Barrow Rangers 0-18, Windgap 1-6
Gallant Windgap came up a little short when faced by the powerful surge of Paulstown hurling in Paulstown on Friday evening in the Junior hurling league competition. They certainly tried as hard as their limited resources would allow, but they found the home side in an unforgiving mind-set as they charged towards the winning line with an awesome vigour.
Playing an outstanding game around the midfield, former County All Ireland minor winner, Cathal Kenny showed tremendous determination, and accuracy as he banged ten points between the Windgap posts, six of them from frees. But Kenny was not alone in his efforts, as he had able lieutenants in William Hennessy at corner back, and of course County senior man, Ritchie Doyle in the pivotal centre back position. Doyle was the rock on which many of the Windgap attacks foundered. His positioning, and control underlined his continuing progress, and it surely must act as a great sense of inspiration to his colleagues, who certainly seem to respond to his powerful catching and support game.
The Ranger’s forwards didn’t exactly find the Windgap defenders in a benevolent mood. They were forced to fight for any possession gleaned, and even though the final score would suggest that the win was an easy experience, the likes of Noel Power at full back, Aidan Mackey and Conor Lonergan on the half back line made life exceptionally difficult for their immediate Paulstown attackers.
The dominance of Kenny and Ciarán Doyle at midfield made life exceptionally difficult for their Windgap opponents, Tommy Fleming and Tommy Lonergan. That made life rather difficult for the Windgap forwards who were practically starved of any semblance of a decent service, coupled with the fact that the Paulstown defenders were no slouches when it came down to defending, and hoovering up any dangerous ball.
At half time, the Rangers led by 0-13 to 0-4.
Niall Doran had three of the Windgap points, two of them from placed balls. Seven of the Rangers points came from the hurley of Kenny, five of them from frees.
Two early frees from Doran in the new half gave the Windgap men a nudge of hope, but they were not to increase their point stake. Philly Lonergan came on for Windgap midway through the second half, and a 70-yard free by the stout-hearted Philly somehow ended up in the Paulstown net.
However the Rangers knuckled down with a renewed verve, and cruised home with points from Kenny, Cathal English and Michael Whiteley. More and more I am impressed with this young Barrow Rangers, and under PJ.Ryan they have an air of confidence, and youthful exuberance that would give them confidence and ambitions further down the championship road.
Barrow Rangers: Cathal Kenny (0-10, six frees); Cathal English, Michael Whitely, Diarmuid Maher (0-2 each); Ciarán Doyle, Martin Bambrick (0-1 each).
Windgap: Niall Doran (0-5, four frees); Phil Lonergan (1-0, free); James Murray (0-1).
Barrow Rangers: Graham English, Kevin Brennan, John Keady, William Hennessy, Thomas Whiteley, Ritchie Doyle, Edward Prendergast, Cathal Kenny, Ciarán Doyle, Aaron Nolan, Timmy Brennan, Martin Bambrick, Cathal English, Diarmuid Maher, Michael Whiteley.
Sub (used): Jason Holden.
Windgap: Michael Power, Matt Enright, Noel Power, Vinny Long, Aidan Mackey, Conor Lonergan, Sean Foley, Tommy Fleming, Tommy Lonergan, Cian Ryan, James Murray, Ger Purcell, Padraig Walsh, Niall Doran, Eamonn Hawe.
Subs (used); Peter Landy, Philly Lonergan, Walter Landy, William Phelan.