Barntown claim ‘A’ title for first time
A first-half purple patch of scoring for Barntown was the difference in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn 'A' boys' football final in Taghmon on Monday of last week.
Barntown 3-8 Rathangan 1-8
It was an historic night for Barntown as this was their first football final since going as a single school entity. Standing in their way was a Rathangan team which was very experienced in playing in recent 'A' finals and determined to claim a major win.
Barntown were a scoring threat from the start and could have had two early goals, only for the post and crossbar to deny them.
Despite this early promise, after ten minutes and a handful of wides they only had a Liam Donoghue point from a free to show for their efforts. Rathangan on the other hand held a slender lead thanks to points from Páidí Doyle and Shane Ryan.
Fourteen minutes into the game, Barntown finally began to yield some scores that their efforts deserved and these would prove crucial to winning the match.
Corner-forward Daniel Brazzill did well to attack at speed and set up Patrick Berry for a goal. Seconds later, Will Carroll-Hayes kicked in a long-range free that somehow emerged from the mist to slip past everyone into the net.
Captain Callum McDonald then stole in with a point to put the Barntown boys six ahead. Barntown continued this run of good form in the ensuing minutes and scored three further points to pile more misery on their opponents. Barntown's space and speed in attack was scintillating, particularly down the left flank.
Rathangan dug deep and began a noble comeback before half-time. Their two corner-forwards got important scores to reduce the lead back down to four.
Justin McMahon put over two frees and Conor Stone-Walsh was first to pounce on a rebound and grab the vital goal that his team needed. Rathangan could have inflicted more damage had Barntown goalie Darragh Murphy not saved a penalty before the break.
The second-half was much more in Rathangan's favour. Finn Ryan was excellent as he took the Barntown defence on.
Once more, Darragh Murphy denied Rathangan from the penalty spot to keep his team ahead but he couldn't stop the brilliant points from Shane Ryan and Cian Walsh.
Barntown were living off scraps and had to be content with scores from Patrick Berry and Seán Cooney to keep their lead intact.
When Finn Ryan and Andrew Moran brought the gap back down to a goal with five minutes remaining, it looked like Rathangan could just about to nick it in the end.
Barntown didn't cough up any more chances to tempt their opponents however, and goalkeeper and player of the match Darragh Murphy ensured that the door remained firmly shut.
Corner-back Josh Murphy started a fantastic team move up the field that ended with Fionn O'Callaghan nabbing a goal, and this proved to be the cherry on top for the Barntown boys on an historic evening.
Barntown: Darragh Murphy, Josh Murphy, Alex Breen, Kevin Rowe, Cian Turner, Conor Lyne, Cian White, Will Carroll-Hayes, Seán Cooney, Patrick Berry, Ferdia Reynolds, Callum McDonald, Aaron Nolan, Liam Donoghue, Daniel Brazzill, Aaron Murphy, Paddy O'Leary, Joe Gilhooly, Lughaidh Hayden, Fionn O'Callaghan, David Plummer.
Rathangan: Jack Kelly, Bobby Reville, Dylan Moran, Mogue Barry-Cleary, Eoin McMahon, Finn Ryan, Cian Walsh, Páidí Doyle, Liam Berry, Shane Ryan, Andrew Moran, Ben White, Justin McMahon, Cathal Murphy, Conor Stone-Walsh, Aidan O'Brien, Cillian Donovan, Darragh Sinnott, Dara Browne, Adam Duggan, Rúairí Flannery, Conor Kennedy, Jack Martin, Tristan Odlum, Liam Philips, Aidan Brennan, Kevin Byrne, Robert Moore, Eoin Browne.