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Goals galore for Naomh Éanna as they breeze past Glynn-Barntown in Wexford Senior hurling championship

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Charlie McGuckin (Naomh Éanna) darting away from Cormac Cooney (Glynn-Barntown), with Pádraig Doyle on hand to offer support.

Charlie McGuckin (Naomh Éanna) darting away from Cormac Cooney (Glynn-Barntown), with Pádraig Doyle on hand to offer support.

Charlie McGuckin (Naomh Éanna) darting away from Cormac Cooney (Glynn-Barntown), with Pádraig Doyle on hand to offer support.

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Naomh Éanna 4-19 Glynn-Barntown 0-21

NAOMH ÉANNA have hit upon the happy knack of scoring goals, and it singles them out as one of the teams most likely to succeed after the opening two rounds of the Pettitt’s Senior hurling championship.

Their second successive Group A win was achieved at the expense of Glynn-Barntown in a high-octane and very enjoyable encounter in Bellefield on Sunday, and already they have netted seven times.

Contrast that with their opponents here who have yet to raise a green flag, although that didn’t deter them from beating Faythe Harriers in their opening encounter five days before.

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However, the goal-getting instinct and finishing ability of the Gorey side was the key difference in this high-scoring tie, with team captain Conor McDonald leading the way once again.

After delivering 2-1 against Cloughbawn, he upped the stakes with an impressive 2-3 haul here in a game that produced a remarkably similar scoreline to Tuesday: 4-19 to 0-21, after it finished 3-20 to 0-21 earlier in the week.

One obvious shortcoming from the Naomh Éanna viewpoint is the number of points they are conceding from frees – 18 in total thus far – but if they can address that issue they will undoubtedly be one of the leading contenders.

Young Cathal Stokes has slotted in seamlessly to their half-back line, while Jack Doran was a real ball of energy at midfield and contributed a superb four points from play.

The game had just passed the 80-second mark when Gorey goaled for the first time. Cian Molloy did well to win a 50-50 race for possession just ahead of Murtagh Joyce, and he had Conor McDonald on his left shoulder to apply a batted finish past county colleague Mark Fanning at the scoreboard end.

However, Glynn-Barntown gave as good as they got after that early setback, although they were frustrated when Matthew Joyce and Rowan White had shots on goal blocked in quick succession.

Still, the wind-aided Wexford District side only trailed by 1-4 to 0-6 at the end of the first quarter, with White, busy midfielder Darragh Carley, Shane Wilde and White again all on target from play.

Centre-back Jack Cullen nailed one from distance for Naomh Éanna, with free-taker Pádraig Doyle also prominent before McDonald produced a few seconds of breathtaking skill in the 17th minute.

Controlling a Charlie McGuckin pass on his hurl, he then sold county colleague David Clarke a delicious dummy before pointing directly off his stick for a 1-5 to 0-6 lead.

It was magical stuff, and he had even more to offer in the 26th minute.

Pádraig Doyle’s ball in found him to the right of goal, and he managed to squeeze his shot in at the near post despite the best efforts of Mark Fanning (2-6 to 0-8).

It was 2-9 to 0-11 at the interval, with the lightning pace never relenting as points by Brendan Doyle, Craig Doyle and Darragh Carley for Glynn-Barntown were matched by J.J. Twamley and a Jack Doran brace.

Free-taker John Leacy responded twice to scores from Pádraig Doyle and Cian Browne on the restart before a route one delivery led to the vitally important third Gorey goal in the 34th minute.

Cian Molloy gathered possession and handpassed to his right for county Under-20 colleague J.J. Twamley to apply a clinical finish (3-11 to 0-13).

The gap didn’t drop below six points at any stage thereafter, but Glynn-Barntown kept plugging away with scores and it was certainly no stroll in the sun for the eventual victors.

Conor McDonald (two), Charlie McGuckin (two), Cian Browne and Jack Doran all reeled off good points for the leaders, while John Leacy’s frees were embellished by David Clarke and substitute Matt Doyle at the other end.

Another replacement, Daragh Murphy, had Glynn-Barntown’s best goal chance in the 45th minute, with the play brought back after his low drive missed the target for a placed ball converted by Leacy.

The direct route paid off once again for Naomh Éanna’s fourth goal, 20 seconds into additional time. Jack Cushe drove his puck-out downfield after the 17th Glynn-Barntown wide (the winners had ten), and the break fell perfectly for Aodhán Doyle who enjoyed a clear run at the posts before giving Mark Fanning no chance.

Naomh Éanna: Jack Cushe; Eoin Conroy, Eoin Molloy, Tom Stafford; Cathal Stokes, Jack Cullen (0-1), Seán Doyle; Jack Doran (0-4), Aodhán Doyle (1-0); Conor McDonald (capt., 2-3), Pádraig Doyle (0-6, 5 frees), Charlie McGuckin (0-2); J.J. Twamley (1-1), Cian Molloy, Cian Browne (0-2). Sub. – Darragh Hughes for C. Molloy (50).

Glynn-Barntown: Mark Fanning; Pádraig Donnelly, Murtagh Joyce, Ger Dempsey; Craig Doyle (0-1), Michael O’Regan, David Clarke (capt., 0-1); Darragh Carley (0-2), Brendan Doyle (0-1); Shane Wilde (0-1), Rowan White (0-2), Cormac Cooney; Matthew Joyce, John Leacy (0-12, 10 frees, 2 ’65s), Michael Doyle. Subs. – Daragh Murphy for Cooney (43), Matt Doyle (0-1) for Matthew Joyce (45), Kevin Crean for Carley, inj. (54).

Referee: John O’Loughlin (Monageer-Boolavogue).


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