Barrow blitz sees Rangers advance

Barrow Rangers 4-20

Barrow Rangers 4-20

James Stephens 0-5

A STRONG display from start to finish saw Barrow Rangers (Paulstown) advance to the final four of the Northern under-21 Roinn A championship.

From the time Richard Doyle goaled from a 60 metre line ball in the fourth minute, Rangers were always in control against an out of sorts James Stephens in Bennettsbridge on Saturday. They hammered that point home in style, holding the city side scoreless until the 35th minute.

Propelled by Doyle’s goal, Cathal Kenny and Cathal English added points before Jason Holden finished off a brilliant three man movement with a goal on 13 minutes. Holden (2) and Michael Whitely added excellent points to stretch their lead.

With the Doyle brothers, Richie and Ciaran, and Tom Brennan forming an extremely solid half-back line, very little ball got through to the Rangers posts. When it did, Damien Barcoe was there to make a great save and dash James Stephens’ hopes of fighting their way back into the game.

Worse was to follow for the Village as Rangers grabbed another goal before half-time. A brilliant one-two between Jason Holden and Michael Whitely carved the city side open, Holden adding the final touch when he blasted the sliotar to the net. Cathal Kenny added four more points, leaving Rangers well in control at the break (3-10 to 0-0).

Rangers started the new half as they had finished the first, shooting points thanks to Holden, English and Kenny. Jack McGrath registered the Village’s first score with a pointed free, but that was wiped out when a 60 metre shot from Michael Whitely went all the way to the net ten minutes into the new half.

Robbie Hayes had James Stephens’ only score from play before Cathal Kenny and Jack McGrath exchanged points from frees. Rangers added six more points from Kenny (3), Thomas Brennan (2) and Martin Bambrick to which McGrath replied with two pointed frees. Barrow Rangers will now play Dicksboro with a place in the Northern final at stake.

Barrow Rangers - Damien Barcoe, John Brennan, Kevin Brennan, Sean McDonald, Ciaran Doyle, Richie Doyle (1-0), Tom Brennan, Cathal Kenny (0-10), Martin Bambrick (0-1), Michael Whitely (1-0), Thomas Whitely, Cathal English (0-3), Jason Holden (2-4), Thomas Brennan (0-2), Daniel O’Neill. Sub: Edward Prendergast.

James Stephens - James O’Shea, Conor Doyle, Ian Hayes, Paddy Duggan, Luke Hickey, David Hennessy, Darren Evans, Colm Dowling, Ben Lahart, Jack McGrath (0-4), Declan McQuillan, Robbie Hayes (0-1), Derek O’Brien, Paul Lynch, James Fox. Subs: Shane O’Neill, Tim Kealy-Brennan, Brian Howe, Eoin Cornally.

Referee - Shem Gibbons (Young Irelands).