Barn­dar­rig go through

Draw enough for semi spot

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - LIAM O’LOUGH­LIN at An­nacurra

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.

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