Glynn-Barntown in last four for third year running
A point from Craig Doyle just over four minutes into added time was worth its weight in gold to Glynn-Barntown in Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday as this consistent crew qualified for the Pettitt's Senior hurling championship semi-finals for the third year on the trot with a narrow victory over Buffers Alley in a lack-lustre tie despite the closeness of the scoring.
Glynn-Barnstown 0-17 Buffers Alley 1-13
It was only the second occasion for the gap to stretch to four points, and it gave the victors a cushion and saw them avoid extra-time when Pat Kenny batted an Andrew Kenny cross to the net at the town end 30 seconds later.
The final whistle sounded on the puck-out, and victory was no more than Glynn-Barntown deserved as they were the marginally superior side. Buffers Alley's reluctance to deploy their full attacking sextet as close to goal as possible in the second-half proved their undoing, along with their insistence on pumping high balls into the path of the winners' towering centre-back, Michael O'Regan, throughout.
The sides were level times five times in all during a fairly pedestrian first-half, including at the break when the score stood at 0-7 each. Alley netminder Oliver O'Leary made a super save to deny Fionn Cooney after a Matthew Joyce handpass in the fifth minute, but that was the sole extent of the goalmouth action.
The Alley had led by 0-3 to 0-1 after nine minutes after Andrew Kenny responded to Joyce's opening point with a brace of frees plus a fine effort from close to the left sideline.
Glynn-Barntown were back on level terms by the 18th minute as Daire Barron scored from play in between two John Leacy frees, while Seán Og Whelan notched the first of his three points for the eventual losers.
They remained level at the break after Leacy (two frees) and Craig Doyle hit the target for Glynn-Barntown while Andrew Kenny (two, one free) and Kevin Roche responded.
The sides were deadlocked on two more occasions early in the third quarter before the first bit of daylight appeared between them when Leacy (free), Matthew Joyce and Leacy from play registered for the Wexford District side, the latter in the follow-up after Ian Moran's attempt on goal was saved.
Seven scoreless minutes followed before Michael Doyle made it 0-13 to 0-9, but the Alley scored three of the next points to retain hope, including a couple from Seán Og Whelan.
A driving run by full-back Jack Fenlon set up Alan Cowman to convert from distance for Glynn-Barntown, with Andrew Kenny replying from a free before Rowan White and Craig Doyle widened the gap to 0-17 to 0-13.
Pat Kenny's goal came too late to alter the outcome as the result of the 2012 relegation final was repeated, with Glynn-Barntown now hoping to make it third time lucky when they take on former under-age partners St. Martin's.
Glynn-Barntown: Mark Fanning; Cian Neville, Jack Fenlon, Barry Doyle; Brendan Doyle, Michael O'Regan, Calum O'Shea; Rowan White (0-2), John Leacy (capt., 0-8, 6 frees); Craig Doyle (0-2), Alan Cowman (0-1), Matthew Joyce (0-2); Daire Barron (0-1), Michael Doyle (0-1), Fionn Cooney. Subs. - Ian Moran for Cooney (40), David Clarke for O'Shea (58), Kevin Crean for Barron (60+3).
Buffers Alley: Oliver O'Leary; Seán Murphy, Willie Doran, Barry Kenny; Kevin Roche (0-1), Ciarán Kenny (capt.), Paudie Reidy; Pat Kenny (1-0), Bobby Kenny (0-1); Seán Og Whelan (0-3), Andrew Kenny (0-6, 4 frees), Tomás O'Leary (0-2); Paul O'Leary, Ross Donohoe, Robert O'Leary. Subs. - Shane Grannell for R. O'Leary (24), John Farrell for P. O'Leary (51).
Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).