Glynn-Barntown finish with flourish for merited win
AFTER SURVIVING the last-day relegation trauma of 2012, Glynn-Barntown hit three unanswered points from the 55th minute onwards to take Rathnure's scalp in this low-scoring and defence-dominated Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group B opener in Bellefield on Saturday last.
An outstanding display by centre-back Michael O'Regan paved the way to victory for the Wexford District side, although it was achieved at a cost as county footballer Craig Doyle was stretchered off with an arm injury following an off-the-ball incident in added time which resulted in a straight red card for Rathnure's John O'Connor.
Ironically, O'Regan was listed to play at left half-back on the programme but moved to the middle in the absence of John Leacy through illness. And he was the rock that many a Rathnure attack perished on in the second-half in particular when the black and amber attackers repeatedly ran into trouble with the wind in their favour.
No club has managed to re-invent itself more over the years than Rathnure, and it was very strange to see them taking to the field without such notable names as Paul Codd, Nigel Higgins, Trevor Hogan and Jack Guiney, with the latter sitting an exam earlier in the day.
They have always found Glynn-Barntown difficult to beat and this proved the case again in a tight affair, with the sides level on five occasions during the first-half before Syl Barron's injury time point saw Rathnure shade a 0-6 to 0-5 interval lead.
Glynn-Barntown hit five of their seven wides before the break in the first quarter and looked to have a big task on their hands as they faced into the breeze with a one-point deficit.
And the margin could have been greater as Seán O'Neill's tenth-minute point for Rathnure was a clear goal chance while Mark Fanning denied Declan Foley in a one-on-one near half-time when the centre-forward latched on to a breaking ball and ran unaided towards the posts at the scoreboard end.
Fanning picked up an injury in that incident which forced him off just before the break, and his side's task grew even harder when John O'Connor (free) and Dermot Flynn (free) widened the gap to 0-8 to 0-5 within four minutes of the re-start.
However, the Glynn-Barntown defenders came into their own and they were back level with eight minutes left after points from Paul Carley (free) and the impressive Michael Doyle with another brace to repeat his first-half feat.
Tommy Kehoe had also saved smartly from Seán O'Neill in the 41st minute, but the initiative swung towards Rathnure again when Dermot Flynn and Robbie Codd hit points in a 60-second burst midway through the last quarter (0-10 to 0-8).
Glynn-Barntown put in a storming finish though as Paul Carley converted a free before a spectacular catch by his brother, Mark, from a Rathnure puck-out led to Craig Doyle's equaliser.
The winner arrived one minute into added time when P.J. Carley didn't get the connection he wanted on a clearance, but it still fell kindly for Gary Moore who split the posts.
Glynn-Barntown: Mark Fanning; Murtagh Joyce, Pádraig Donnelly (capt.), Barry Doyle; Mark Carley, Michael O'Regan, P.J. Carley; Kevin Crean, Alan Cowman; Gary Moore (0-3, 1 free), Craig Doyle (0-2), Michael Doyle (0-4); J.J. Doyle, Brendan Doyle, Paul Carley (0-2 frees). Subs. - Tommy Kehoe for Fanning, inj. (30 + 4), Pádraig Weafer for J.J. Doyle (38), Shane Gubbins for Crean (42), Eugene Furlong for C. Doyle, inj. (60 + 4).
Rathnure: Jim Morrissey; Chris Redmond, Brendan O'Leary (capt.), Antony O'Connell; Paddy Whiteley, Mick O'Leary, Aidan Redmond; Shane Murphy, John O'Connor (0-1 free); Dermot Flynn (0-6, 4 frees, 1 '65), Declan Foley, Syl Barron (0-1); Seán O'Neill (0-1), Robbie Codd (0-1), Michael Redmond. Sub. - Richard Flynn for M. Redmond (49).
Referee: Joe Kelly (Naomh Eanna).