Barrow Rangers 3-15
The scoreline does not do justice to the wholehearted efforts and determination of gallant Slieverue who hung on to the coat tails of fancied Barrow Rangers (Paulstown) in an entertaining junior hurling league tie in Slieverue on Saturday.
A short spell of pure torture between the 41st and 43rd minutes when Paulstown slammed home three unanswered goals proved the undoing of the losers. In fairness they hurled as well, if not better than I have seen them perform over a period.
They were eager and focussed. They were strong into the tackle, and they wore their convictions on their sleeves.
Barrow Rangers also played with fine determination, but they found the Slieverue lads more troublesome that they might have anticipated.
The losers would not be that familiar with the likes of Willie Hennessy, Ciarán Breen, Sean McDonald, Martin Bambrick, Cathal Kenny or the Doyle brothers, Richie or Ciaran. Mind you, players of the calibre of Niall Walsh, Kieran Dowling Sean Roche, Paul Rockett, the tenacious Ross Kelly, Brian Grant and Gavin Quilty were unfamiliar too to the visitors.
Plenty to excite
Relative to the grade, the game produced plenty to excite the attendance. There was some excellent inter-passing, some great running in possession and the skill displayed by both protagonist when shooting in difficult cold cross-field winds was exemplary.
The stylish Cathal Kenny opened proceedings with a point for ’Rangers from long distance free against the breeze in the first minute. The speedy Ciaran Doyle added two more from play before Paul Rockett drilled over the first score for his side after six minutes.
The game flowed with great purpose from there on. Niall Walsh, listed at full-forward, roamed far and deep to win ball. Ross Kelly was keeping a close watch on the movements of county star, Richie Doyle. Three points by Walsh, plus singles from Cian Tyler, Brian Grant and a Paul Rockett free brought conclusion to Slieverue’s first half scoring at seven points.
Further points by Ciarán Doyle, the athletic Martin Bambrick, Michael Whitely and two from Ritchie Doyle, one a free, also had the ’Rangers standing upside with the home side at seven points at the break.
The first of the three ’Rangers goals arrived at the 41 minute mark. Richie Doyle started a strong run towards the Slieverure goal and delivered to Cathal English. The stylishly and clever English timed his delivery to perfection, setting up Jason Holden who left Jamie O’Brien helpless in the Slieverue goal.
Within 50 seconds Holden turned provider when he punished a defensive impasse to Cathal Kenny, who slotted home. And again some three minutes later, Holden again was provider, this time for Richie Doyle who made no error.
It really was all uphill from there, but Slieverue didn’t warp under the pressure. They tried as hard as they could, but the horse had bolted and eventually the visitors proved that little bit too smart, clever and clinical for their hosts.
The Barrow Rangers were particularly strong in defence, where William Hennessy and Ciarán Breen were great corner men. This young Breen impresses every time he pulls on that ’Rangers blue shirt. Certainly one for the future.
Ed Prendergast and Thomas Brennan too were excellent, and sure we have told you about the rest.
For Slieverue, in addition to those mentioned, goalkeeper Jamie O’Brien was very competent. Sean Roche at full-back was solid too, and Cian Tyler put in a solid shift for the cause.
Scorers: Barrow Rangers - Richie Doyle (1-5, two pointed frees); Cathal Kenny (1-1, one pointed free); Jason Holden (1-0); Ciarán Doyle (0-3); Martin Bambrick, Michael Whitely, Diarmuid Maher (0-2 each). Slieverue - Paul Rockett (0-5, three frees); Niall Walsh (0-4); Brian Grant, Cian Tyler (0-1 each).
Barrow Rangers - Grahan English, William Hennessy, Kevin Brennan, Ciaán Breen, Edward Prendergast, Sean Mc Donald, Tomas Whitely, Martin Bambrick, Cathal Kenny, Ciarán Doyle, Thomas Brennan, Richie Doyle, Jason Holden, Michael Whitely, Cathal English. Subs - Diarmuid Maher, Tom Brennan.
Slieverue - Jamie O’Brien, David Walsh, Sean Roche, Ricky Hogan, Ross Kelly, Mark Habberlyn, Kieran Dowling, Michael Hoyne, Paul Rockett, Dylan Habberlyn, Brian Grant, Cian Tyler, Alan Atkins, Niall Walsh, Gavin Quilty. Sub - Jamie Murphy.
Referee - J. Bennett (Tullogher-Rosbercon).