Sunday 8 December 2019

Barntown now well in the mix

Glynn-Barntown 1-12 Shelmaliers 1-10

Jack Fenlon of Glynn-Barntown off-loads the ball as Eoin Doyle (Shelmaliers) looks on
Jack Fenlon of Glynn-Barntown off-loads the ball as Eoin Doyle (Shelmaliers) looks on

Dean Goodison

A second victory in a row, this one against Shelmaliers in Taghmon on Friday, means Glynn-Barntown go into the final round of games in the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship Group A with destiny in their own hands.

The Killurin-based club had not really impressed in their opening three games but they stepped up their performance levels enough in this encounter to grab a critical two points and move into the last round of games with everything positive still possible.

Generally six points is considered enough to book a quarter-final spot but when these two teams walked off the field on Friday that was not the case. After winning their first three games, Shelmaliers were in the unusual position of having to wait on other results to go their way to enter the final round free of worry.

Anything other than victories for both Castletown and St. Anne's on Sunday would have granted the Hollymount side a quarter-final berth without undue concern in two weeks' time. However, with those results going the wrong way, things suddenly became uncomfortable.

Glynn-Barntown shuffled the pack a little from their unconvincing victory over Sarsfields two weeks earlier and brought former League of Ireland footballer Gary Delaney into the side. He made an impact with a solid first-half of dead-balls but was later sent-off for two yellow card offences.

Indeed, the victors ended with 13 men after Robert Dempsey was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident in the 58th minute. Things had got bitty by then, the flow of the game was gone, and there were more cards flashed than scores registered in the final quarter.

There was also a change of approach from the off for Glynn-Barntown. Gone was the direct ball in to Michael O'Regan, as the county man played deeper and wasn't as involved as he usually is. It's something that will need to be tweaked if his side are to at least match last year's run.

They were the more dynamic team in the first-half as they slowly but steadily built a lead. Delaney clipped the upright with his first free from the left after Rioghan Crosbie was fouled but nailed a long distance one in the fourth minute to make it 0-2 to nil.

Gliding them over without fuss, Delaney added a pair of '45s either side of his third free, the easiest of the lot after a foul on Mark Fanning in front of the posts, as Glynn-Barntown eased into a five-point lead at the start of the second quarter.

Shelmaliers had shown very little in the opening stages and looked like a side on their way to a second scoreless opening half in as many games. However, they broke their duck when Eoghan Nolan guided over a dead-ball in the 20th minute.

Craig Doyle's two quick points sandwiched Nolan's second free at the other end but Glynn-Barntown were still playing the better football. Shortly after James Stafford cut inside to point, his side scored a crucial goal.

The major moment was actually the result of an excellent build-up. John Leacy was at the heart of it, as his give and go with Craig Doyle, committing Shels men in the process, opened up the defence. He off-loaded to Fanning and the Wexford hurling stopper beat Aodhán Foley with a calm, measured low finish.

Delaney and Nolan traded a brace apiece and Jody Donohoe also registered for Shelmaliers as they went in trailing by 1-10 to 0-5. There was promise of an entertaining game early in the second period but it failed to materialise.

Nigel Usher scored a rare point for Glynn-Barntown but the Over The Water side looked to be back in the game when Simon Donohoe timed his jump to perfection to punch home Eoghan Nolan's booming ball into the goalmouth from the right wing.

When Delaney scored his eighth point in the 38th minute there was little to suggest it would be Glynn-Barntown's final score (1-12 to 1-5). In fact, as the quality of the game disintegrated, Jody Donohoe added the only point of the next 21 minutes.

Aidan Cash's second yellow card in the 55th minute began a spell of three dismissals before full-time.

While Shelmaliers ended the game with a flurry of Colin Cleary frees and a Glen Malone point, they couldn't steal the points and Glynn-Barntown survived.

Shelmaliers: Aodhán Foley; Cian Manley, James Cash, Andre O'Brien; Jody Donohoe (0-2), Ciarán O'Shaughnessy, Aaron Murphy; Aidan Cash (capt.), Brian Murphy; Eoghan Nolan (0-4, 3 frees), Brian Malone, Simon Donohoe (1-0); Glen Malone (0-1), Eoin Doyle, Conor Hearne. Subs. - Colin Cleary (0-3 frees) for B. Murphy (39), Páraic O'Leary for Nolan (58).

Glynn-Barntown: Richie Ryan; Jack Fenlon, Rob Tierney, Pádraig Donnelly; Nigel Usher (0-1), John Leacy, James Stafford (0-1); Michael Doyle (capt.), Brendan Doyle; Gary Delaney (0-8, 6 frees, 2 '45s), Michael O'Regan, Rioghan Crosbie; Mark Fanning (1-0), Craig Doyle (0-2), Robert Dempsey. Subs. - Barry Doyle for O'Regan (46), Stephen Lyne for Fenlon (46), Rowan White for Crosbie (53).

Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).

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