Oylegate add another scalp

Oylegate-Glenbrien 4-16 Glynn-Barntown 1-16

Brendan Furlong

Fergus Heffernan of Oylegate-Glenbrien beats Glynn-Barntown's Frankie Hynes to the ball
Fergus Heffernan of Oylegate-Glenbrien beats Glynn-Barntown's Frankie Hynes to the ball

The questions had been asked, but Oylegate-Glenbrien responded with a clinical display of hurling to hand Glynn-Barntown a nine-point drubbing in this Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group A game in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.

Carrying a one hundred per cent record going into this game, hurling purists were still questioning the ability of Oylegate-Glenbrien to maintain the momentum once the heat of championship battle stepped up. But they reacted to the challenge in such a manner that their challenge has to be taken seriously.

This young Oylegate-Glenbrien team play the game at pace and utilise the full width of the pitch, but they also showed character, commitment, and a skill level all played out at a high tempo, factors which left Glynn-Barntown gasping for breath.

The winners picked off some wonderful scores from a variety of angles, while their goals were excellent examples of finishing. Indeed, but for two goal-line clearances their victory margin would have been even greater.,

Glynn-Barntown were reduced to 14 players just before the break when corner-back Barry Doyle was straight red-carded following an off the ball incident involving Seamus Casey.

They trailed by just two points at this stage, but gaping holes were appearing in defence as they were struggling to maintain a foothold.

While they headed into the second-half a man short, their collapse was total as the eventual winners upped the tempo.

Even with 15 players on the pitch, Glynn-Barntown still would have lacked the pace and skill levels to match their opponents who totally dominated the second 30 minutes, with Damien Reck a real colossus at centre-back, now back to his best following an ankle injury.

Oylegate-Glenbrien are now assured of a place in the knockout stages, but for Glynn-Barntown they are point-less following three games and facing into a huge relegation battle with just two games remaining. But then again, two victories from those ties could leap-frog them into contention for a place in the quarter-finals.

Glynn-Barntown opened with three quick-fire points through Daire Barron, Rowan White and a John Leacy free, before their opponents replied through a Seamus Casey pointed free after Jamie Reck was fouled moving in on goal.

Ten minutes into the game, Glynn-Barntown still led by 0-6 to 0-2, but then the first real spark from Oylegate-Glenbrien ignited. Podge Doran gathered possession some 45 metres from goal and moved through the centre of the defence before unleashing a hard, low drive that 'keeper Mark Fanning got a hurley to, but he could not prevent the ball from creeping over the line.

Two minutes later the winners were seen in full flow with a sweeping move, featuring a great run from Shane Reck who picked out Conor Doyle inside the defence, and he finished superbly to give his side a 2-2 to 0-6 lead.

Alan Cowman and Seamus Casey exchanged points, with the latter's shot rising just over the bar.

The sides continued to trade points, with the losers mainly reliant on the accuracy of John Leacy frees, and Oylegate-Glenbrien led by 2-7 to 0-11 at the interval.

On the resumption Casey and Leacy exchanged pointed frees, while Jamie Reck had what appeared a goalbound effort cleared off the line by Pádraig Donnelly.

When Rowan White fired over a 37th-minute point just the minimum separated the sides (2-8 to 0-13), but two minutes later the decisive score arrived.

Podge Doran worked himself into position and unleashed a tremendous 20-metre shot from the left of goal to beat county colleague Mark Fanning at his near post for the score of the game, but more importantly it put his side into a 3-8 to 0-13 lead.

With Jamie Reck now sparkling all over the pitch, hitting some wonderful points in the process, he pounced for his side's fourth goal six minutes from the end, easing them into a 4-15 to 0-14 lead.

Close to the finish Michael Doyle had a consolation goal for a Glynn-Barntown side totally demoralised by that stage and seeking the comforts of the dressing-room.

Oylegate-Glenbrien have announced their arrival, sending out a clear message that the title battle is by no means a two-team race, which should add to the glamour of the knockout stages.

Oylegate-Glenbrien: John Foley; Mikie Kelly, Michael Heffernan, Fergus Heffernan; Bryan McCormack, Damien Reck, Shane Reck; Mark Kavanagh (0-2), Pa Cullen (0-1); Marty Kelly (0-1), Jamie Reck (1-3), Podge Doran (2-2); Seamus Casey (0-7, 5 frees), Conor Doyle (1-0), Conor Heffernan. Subs. - Fergal Doran for C. Heffernan, John McCormack for Doyle, Barry Dunne for Kelly.

Glynn-Barntown: Mark Fanning; Barry Doyle, Pádraig Donnelly, Ger Dempsey; Jack Fenlon, Michael O'Regan, Craig Doyle (0-1 free); Alan Cowman (0-1), Kevin Crean; Brendan Doyle, John Leacy (0-8 frees), Michael Doyle (1-0); Rowan White (0-3), Gary Moore, Daire Barron (0-2). Subs. - Frankie Hynes for Cowman, inj., Shane Codd for O'Regan, Matthew Joyce (0-1 free) for Fenlon.

Referee: Justin Heffernan (Blackwater).

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