Glynn-Barntown 3-10 Naomh Eanna 0-9
Glynn-Barntown laid down an immediate marker and never looked back on their home soil of Killurin on Saturday when two early goals provided the basis for a commanding ten-point win over Naomh Eanna in the Greenstar Under-21 football Premier 'A' championship semi-final.
The victors will have to plan their Christmas shopping around Jim McGovern's training schedule as they now await the outcome of next weekend's second penultimate round clash between Gusserane and St. Martin's.
And they wasted no time asserting their authority against a side seeking to match their feat in hurling, with the visitors having contested the Premier 'A' decider in early September.
Midfielder Daniel Carroll's accurate foot passing was one of the main features of the Glynn-Barntown display, and he sprayed a telling early ball into the right corner.
Ben O'Shea popped the last pass to Jack Brazzill who raced in before drilling low to the net with a mere 30 seconds on the clock.
Kevin Mahoney followed up with a point from a James Stafford off-load and, although Seán Delaney hit back with what proved to be the first of only three Gorey scores from play, their final bid was about to be dealt another telling blow.
When full-forward Matthew Joyce swung his boot at a loose ball around the square and widened the gap to 2-1 to 0-1, it established a platform that Glynn-Barntown never looked like surrendering.
Naomh Eanna competed manfully for the remainder of the half, with most of their positive moves initiated by hard-working isolated player Niall Hughes from Kilanerin.
Indeed, they out-pointed the locals 5-4 to edge slightly closer by half-time (2-5 to 0-6), with Hughes hitting four points, three from placed balls, after midfield partner Jack Cullen had split the posts initially from a free.
Aaron Kehoe (play), Matthew Joyce, Daniel Carroll and Kehoe (free) added to Glynn-Barntown's tally, although they did have one close shave in the 23rd minute.
Aodhán Doyle's lob goalwards was palmed towards the corner of the net by Eoin McGuckin, but defender David Roche made a timely clearance at the expense of a '45 that Niall Hughes converted.
The loss of Doyle to a black card in the 25th minute didn't help the Gorey cause either, and they didn't make any inroads in a stop-start scoreless third quarter marred by petty squabbling.
The barren period was eventually broken by a pointed Aaron Kehoe free to stretch the Glynn-Barntown lead to six, and Naomh Eanna then shipped a double blow that removed any doubt regarding the outcome.
Centre-back Eoin Molloy knocked Kehoe to the ground after that score, and it led to his second yellow. The first was collected in unusual circumstances when the duo were booked before the game started after referee Fintan O'Reilly spotted some mutual pushing and shoving.
The 14 men were still trying to work out how to cope with the loss of their defensive pivot when netminder Cillian Donohoe couldn't hold a high ball in from Jack Brazzill, and substitute Ciarán Joyce was on hand to knock the break to the net (3-6 to 0-6).
The goalscorer later delivered a fine pass to his first cousin, Matthew, for the last Glynn-Barntown point from play, with Brazzill and Matthew (twice) also registering from frees.
The hard-trying Niall Hughes also kicked over another brace of placed balls, but Gorey's problems were summed up by the fact that the last of a mere two points from play by the starting forward line didn't arrive until the last minute, courtesy of Charlie McGuckin.
Cruciate ligament victim Michael Molloy was a big loss in that department, but credit must go to the tight-marking winners' defence expertly marshalled by sturdy captain David Clarke at full-back.
This Glynn-Barntown team lost the corresponding Wexford People Minor Premier final to Fethard by six points three years ago, but they are now just one hour away from adding to their previous top flight Under-21 successes of 2008, 2011 and 2012.
They haven't been back in a decider since that victory five years ago when St. Anne's were seen off at the second attempt in Clongeen, so they will relish this opportunity to end 2017 on a high note.
Glynn-Barntown: Matt Doyle; Ger Dempsey, David Clarke (capt.), David Roche; James Stafford, Stephen Lyne, Matthew Banville; Kevin Mahoney (0-1), Daniel Carroll (0-1); Frankie Hynes, Aaron Kehoe (0-3, 2 frees), Fionn Cooney; Jack Brazzill (1-1, 0-1 free), Matthew Joyce (1-4, 0-2 frees), Ben O'Shea. Subs. - Ian Moran for O'Shea (HT), Dylan Lyne for Moran, inj. (39), Ciarán Joyce (1-0) for Hynes (42), John Lacey for Brazzill (53), Michael Carroll for D. Carroll (56).
Naomh Eanna: Cillian Donohoe; Seamus O'Donnell, Daniel Sunderland (capt.), Shane Stokes; Aodhán Doyle, Eoin Molloy, Gary Molloy; Niall Hughes (0-6, 4 frees, 1 '45), Jack Cullen (0-1 free); Kevin Harrington, Darragh Hughes, Jack Cushe; Eoin McGuckin, Charlie McGuckin (0-1), Seán Delaney (0-1). Subs. - Nathan Byrne for Doyle, black card (26), Ross Murphy for E. McGuckin (50), Alan McPartlan for Cushe (60).
Referee: Fintan O'Reilly (Kilmore).