Clinical Glynn seals title for The Village
IT was all too easy for championship specialists Rathnew as 'The Village' retained their title with an eight-point win over Baltinglass at Aughrim yesterday.
After the final whistle, Rathnew followers were particularly toasting the health of International Rules ace Leighton Glynn, who shot 2-2 of his side's total.
Despite operating in a very deep-lying role in the first half, when Rathnew faced the wind, Glynn, wearing the No 15 jersey, ventured sufficiently far upfield to lash home the first goal on 13 minutes.
And 17 minutes into the second half, Glynn put the game effectively out of Baltinglass's reach, when Mark Doyle was fouled and he steered the resulting penalty into the right corner of the net.
In addition to his brace of goals, Glynn also helped himself to two points from play.
Any hope the west county side -- who trailed by 0-3 to 1-2 at half-time -- had of capturing their first title since 2007 was killed off when midfielder Mikey English was sent off on 41 minutes after picking up a second yellow card.
"I thought that the second yellow card on Mikey was very harsh," remarked Baltinglass manager Tommy Murphy, whose side played with only five forwards for most of the contest. "But I have no complaints with the penalty, as it was a stonewall case."
Referee Declan Peppard had brandished five yellow cards -- four to Rathnew -- in the first half, and just before the final whistle John McGrath, Baltinglass' best forward, received a straight red card for allegedly raising his foot.
Understandably, Rathnew manager Harry Murphy was delighted with the quality of his side's performance.
"I thought that they (Baltinglass) were greatly flattered by the final scoreline," remarked Murphy, who has now guided his club to seven county titles.
"They weren't really at the races at all, and I thought their tactics were very negative (playing with a sweeper) when they had the wind in the first half.
"I was very happy when we were two points up at half-time, and once we scored from the penalty in the second half there was no way back for them."
SCORERS -- Rathnew: L Glynn 2-2 (1-0 pen), S Kavanagh, T Gill (0-2f) 0-2 each, N Mernagh, J Merrigan 0-1 each; Baltinglass: J McGrath 0-3 (0-2f, 1 '45'), J Kelly 0-2 (0-2f), H Synnott 0-1.
RATHNEW -- P Dignam; D Franey, D Power, C Healy; S Byrne, S Canavan, E Glynn; J Stafford, S Kavanagh; B Mernagh, N Mernagh, P Merrigan; T Gill, M Doyle, L Glynn. Subs: P Ronan for P Merrigan (35), J Merrigan for B Mernagh (49).
BALTINGLASS -- K Quirke; R Nolan, A Nolan, I Sheerin; P Fleming, G Foley, B Cullen; T Murphy, M English; J Kelly, C Foley, J McGrath; H Synnott, P Burke, S Wall. Subs: J Sheerin for Wall (49), J Flynn for Murphy (56).
REF -- D Peppard (Hollywood).