Glynn get off the mark
Glynn-Barntown 2-6 Sarsfields 1-8
Throwback football was quickly thrown away in Hollymount on Friday as 2016 Tom Doyle Supplies Senior championship runners-up Glynn-Barntown finally got their first win of this Group A campaign.
It's been a tough opening to the season for the Killurin side, so close to the title last October only to have it ripped away. It looks like the scars are still there. This certainly isn't the same team that ended last year playing superbly well.
As far as they may wish to travel, it's unlikely that any of the crowd that witnessed this first-half will see a game as direct.
Lee Chin as the inside forward, the only one a lot of the time, for Sarsfields, and Michael O'Regan the totem pole at the other end playing against his original club. Hello 1970.
There's a crude beauty to two teams pumping the ball into their target-man. Many would use words like ugly, scrappy, disjointed, a game lacking in everything, especially quality, but the 1-3 to 0-1 first-half was something different.
It didn't last, it couldn't last after half-time. Chin departed, O'Regan played a lot deeper, and the energy of Mark Fanning and Robert Dempsey provided a reasonable back-up plan for the victors. But then, they did manage just 1-3 in the second-half too.
Scoring seems to be a problem. They have now managed just ten, nine and eight scores in their three games. The 2-6 in this, against a struggling Sarsfields, was enough for the win but hardly a salvo that will scare likely title challengers.
While Glynn-Barntown were booting a string of wides in the first ten minutes, Sarsfields only rarely threatened. However, referee David Jenkins was on the ball with pulling on, and dragging out of, forwards all night and when Chin was manhandled inside he awarded a penalty.
It was a big chance for the Páirc Charman side to make an early statement but John Bridges took one of those penalties that, if the 'keeper dives the correct way, it's easier to save it than not and Richie Ryan obliged.
When Kevin Mahoney booted long at the other end, O'Regan broke it into the path of Robert Dempsey and he stuck a firm, clinical finish across Philip Cullen to make it 1-0 to nil.
They nearly added another moments later but Alan Cowman's shot from O'Regan's break was saved by the Sars stopper.
Chin tapped over a free after he was fouled in the 14th minute but it would prove to be his side's only score of the half. At the other end Glynn-Barntown started to move the ball through hands more and got their rewards with Rioghan Crosbie, Cowman and Dempsey all raising white flags before the interval.
Sarsfields played with more control in the second-half too but in truth it was still fairly scrappy. However, they scored five third quarter points to their opponents' three to close the gap to just a goal entering the last 15 minutes.
The Wexford town club registered just two points from play in the game and they came in that spell, with Eoin Roche booting a nice point moments after Mikey Hanrahan nailed one from just inside the '45.
A couple of Mark Fanning minors still had Glynn-Barntown ahead when Dempsey made a slick cut past his marker on the right of goal in the 49th minute and broke in on the last man back. Rather than take him on, Dempsey shot early and rattled the net with his inch-perfect strike across goal.
There was five points between the sides (2-6 to 0-7) when the game entered added-time.
A nasty injury to Conor Halligan ensured a delay of over six minutes, but when play re-started a Lee Smith free and Dylan Furlong's punched goal cut the gap to one.
Yet there wasn't time for a dramatic leveller as Glynn-Barntown won their own kick-out and the full-time whistle went.
Despite the win, Glynn-Barntown still have plenty to do if they want to make the last eight.
With games against Castletown and Shelmaliers still to come, they will probably need three points to make the quarters.
Sarsfields were pre-championship favourites to finish last and drop into the relegation final.
However, with Starlights and St. Anne's to come it's possible that they could save themselves with just a win against the Rathangan club, depending on other results.
Glynn-Barntown: Richie Ryan; Jack Fenlon, Rob Tierney, Pádraig Donnelly; Nigel Usher, John Leacy, James Stafford; Michael Doyle (capt.), Brendan Doyle; Kevin Mahoney, Alan Cowman (0-1), Rioghan Crosbie (0-1 free); Barry Doyle, Michael O'Regan, Robert Dempsey (2-2). Subs. - Mark Fanning (0-2, 1 free) for Mahoney (31), Craig Doyle for Leacy, black card (51), Stephen Lyne for Cowman (59).
Sarsfields: Philip Cullen; Brendan Mulligan, Cillian Lawlor, Con Ó Donnagáin; Conor Halligan, Mikey Hanrahan (capt., 0-1), Cathal Kirwan; Ciarán Byrne, Eoin Roche (0-1); Dylan Furlong (1-0), Fran Cleary, John Bridges (0-1 free); David Gouldson, Lee Chin (0-1 free), David Mooney (0-1 free). Subs. - Fiach O Crualaoich for Lawlor (31), Lee Smith (0-3 frees) for Chin, inj. (31), Jack Robinson for Mulligan, black card (40), Adam Dempsey for Mooney (45), Mooney for Halligan, inj. (60+7).
Referee: David Jenkins (Gusserane).