Attacker's super 1-9 haul beats champs
An exhibition of place kicking from Michael O'Regan steered Glynn-Barntown into the quarter-finals of the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship as they earned a deserved victory in their final Group A game in a wet and windy Taghmon on Friday.
Glynn-Barntown 1-11 St. James' 2-4
The full-forward contributed 1-9 of his side's tally and holders St. James' will look to the concession of too many frees in scoreable positions as their Achilles' heel. Certainly when you have a man like O'Regan in the opposition ranks those sort of indiscretions are bound to be punished.
A free-taker who can confidently stroke over dead balls from the ground is an invaluable asset for any side, and there can't be many better exponents of the art in the county than the Glynn-Barntown marksman when he's on song.
When the game was in the melting pot in the final quarter, O'Regan kept his cool and his technique was flawless as he floated over a succession of mammoth placed balls in very testing conditions.
St. James' trailed by 1-2 to 0-3 at the interval, but two goals in the opening six minutes of the second-half helped them to a 2-4 to 1-4 advantage.
However, the final 20 minutes belonged to Glynn-Barntown and they hit seven points without reply to earn a fully-merited victory.
The players found it difficult to come to terms with the elements in the early stages but Kevin O'Grady popped over a free in the ninth minute to finally break the deadlock, after Graeme Molloy's foray forward had been brought to a halt.
However, three minutes later Glynn-Barntown were in front. Rioghan Crosbie found the inrushing O'Regan with a clever handpass and the full-forward did the rest, confidently dispatching the ball beyond goalkeeper John Ryan.
O'Regan added the next two scores from frees to increase the advantage to 1-2 to 0-1, but St. James' ended the half on a high with Matthew O'Hanlon sending a '45 over the crossbar and Mark Molloy splitting the posts seconds later.
That purple patch continued as the sides switched ends when the ball fell kindly into the path of David Doyle after an exchange of passes with Mark Molloy, and Doyle's shot on goal took a wicked deflection to give Glynn-Barntown goalkeeper Luke Rafter no chance.
Michael O'Regan clawed back most of the damage with two more frees but they were again rocked back on their heels in the 36th minute when Matthew O'Hanlon found the back of the net, after good work in the build-up from Adam Parle.
On 39 minutes Donal Barron instinctively blasted the ball over the bar off the ground to give St. James' a 2-4 to 1-4 advantage, but the New Ross District side never worked the scoreboard thereafter, with Glynn-Barntown duo Michael and Brendan Doyle getting a firm grip in midfield.
Wing-back James Stafford was also causing plenty of problems for the St. James' rearguard with his direct running at pace and his raids forward proved productive, earning a couple of valuable frees for his side.
Craig Doyle ensured O'Regan didn't have the monopoly on the scoring when he volleyed over the bar in the 45th minute, although the number 14 did add the next four points from placed balls, the fourth a booming effort from 55 metres out.
Craig Doyle grabbed his second in the 53rd minute, before O'Regan slotted over a '45 in injury time to seal the victory and a place in the last eight where they will meet Shelmaliers.
St. James' will certainly have to up their game to cling on to their hopes of retaining the title when they face St. Martin's in the quarter-final in a repeat of last year's decider.
Glynn-Barntown: Luke Rafter; Stephen Lyne, Rob Tierney, Pádraig Donnelly; Nigel Usher, John Leacy, James Stafford; Michael Doyle, Brendan Doyle; Mark Fanning, Alan Cowman, Rioghan Crosbie; Craig Doyle (0-2), Michael O'Regan (1-9, 0-7 frees, 0-2 '45s), Robert Dempsey. Subs. - Matthew Joyce for Crosbie (black card), Kevin Mahoney for Dempsey, Rowan White for Lyne, Eoin Raftery for Fanning, Dempsey for Cowman.
St. James': John Ryan; Paul Barron, Jason Barron, Greg Doyle; David Doyle (1-0), Graeme Molloy, Robbie Barron; Brendan Doyle, Matthew O'Hanlon (1-1, 0-1 '45); Shane Murphy, Kevin O'Grady (0-1 free), Jack O'Brien; Brian Molloy, Mark Molloy (0-1), Adam Parle. Subs. - Liam Murphy for O'Brien, Donal Barron (0-1) for L. Murphy (black card), Tommy Walsh for S. Murphy.
Referee: David Jenkins (Gusserane).