Glynn-Barntown pip Rathnure to league title
Glynn-Barntown just about saw off the stubborn resistance of Rathnure to claim the All-County Hurling League Division 5 crown in Bree on Saturday.
Glynn-Barntown 2-14 Rathnure 3-10
Each time the Wexford District men managed to pull a few points clear, Rathnure clawed their way back into contention, and if a late Trevor Hogan snap-shot had fallen under, rather than over, the bar, they would have snatched victory.
However, Glynn-Barntown just about deserved the win as their scores were spread more liberally throughout the side, while Rathnure were, in the main, reliant on Trevor Hogan, Colm Byrne and Rory Higgins to get the flags waving, with the trio registering an impressive 3-7 between them.
Glynn-Barntown couldn't have asked for a better start when Ian Moran got a goal with just 19 seconds on the clock.
A Eugene Furlong handpass found the corner-forward in space and he made no mistake, burying the ball to the back of the net, although the goalscorer's joy was shortlived as he was forced off through injury on seven minutes.
Glynn-Barntown managed to keep that bit of daylight between the sides until the 23d minute when they were 1-5 to 0-4 ahead, with P.J. Carley knocking over a couple of nice points and J.J. Doyle, Jimmer Doyle and Nigel Usher also splitting the posts.
Rathnure kept in touch through a brace of scores from Colm Byrne, a Rory Higgins point and an Alan Ronan free, but they got right back in the mix with seven minutes of the first-half remaining when Rory Higgins raised the green flag.
Trevor Hogan played a dangerous ball into the square and Higgins kept his composure to flick the sliothar to the back of the net to leave his side just one point adrift.
P.J. Carley and Dylan Roche then swapped points with Colm Byrne and M.J. Murphy before Rathnure got their noses in front for the first time when Byrne grabbed a goal on 30 minutes.
Trevor Hogan saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Adam Kennedy but Byrne was on hand to send a ground stroke to the back of the net.
Glynn-Barntown tacked on the final two points of the half through Shane Codd and Nigel Usher to leave it level at the interval (1-9 to 2-6).
Rathnure got the perfect start to the second-half when Trevor Hogan struck a goal on 33 minutes, but Glynn-Barntown's response was swift and J.J. Doyle replied with a three-pointer just two minutes later.
Aaron Kehoe fired over two frees and a point from play to give Glynn-Barntown a three-point advantage by the 43rd minute, but back came Rathnure with Trevor Hogan, Alan Ronan and Rory Higgins finding the range to draw them level with five minutes remaining.
An Aaron Kehoe free and a J.J. Doyle point steadied the Glynn-Barntown nerves although they jangled further when Trevor Hogan's injury-time shot dropped over the bar when he had a goal in his sights.
Glynn-Barntown: Adam Kennedy (capt.); Paul Laffan, Murtagh Joyce, Cian Neville; Shane Codd (0-1), Calum O'Shea, Nigel Usher (0-2); P.J. Carley (0-3), Pádraic Weafer; Aaron Kehoe (0-4, 3 frees), J.J. Doyle (1-2), Jimmer Doyle (0-1); Dylan Roche (0-1), Eugene Furlong, Ian Moran (1-0). Sub. - Mark Carley for Moran.
Rathnure: Seán Nolan; Richard Murphy, Cormac Morrissey, Alan Quigley; Nicky Quigley, Seán O'Neill, Denis Maher; M.J. Murphy (0-1), Harry Quigley; Alan Ronan (0-2 frees), Dave Guiney, Trevor Hogan (1-2), Nigel Higgins, Colm Byrne (1-3), Rory Higgins (1-2, 0-1 '65). Subs. - Jason Murphy for Guiney, Barry O'Connor for Byrne, Colin Carney for Murphy.
Referee: Aiden O'Brien (Cloughbawn).