Barrow Rangers 1-8
CLEVER use of possession despite a numerical disadvantage saw Windgap get the better of Barrow Rangers (Paulstown) to nab the junior hurling league/championship points.
Early visitors to Paulstown on Sunday predicted a game of two wind swept one-sided halves as supporters, selectors and mentors all eventually flocked to the City sideline for shelter.
A measure of the strength of the breeze soon became apparent, not least for the opposing ’keepers. Rangers’ Ian Holden in the country goal struggled to get the ball past his 70 yard line, while an early puck-out from Windgap netminder James Murray in the village goal went wide at the other end with yards to spare.
With Windgap hopes depending on an early lead Dermot Maher dented their ambition as he pointed the home side ahead from a free in the first minute. However, by the fifth minute Windgap were 1-2 to 0-1 ahead as Cian Ryan pointed a free and Eoin Cody added another point from play. The goal came from Eamon Hawe, who was first to react after Eoin Cody’s cross was smacked off the post by Niall Doran.
With Richard Doyle dominating at centre-back Windgap’s momentum slowed. Barrow Rangers raised the siege and began to control the game, only to strike five wides. In this period Windgap added only a solitary score from Tommy Lonergan who had moved to curb Doyle’s influence.
Scoring then recommenced in earnest in the 20th minute, as Eoin Cody finished a long puck-out to the Barrow Rangers net. A quick reply from Thomas Whitley to reduce the lead saw Eoin Cody and Tommy Fleming reply for Windgap when they added a point apiece.
Two further long range frees from Cian Ryan shot Windgap 2-7 to 0-3 ahead, before Dermot Maher added his fourth point on the stroke of half-time to slice another score off the deficit (2-7 to 0-4).
Barrow Rangers went back on the attack immediately after the restart, with a point from Cathal Kenny narrowing Windgap’s lead. However the Paulstown side recorded another five successive wides before Thomas Whitley goaled for them after a long range free was only partly cleared.
The game was in the melting pot when Dermot Maher from a free and two fine Cathal Murray efforts left two points between the sides (2-7 to 1-8) after 50 minutes.
When Windgap were reduced to 14 men after Tommy Lonergan received a second yellow card Windgap’s goose looked cooked as there was still ten minutes to play. However, after an injury delay Windgap’s better use of their puck-out saw them tack on two points through Cian Ryan (free) and Niall Doran to give them a breather on a 2-9 to 1-8 scoreline.
In the final flourish of a game where both sides learned a lot Cian Ryan added a point from play and a free to give his side a 2-11 to 1-8 victory.
Best for Windgap were defenders, Vincent Landy, Noel Power and J.J. Phelan while Eoin Cody and Cian Ryan, particularly from frees, fared well up front. For Barrow Rangers Eddie Doyle was ably assisted by Cathal Kenny and Dermot Maher.
Windgap - James Murray, Vincent Landy, Noel Power, Matthew Enright, Gerard Purcell, J.J. Phelan, David Power, Aidan Mackey, Cian Ryan (0-6, 0-5 frees), Tommy Lonergan (0-1), Tommy Fleming (0-1), James Mackey, Eamon Hawe (1-0), Niall Doran (0-1), Eoin Cody (1-2). Subs: Shane Walsh, Brendan Power.
Barrow Rangers - Ian Holden, Kevin McDonald, John Kealy, Tom Brennan, Jason Holden, Richard Doyle, Sean McDonald, Cathal Kenny (0-3), Shane McEvoy, Dermot Maher (0-4), Thomas Brennan, Martin Bambrick, Thomas Whitley (1-1), Cathal English, Ciaran Doyle. Subs: Stephen Dormer, William Henessesy, Martin Dormer.
Referee - Shem Gibbons (Young Irelands).