This was a real good win for Barrow Rangers (Paulstown) in the junior hurling league played on bitterly cold Friday
evening on their home patch. They were forced to line out without two of their shining stars, Richie Doyle and Cathal Kenny, losses that hurt, but still they triumphed.
Windgap had first use of the breeze, but their shooting, particularly during the initial third, left much to be desired.
That statistic probably afforded the home side the mental freedom of playing themselves into the game, and improve their confidence levels.
In fact, they had 1-1 on the scoreboard before Windgap even troubled the score-keeper. Ciaran Doyle shot an early Paulstown point in the fourth minute, and then a brilliantly hit sideline ball by one of the winners star men, Jason Holden was allowed career straight to the Windgap net, without any impediment being offered to its progress.
The Barrow Rangers could not have wished for a better start to the campaign.
However, four smashing points by Cian Ryan (two frees), William Phelan and Tommy Lonergan brought the Windgap effort alongside the home side by the 15th minute, but again, that man Holden stretched the ’Rangers into a winning slot with two great points from play by the 22nd minute.
Prior to Holden’s efforts, the surging Windgap had four grand chances of points from play, but all were squandered.
Quite obviously, such wastage of chances is not a winning recipe for success.
Conor Lonergan narrowed the gap to a point by the 27th minute, and that was how things finished at the break, even though points by Cian Ryan and Philly Lonergan were nullified by like scores from Doyle and Cathal
English: Barrow Rangers 1-5, Windgap 0-7.
With the wind on their backs, Barrow Rangers tore through the Windgap defences early.
Two golden goal chances went abegging before Martin Bambrick settled the bobbing ship with a point in the 38 th minute. Ciarán Doyle added three unanswered, clever frees to stretch the advantage to 5 points by the 47th minute.
Windgap were visibly wilting. Cian Ryan and Bambrick swapped points by the 49th minute, and in the 51st minute, centre-back, Philly Lonergan narrowed the gap to four points with a long-range free. That score was a cathylist to heavy, and continuous pressure from the Windgap men. Goal chances fell to James Murray and Niall Walsh, but were spurned.
The Paulstown defence was practically bullet proof. They were not for turning. Doyle and Cian Ryan exchanged points by the 56th minute. No change in the differential. Inside the final few minutes, points by Ciarán Doyle and Tom Whitely secured a win that was not as easy as the score might suggest.
It was a good start for the men in blue, but Windgap will learn, work harder, and win more than they will lose before this season is much older.
Barrow Rangers had fine performers in Kevin Brennan, Ciarán Breen, Ed Prendergast, Jason Holden, Martin Bambrick in the second half, Ciarán Doyle, and Cathal English.
For Windgap, their defenders were good, while Tom, and Conor Lonergan tried very hard.
Scorers: Barrow Rangers - Ciarán Doyle (0-7, five frees); Jason Holden (1-2); Martin Bambrick (0-2); Cathal English, Tom Whitely (0-1 each). Windgap - Cian Ryan (0-5, frees); Phil Lonergan (0-2, one free); William Phelan, Tom Lonergan, Conor Lonergan (0-1 each).
Barrow Rangers - Ian Holden, Kevin Brennan, John Kealy, Sean McDonald, Ciaran Brennan, Edward Prendergast, Pat Purcell, Martin Bambrick, Jason Holden, Shane McEvoy, Ciaran Doyle, Tom Whitely, Tom Brennan, Cathal English, Ger Walsh. Subs - Michael Whitely.
Windgap - Aidan Mackey, Shane Walsh, Peter Landy, Dara O’Shea, William Phelan, Phil Lonergan, Adrian Landy, Ger Purcell, Conor Lonergan, Cian Ryan, Tom Lonergan, Tom Fleming, Pauric Walsh, James Murray, Michael Power. Subs - Niall Walsh, Matt Enright.
Referee - R.Byrne (Glenmore).