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Permanent TSB Junior 'A' Hurling Championship Final: Glynn-Barntown 1-9 Kilmore 1-8
It was tight and it was tense for the second week running in the Permanent TSB Junior 'A' hurling championship final in Bellefield on Sunday, but Glynn-Barntown just about got over the line in a low-scoring replay despite shooting a string of first-half wides.
It looked like Kilmore would force extra-time at least given that the sides were level on six occasions in all, but there was heartbreak for the seasiders at the death when a brace of points from opportunist captain J.J. Doyle gave Glynn-Barntown a vital cushion.
And although substitute Noel Casey narrowed the deficit to the minimum in added time, Kilmore couldn't conjure another chance as their bid to add this title to the Junior 'B' championship won four years ago came up agonisingly short.
Glynn-Barntown know full well what it's like to fall at the final hurdle, having bowed to Naomh Eanna (after a replay) and St. Martin's in the final of this grade in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
It meant that relief was one of the over-riding emotions as they celebrated making it third time lucky, with veterans Tommy Kehoe and P.J. Carley skewing the average age of an otherwise youthful team on an afternoon when both had huge roles to play.
Kilmore opted to field with just two inside attackers throughout, and this meant that netminder Kehoe and full-back Carley were frequently on the ball.
Indeed, the seasiders even conceded the majority of Glynn-Barntown puck-outs to their rivals, with Kehoe opting to go short more often than not and generally picking out a colleague with ease.
The first-half shooting in the drawn game had been wayward, and it was no different this time around in a very poor opening 30 minutes featuring the grand total of twelve Glynn-Barntown wides, and five for Kilmore.
Indeed, the quality of finishing was so low that the score stood at 1-2 apiece at the break, with both teams only managing a goal plus a point each from play.
Matt Doyle gave Glynn-Barntown the lead from a free in the seventh minute, and he used his catching ability and power to add a well-taken goal at the scoreboard end.
One of the features of an otherwise very disappointing first period was the excellent fielding of veteran netminder Kehoe under pressure, and he was equal to the task when Tom White sailed a high ball goalwards in the eleventh minute.
His relieving clearance was plucked from the air by Doyle who made ground before giving Barry Sinnott no chance, but his side didn't register again for 16 minutes as those wides continued to flow.
J.J. Doyle did have another decent opportunity for a goal immediately after that green flag when he latched on to a Matthew Joyce cross, but a defender did just about enough to put him off and his effort veered to the right of the posts.
Kilmore finally got off the mark at the start of the second quarter when Tom Byrne latched on to a pulled Glynn-Barntown clearance and returned it over the bar with interest (1-1 to 0-1).
They deployed young Criostóir Reville as an extra body around the middle third, and were hoping that the physical presence of Paddy Byrne at full-forward would yield scores even though he was outnumbered two to one.
And while the former county footballer was held scoreless, a route one ball did yield an equalising goal from another source in the 27th minute.
Reville's delivery broke to Rob Cousins, and he kept his composure to kick the sliothar to the net on a day when the scorer and Philly Sutton came into the starting side in place of the holidaying Denis Kenny and the suspended Páraic Reville.
Aaron Kielty moved from corner-forward to corner-back to cover for the absent Kenny, while there was onee change in personnel for Glynn-Barntown as Colm Moore replaced Kevin Mahoney.
The Killurin-based side responded quickly to that goal when Matt Doyle handpassed to J.J. Doyle whose shot deflected off a back and went over the bar, but it was 1-2 each at the break after a foul on Paddy Byrne led to a pointed Tom White free in the 29th minute.
Kilmore resumed on a bright note as Byrne placed Rob Cousins for the lead point before another White free made it 1-4 to 1-2 in the 34th minute.
A change of Glynn-Barntown free-taker saw Aaron Kehoe respond from his first placed ball, and Matthew Joyce then brought the sides level again from a good Darragh Nolan pass.
Kehoe earned and converted another placed ball, only for White to penalise a push on Paddy Byrne as the sides headed for the last quarter still deadlocked (1-5 each).
Byrne moved to centre-forward with Aaron Goff drifting closer to the opposition goal, but Kilmore didn't deploy a three-man inside line at any stage even when wind-aided after the break.
A neat delivery into the right corner resulted in a solo point for J.J. Doyle in the 48th minute, but Glynn-Barntown couldn't shake off their rivals as White hit back following yet another foul on Paddy Byrne (1-6 each).
Aaron Kehoe and White swapped further points, before an ill-advised line ball struck backwards from an attacking position on the right didn't come off for Kilmore.
Instead, it was intercepted by Glynn-Barntown and Matt Doyle raced into space before placing J.J. Doyle to ease his side into a 1-8 to 1-7 lead with just over four minutes of the 60 left.
White missed a scoreable free after a late tackle on Tom Byrne for Kilmore's ninth and last wide (their rivals finished with 15).
And, given that nothing really divided the teams over the two games, the two-point margin that Glynn-Barntown created in the 59th minute was absolutely precious.
Matthew Banville's delivery was caught by Matt Doyle who handpassed to J.J. Doyle and, although his shot produced a marvellous save from Barry Sinnott, the captain was able to sweep the rebound over the bar (1-9 to 1-7).
A point from substitute Noel Casey nearly 90 seconds later left Kilmore chasing one more to force extra-time, but the last opportunity arose at the other end instead.
A scoring attempt from the right by Matthew Joyce was batted over the endline by netminder Sinnott and, although Aaron Kehoe mis-hit the '65, the full-time whistle blew before centre-back Tommy Cousins had an opportunity to drive it downfield and perhaps create one last chance for parity.
Glynn-Barntown: Tommy Kehoe; David Roche, P.J. Carley, Matthew Banville; Shane Doyle, Cormac Rowe, Ger Dempsey; Colm Moore, Jack Brazill; Aaron Kehoe (0-3 frees), Matt Doyle (1-1, 0-1 free), Rioghan Crosbie; J.J. Doyle (capt., 0-4), Matthew Joyce (0-1), Cormac Cooney. Subs. - Darragh Nolan for Cooney (29), Michael Moran-Curran for Roche (37), Kevin Mahoney for Moore (51), Jamie O'Shea for Crosbie (60+1), also Michael Kearney, Conor Clarke, Niall Whitty, Paschal Carley, Bill Joyce, John O'Flynn, John Lacey, Daniel O'Regan, Jimmer Doyle.
Kilmore: Barry Sinnott; Shane Goff (joint capt.), Stevie Cousins, Aaron Kielty; Conor Moore, Tommy Cousins, Daithí Moore; Tom White (0-5 frees), Tom Byrne (0-1); Rob Cousins (1-1), Philly Sutton, Aaron Goff (joint capt.); Criostóir Reville, Paddy Byrne, Mark Sinnott. Subs. - Noel Casey (0-1) for Sutton (45), also Graham Mernagh, Damian Rossiter, Seán Hogan, Willie Carley, Kevin Keating, Thomas Kinsella, Dylan Jones, Denis Kenny, Páraic Reville.
Referee: Joe Kelly (Naomh Eanna).