Barrow Rangers (Goresbridge/Paulstown) escaped with the spoils from Slieverue on Saturday in this junior hurling league tie.
To be fair, the result could have gone either way.
While Barrow Rangers looked in control for most of the game, at the death they were hanging on. Both teams would have to be disappointed with the quality of shooting. ’Rangers notched up 16 wides and Slieverue 12, all from what looked like decent positions.
Rangers’ Ciaran Doyle opened the scoring with a point in the second minute. This was followed by two more points for Rangers’ courtesy of Ed Prendergast and Tom Brennan.
County minor Eoin Kenny got Slieverue’s first score, a point in the fifth minute. However, Cathal Kenny replied with a point for the visitors.
Slieverue’s chief score getter Paul Rockett tagged on two points, the first coming from a free. The crucial score of the half came in the 12th minute when, after some slick passing, Richie Doyle fired the sliotar to the net from close range to put ’Rangers four points clear. Shortly after that Doyle made it a five point game.
Rockett and Cathal Kenny then exchanged points and after Doyle fired over another point ’Rangers lead by five 1-7 to 0-5. A pointed free from Rockett was quickly answered by Doyle.
Points from Stephan Dolan, Rockett and Niall Walsh reduced the deficit before Ciaran Doyle added to his tally. Rockett added to his tally with another point from play but again Richie Doyle cancelled out this score.
The final score of the half came when Slieverue’s Martin Dowling put a sideline ball over the bar. The teams went in at half time with Barrow Rangers leading by 1-10 to 0-11.
Shot seven points
Paul Rocket finished the half with seven points, four from frees. A feature of the first half was how easily Slieverue’s Jamie O’Brien was finding his team mates with his puck outs.
The second half was a dour and dogged affair with only seven more scores in total being added.
Fans had to wait until the 42nd minute for Ciaran Doyle to open the scoring in the half with a point. Within a minute his team mate Cathal Kenny extended the lead.
A pointed 65 by Richie Doyle in the 46th minute left the visitors looking good leading by 1-13 to 0-11.
Slieverue’s left half back David Walsh got their opening point of the half in the 49th minute and within 60 seconds they were the minimum behind when Eoin Kenny managed to evade several tackles before shooting a goal despite the best efforts of ’keeper, Graham English, who got his hurley to the ball.
With three minutes of normal time left Dermot Maher, who came on in the 48th minute, converted a free from his own 65. For the remaining minutes the home side piled on the pressure and laid siege to the ’Rangers goal but the full back line of Kevin Brennan, John Kealy and Ciarán Breen soaked up the pressure and held firm.
Slieverue did manage one last point when Stephan Dolan fired over, which turned out to be the last score of the game, but they couldn’t save the tie.
For Slieverue Paul Rocket and centre-back, Niall Walsh stood out while Eoin Kenny gave his all. The ’Rangers had a more even spread of good performers with the backs in particular hurling well as a unit.
Barrow Rangers - Graham English, Kevin Brennan, John Kealy, Ciarán Breen, Ed Prendergast (0-1), Thomas Brennan, Patrick Purcell, Billy Hanlon, Cathal Kenny (0-3), Michael Whitely, Richie Doyle (1-5, one 65), Tom Brennan (0-1), Keith Flavin, Ciarán Doyle (0-3), Cathal English. Subs - Sean McDonald for P. Purcell; Dermot Maher (0-1, free); Aaron Nolan for B. Hanlon; Sean Murphy for C. English (inj).
Slieverue - Jamie O’Brien, Richie Roche, Sean Roche, Ross Kelly, Peter Murphy, Niall Walsh (0-1), David Walsh (0-1), Oliver Mullally, Ricky Hogan, Martin Dowling (0-1), Eoin Kenny (1-1), Paddy Murphy, Dylan Haberlin, Paul Rocket (0-7, four frees), Stephan Dolan (0-2).
Referee - Pat Hayes (Graigue-Ballycallen).