Ballinastragh last the pace
Despite plenty of drama and no shortage of Glynn-Barntown grit, Ballinastragh Gaels eventually outlasted their plucky final opponents to take the New Ross Standard Under-14 football Division 1 shield in St. Patrick's Park.
Ballinastragh Gaels 5-11 Glynn-Barntown 5-3 (AET)
The Killurin boys only managed to force extra-time when Alan Mahoney cut in from the right wing in second-half added-time and smacked an unstoppable shot into the top corner of J.J. O'Neill's net, giving the Gaels stopper no chance.
It left the game deadlocked (2-10 to 5-1), meaning extra-time was needed to produce a winner. It was an impossible tie to call at that stage but five minutes into overtime, when Michael Laffan made the save of the evening, diving low to his right to keep out an Aaron Whelan rocket, it looked like it might be Glynn-Barntown's night.
However, Ballinastragh have quality rippling throughout their side. Moments later Fintan Staunton drilled a 30-metre shot into the top right corner of the Glynn-Barntown net. Mahoney's point, which quickly followed, left two between the sides at the mid-point in extra-time (3-10 to 5-2).
Aaron Whelan got a deserved goal for his endeavours in the 62nd minute, firing home after Laffan saved Curtis' initial strike. Six minutes later Simon Campbell-Carty flashed a fifth Ballinastragh goal high to the Glynn-Barntown net to pretty much wrap up the victory.
Earlier, the Gorey District side were just hanging in there in the first-half. After Conor Kinsella opened the scoring with a free, Curtis grabbed possession from the resulting kick-out, raced through on goal and calmly shot low to the net.
Michael Mackey and Jack Travers were involved at the other end, releasing Tom Butler for his first goal to get the Wexford District boys on the scoresheet. Glynn-Barntown probably had the better of the chances but the Gaels defended fantastically and added points from Kinsella and Whelan to move 1-3 to 1-0 ahead.
Unperturbed, Glynn-Barntown ended the first-half with a bang. Mahoney added a fantastic long-range point before Butler notched his second goal, a rebound after Darragh Carley's initial shot was saved by J.J. O'Neill. Jack Travers' close-range major, just before the whistle, gave his side a 3-1 to 1-3 interval advantage.
Ballinastragh came out in the second-half a different side and dominated much of the period. It took five minutes to turn a deficit into a lead.
Following points from Kinsella and Whelan, Paddy Darcy hit the net from long range. A nice score from David Smith made it 2-6 to 3-1 after 31 minutes.
A quick Paul Leonard dead-ball sent Corben Brown away and the Glynn-Barntown substitute drilled a stunning finish high to the Gaels net.
Yet their lead proved to be shortlived as four points in a row, including a stunning 60-metre run and score from the diminutive Cian Hughes, gave the Kilanerin/Tara Rocks combination a 2-10 to 4-1 advantage with time running out.
While Mahoney's strike was enough to send the game to extra-time, it would only delay the eventual outcome. Ballinastragh were impressive in the 20 minutes of overtime, as they stayed true to their gameplan and ran out deserving victors after a really competitive, enthralling game.
Ballinastragh Gaels: J.J. O'Neill; Jake Kinsella, Killian Byrne, Conor Jones; Conor Kinsella (0-6, 4 frees), Shane Gibson (capt.), Fintan Staunton (1-0); Jason Bolger, Simon Campbell-Carty (1-0); David Smith (0-1), Paddy Darcy (1-0), Joe Curtis (1-1); Chris Montague, Aaron Whelan (1-2), Cian Hughes (0-1). Subs. - Lee Noblett for Kinsella (26), Michael McGonigle for Smith (54), Kyle Kinsella for McGonigle (70), also David Neville, James Higgins, Gavin Murray, Gearóid Boland, Seán Hughes, Hugh Fahy.
Glynn-Barntown: Michael Laffan; Aaron Cuddihy, Donal Buckley (capt.), Nathan Byrne; Seán Murphy, Darragh Carley, Josh Carley; Thomas Doyle, Paul Leonard; Michael Mackey, Jack Travers (1-0), Conal McGuinness; Alan Mahoney (1-2), Tom Butler (2-1), Loughlin McCormack. Subs. - Corben Brown (1-0) for McCormack (22), Adam Cuddihy for J. Carley (46), Conor Foley for McGuinness (61), Colm Furlong for Murphy (69), Dylan Mooney for Butler (70), Johan Glowatz for Mackey (70), also Conor Lyne, Maurice Reynolds, Morogh O'Flaherty, Tommy Gallagher, Tim Gilhooley, Nicky Rossiter, Jake Doyle, Jack Murphy.
Referee: Nicholas Kehoe (Cloughbawn).