Barndarrig go through
Draw enough for semi spot
BARNDARRIG and Ashford met in the final game in their group in the Junior ‘A’ football championship under lights in Annacurra on Friday night last.
Barndarrig were already guaranteed a quarter-final place but a draw would put them straight through to a semi-final. Ashford were practically gone with only a remote chance of a continuing interest depending on results elsewhere. In reality they were playing for their pride.
Barndarrig got off to a great start when half-forward Mick Cullen shot for a point after three minutes. The ball dropped short unexpectedly, completely deceiving goalkeeper Willie Hender Philips and ending up in the net. A fortunate goal certainly, but Barndarrig were now gone into a three-point lead.
However, Ashford took this set back in their stride and settled into an attacking game with backs moving forward in support at every opportunity.
Brendan Manning opened the Ashford scoring in the fourth minute with a point but Barndarrig responded a minute later when Michael Murphy pointed a free awarded for a trip on Bernard Quinn.
The speedy inside Ashford forwards were getting on the ball and creating all sorts of problems for the Barndarrig last line of defence.
Colm Doyle fed Cormac Doyle for the second Ashford point and when David Nolan played in a long early ball to Cormac Doyle for the full-forward to add another point, Ashford were now within a point of the Kilmacurra side after ten minutes play.
Ashford were playing well and moving the ball swiftly. Barndarrig for their part were struggling. Michael Murphy pointed another free but even he was not his usual accurate self. He was wide from play and frees as Ashford sought to make the scoreboard more representative of their possession.
Brendan Manning was set up with a pass from Cormac Doyle to point and David Nolan leveled the game after 20 minutes. The same David Nolan was put through with a great pass from Cormac Doyle to shoot a goal for Ashford with five minutes to go to the break.
The black and amber were now three points to the good and Colm Doyle made that four with a score just as the game entered the time added period. Barndarrig’s Michael Cullen ended the half with a fine point for Barndarrig to reduce the gap back to a goal. He had rattled the crossbar a minute earlier. Ashford led by 1-6 to 1-3 at the break and were shaping up to be likely winners unless Barndarrig could improve their second half performance.
Brendan Manning had the opening point of the second half for Ashford but Barndarrig responded well. Centre half-back Martin Cullen pushed forward and scored two quick points for Barndarrig. His first score came from the fist. The score now stood at 1-7 to 1-3 and Barndarrig appeared to be showing the urgency needed if they were to get their win and a semi-final placing.
However, they continued to miss the target with some good chances and Ashford settled back into their running, possession game. Cormac Doyle, Colm Doyle, Graham Mooney and David Nolan were all to the fore as Ashford denied the Kilmacurra side the possession they needed. Brendan Manning pointed a free awarded for a foul by Bernard Quinn.
Unfortunately for Barndarrig they lost Quinn to a second yellow card at this stage and when their second midfielder Anthony Quinn received a black card he could not be replaced as he had received an earlier yellow.
It certainly appeared to be curtains for Barndarrig at this stage. Now down to 13 men they suddenly found the urgency and life needed. Positions no longer mattered and forwards Jack McCall and Mick Murphy were now likely to turn up anywhere as all players put their shoulders to the wheel in a concerted effort to save the game.
Michael Murphy pointed another free to reduce the gap again. Ashford were now in a different game but Cormac Doyle responded with another point.
Excitement was now mounting as the Barndarrig revival continued and when Michael Murphy knocked in a goal on 20 minutes, having been set up with a punched pass across the goalmouth from Michael Cullen, the stage was set for an exciting final ten or 12 minutes.
Back came Ashford centre back Daniel Kavanagh to put his side ahead again. The nippy Ashford inside forwards continued to cause problems but the Barndarrig defence kept getting the ball clear and when Paul Ryan leveled again with a fine point off his right foot with five minutes left, the game was in the melting pot.
Colm Doyle pointed a great free from 45 metres for Ashford but back came Michael Murphy to save the game in the final minute for Barndarrig with a point from play.
The Kilmacurra men are now through to the semi-final where they will face the winners of An Tochar and Shillelagh/Coolboy and also have the Intermediate hurling final to play this weekend. Ashford’s display belied their current placing in the competition, and they looked likely winners for a long time in this game.
Scorers – Ashford: David Nolan 1-1, Brendan Manning 0-4, Cormac Doyle 0-3, Colm Doyle 0-2, Daniel Kavanagh 0-1.
Barndarrig: Michael Murphy 1-4, Michael Cullen Martin Cullen 0-2, Paul Ryan 0-1.
ASHFORD: William Hender Phillips; Iarla O’Donnell, Michael Dickenson, Robbie Clarkson; Ross Quinn, Daniel Kavanagh. Rian O’Dwyer; Joey Doyle, Gavin Weir; Dean Mooney, Brendan Manning, Graham Mooney; Colm Doyle, Cormac Doyle, David Nolan. Subs: Trevor Conyard, Michael Traynor.
BARNDARRIG: Manus Quinn; Shane Whelan; James Cullen, Kevin Cullen; Malachy Cullen, Martin Cullen, James Quinn; Bernard Quinn, Anthony Quinn; Paul Ryan, Andrew Kavanagh, Michael Cullen; John A.Kinsella, Michael Murphy, Jack McCall. Sub. Philip Kinsella.
REFEREE: Liam Keenan (Jnr) Aughrim.