed Michael Mur­phy free.

How­ever, St Pats were work­ing very hard and they sensed that this was a match they could win. The Kil­macurra side just could not get go­ing and were hugely de­pen­dent on Michael Mur­phy for scores with few if any at­tempts at scores be­ing made by other play­ers.

Cen­tre back Niall Earls pointed a mighty 45 to level matters again on ten min­utes, Mur­phy pointed twice again with Niall Earls com­ing back to re­duce the lead to the min­i­mum. Rory Mar­ron lev­elled the game at the 20-minute mark when he got his sec­ond point from play.

With Pats sens­ing vic­tory and Barn­dar­rig fight­ing to save the game, ex­cite­ment was mount­ing. Both sides were wide from free at­tempts, but James Ka­vanagh pointed St Pats into the lead with five min­utes to go fol­low­ing a foul on Ea­mon Wolfe.

Once again Michael Mur­phy brought the game level from a free with two min­utes left.

As the game en­tered their time added pe­riod, Niall Earls put the seasiders ahead with a re­taken free. Barn­dar­rig were now in mor­tal dan­ger but Michael Mur­phy saved their ba­con when he pointed his ninth free of the game to leave the fi­nal score at 0-10 apiece.

St Pa­trick’s put in a tremen­dous ef­fort in this game and will feel they prob­a­bly lost one of the two match points. Barn­dar­rig, how­ever, on the other hand, were very dis­ap­pointed with their own dis­play and would prob­a­bly ac­cept that they won a match point here.

Scor­ers – Barn­dar­rig: Michael Mur­phy 0-9, An­thony Quinn 0-1.

St Pa­tricks: James Ka­vanagh 0-5, Niall Earls 0-3, Rory Mar­ron 0-2.

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