Alley men gain some revenge

Buffers Alley 3-17 Glynn-Barntown 1-18

Alan Aherne

Kevin Crean (Glynn-Barntown) gets to the ball ahead of Shane Grannell (Buffers Alley)
Kevin Crean (Glynn-Barntown) gets to the ball ahead of Shane Grannell (Buffers Alley)

Buffers Alley gained a measure of revenge for last year's quarter-final exit to Glynn-Barntown when they opened their Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group A campaign with a well-deserved victory in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.

The Killurin crew prevailed by 1-11 to 0-11 in a dour affair when they last met, but the scores were more plentiful this time around and the victors responded impressively any time their rivals applied pressure.

They had a nice spread of marksmen, with corner-forward Paul O'Leary looking sharp from play and frees early on, while Pat Kenny chipped in with a vital 1-2.

Andrew Kenny was very quiet by his own standards in the first-half but prospered after a switch to wing-forward and also picked off 1-2, while lively midfielder Kevin Roche was most adept at latching on to breaking balls and contributed three neat points.

The stand-out Alley displays weren't all among their scorers though, as full-back Seán Murphy enhanced a growing reputation with another very solid performance.

Glynn-Barntown missed the services of Michael O'Regan and didn't help themselves with nine second-half wides from an overall figure of twelve, but they still couldn't be ruled out when John Leacy pointed a 90-metre free in the 51st minute to leave them two in arrears (2-14 to 1-15).

The key score arrived from the puck-out though as Buffers Alley pounced for their third goal of the half. Andrew Kenny and Seán Og Whelan combined to find Paul O'Leary whose shot was blocked, but Kenny followed up to sweep the rebound to the net.

Kevin Roche chipped in with his second point and, once Oliver O'Leary denied fellow number one Mark Fanning with a good save from a close-in free, there was no way back for Glynn-Barntown.

Gary Moore did convert the resultant '65, while Leacy drove a goal opportunity over the bar and Fanning finally managed to knock over a long-range free after four earlier wides.

However, the Alley weren't going to be denied at that stage, with Roche contributing a third point while Pat Kenny had the last word from a Bobby Kenny delivery.

The winners were never headed in fact, easing away from the Wexford District side after Paul O'Leary and Gary Moore swapped scores from early frees.

The wind-aided Alley surged 0-7 to 0-2 clear and it took Glynn-Barntown 18 minutes to register from play, but they chipped away at the lead in the second quarter and were only 12-10 in arrears by half-time.

A John Lee Meyler pull with Fanning out of position after a collision was the closest the Monamolin and Kilmuckridge men came to a goal up to that point, while Oliver O'Leary was equal to the task when Gary Moore tried his luck from a 20-metre free early in the second quarter.

The Alley enjoyed the perfect start after the break as Pat Kenny darted in from the right corner to drill home their opening goal and extend their advantage to five points.

And although Glynn-Barntown narrowed that to three, their net was rattling again in the 42nd minute. Kevin Roche soloed through and saw his shot saved by Fanning, but substitute Tomás O'Leary reacted quickest to lash home the rebound (2-13 to 0-13).

Oliver O'Leary saved a Matthew Joyce pull and was generally very sound, but his only error gave Glynn-Barntown a lifeline in the 48th minute.

His attempted short clearance was intercepted by Kevin Crean and, although the netminder saved the follow-up shot, Michael Doyle was on hand to sweep the ball to the net (2-14 to 1-14).

That long-range point from John Leacy suggested the momentum had swung, but the Alley were having none of it and weren't going to be caught after Andrew Kenny's goal.

Buffers Alley: Oliver O'Leary; Ciarán Murphy, Seán Murphy, Barry Kenny; Bobby Kenny, Ciarán Kenny (capt.), Ross Donohoe; Andrew Kenny (1-2), Kevin Roche (0-3); Seán Og Whelan (0-2), Willie Doran, Shane Grannell; Pat Kenny (1-2), John Lee Meyler (0-1), Paul O'Leary (0-7, 5 frees). Sub. - Tomás O'Leary (1-0) for Meyler (39).

Glynn-Barntown: Mark Fanning (capt., 0-1 free); Barry Doyle, Pádraig Donnelly, Shane Codd; Matt Doyle, Jack Fenlon, David Clarke; Alan Cowman (0-1), Rowan White; Gary Moore (0-9, 6 frees, 2 '65s), Michael Doyle (1-3), Brendan Doyle (0-1); Matthew Joyce (0-1), Craig Doyle, Kevin Crean. Subs. - John Leacy (0-2, 1 free) for Matt Doyle (30), Fionn Cooney for White (43).

Referee: Brian O'Leary (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).

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