Glynn pip Rapps
Home side has two points to spare
A stout defensive effort in the second-half enabled Glynn-Barntown to sneak past Rapparees and into the Greenstar Under-21 hurling Premier championship final in Killurin on Tuesday.
Glynn-Barntown 0-14 Rapparees 0-12
The hosts led by just 0-8 to 0-5 after playing with a howling breeze in the opening period, and there were serious question marks at the interval about whether or not the Wexford District side had done enough with the benefit of the elements.
However, their resolve in the second period was spectacular and their hunger to keep their noses in front couldn't be matched by the flailing Rapparees. Every time Glynn-Barntown were tested, every time their opponents scored, they kept fighting back and in the end they were thoroughly worthy winners.
The visitors opened the scoring with the first pair of points from free-taker Kevin Ryan. Yet the next four went the way of their opposition with three Aaron Kehoe dead balls added to by a nice point from the lively Fionn Cooney.
In that Glynn-Barntown purple-patch, Ian Moran fired across goal and wide while at the other end Darragh Pepper also missed the target when a goal opportunity presented itself. Ryan reduced the gap to one when he notched his only score from play before traded scores from Kevin Foley and Murtha Joyce made it 0-5 to 0-4 to the hosts.
Again Glynn-Barntown went two ahead, this time through Rowan White, only for Rapparees to hit back immediately through Ryan. The home side may had sensed that a one-point advantage wouldn't have been enough, and they would certainly have been grateful for late points from Cooney and Kehoe that made the lead three at the change-around.
Kehoe added another point moments before Ian Moran was denied by a diving Gary Murphy. When the full-forward did finally get on the scoresheet in the 46th minute, his point put Glynn-Barntown up by five (0-13 to 0-8).
Four in a row, with Pepper and the Ryans, Liam and Kevin (two), on target cut the gap to one with four minutes left, but Kehoe settled the match with his eighth point.
There was one unsavoury incident deep into added time when referee Anthony Tobin was left with no option but to send-off Rapparees forward Neil McCrea after he appeared to push an umpire. It wasn't going to dampen the Glynn-Barntown mood as they advanced to face local rivals Crossabeg-Ballymurn in the decider.
Glynn-Barntown: Ciarán Joyce; David Clarke, Jack Fenlon, Cian Neville; Matt Doyle, Murtagh Joyce (capt., 0-1), Shane Codd; Rowan White (0-1), Ben O'Shea; Jimmer Doyle, Matthew Joyce, Aaron Kehoe (0-8, 6 frees, 1 '65); Jamie Crean, Ian Moran (0-1), Fionn Cooney (0-3). Subs. - Kevin Mahoney for Crean (31), James Stafford for Doyle (31), Conor Fenlon for O'Shea (56).
Rapparees: Gary Murphy; Ryan Hadley, Ben Edwards, Dillon Redmond; Seán Cloherty, Liam Ryan (0-1), Patrick O'Shea; Ryan Mahon, Anthony Roche; Leonard Connolly, Kevin Ryan (capt., 0-8, 7 frees), Kevin Foley (0-1); Darragh Pepper (0-2), Neil McCrea, Patrick Hore. Subs. - Dale Galway for Hadley (44), Seánie O'Gorman for Hore (49).
Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).