THREE goals in ten minutes set Barrow Rangers (Paulstown) up for a smooth passage into the Kevin Fennelly Cup final.
The first half haul proved key as the Paulstown side brushed aside the challenge of Dunnamaggin in Bennettsbridge on Wednesday.
Rangers played some brilliant hurling in the opening 30 minutes and executed some brilliant scores through a combination of early deliveries and swift passing. The goals came from Cathal English, Michael Whitely and Martin Bambrick. They also landed ten points spread among English, Whitely, Martin Dormer, Jason Holden, Thomas Brennan and Dermot Maher to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
Dunnamaggin replied with pointed frees from Willie Phelan and Tom Maher, adding a point from play through Liam McCormack, but they were left facing an uphill battle as Rangers led by 16 points at the interval (3-10 to 0-3).
Barrow Rangers took their foot off the gas in the second half, dropping the level of intensity which had served them well. As for Dunnamaggin, they switched their ace player Willie Phelan to full-forward where he proved to be quite a handful. Phelan won a 35th minute penalty for his side, but Rangers escaped as he failed to connect properly and sent the sliotar over the bar.
Phelan did have better luck from a twenty metre free on 50 minutes, however, as he rattled the roof of the net. Still, it was too little too late for Dunnamaggin as Rangers defence held firm. The Barrow Rangers scoring rate dropped dramatically in this second half but five points, all from the stick of Dermot Maher, were enough to see them comfortably through.
Kevin and Sean McDonald together with John Kealy formed an outstanding last line of defence for Rangers, ably assisted by Patrick Purcell, Martin Bambrick, Dermot Maher and Michael Whitely. For Dunnamaggin none tried harder than Matthew Moylan, Tom Maher, Willie Phelan, Peter Keneally, Liam McCormack and second half substitute Brendan Moore.
Barrow Rangers - Ian Holden, Kevin McDonald, John Kealy, Sean McDonald, William Hennessy, Patrick Purcell, Ciaran Doyle, Martin Dormer (0-1), Jason Holden (0-1), Martin Bambrick (1-0), Derek McEvoy, Dermot Maher (0-9), Cathal English (1-2), Thomas Brennan (0-1), Michael Whitely (1-1). Subs: Tom Brennan, Shane McEvoy, David Staunton, Kevin Brennan, Paddy Barcoe.
Dunnamaggin - Andrew O’Neill, Anthony Kearney, Aidan O’Donovan, Matthew Moylan, Liam Hughes, Andrew Hickey, Liam Moylan, Willie Phelan (1-3), Tom Maher (0-4), Peter Keneally, Seamus Power, Bill McCormack (0-1), Niall Lahart, Paul Kirwan, Ciaran Fennelly. Subs: Brendan Moore, Willie Kearney, Donal O’Shea.
Referee - Maurice Flynn (Mooncoin).