Tyrrell bags magic goal to help Reds to vital win!
Knockananna 1-13 Barndarrig 0-13
Tight games are often decided by moments of magic and that's not a bad way to begin this report on a very decent battle between Knockananna and Barndarrig in a must-win Boom Platform Hire Junior 'A' Football Championship clash played in Joule Park, Aughrim, last Sunday afternoon.
The moment arrived early in the second half but it was a score that seemed to knock the stuffing out of Barndarrig and it propelled Knockananna into a three-point lead at a very important stage in the game.
Before we get to that moment of magic, it's important to say what a difference a week makes in terms of Knockananna and their overall approach and demeanor compared to the previous week when they succumbed fairly meekly to the Valleymount challenge at the same venue.
Gone was the complacency and apparent lack of interest, and in their stead were enthusiasm and a sense of purpose which Barndarrig found quite hard to combat at times with Eugene O'Brien's men creating a number of goal chances and only the fine goalkeeping of Jamie Roe keeping them at bay. That is until 120 seconds into the second half.
A week previous to this moment, corner-forward Kevin Tyrrell looked like he'd rather be dipping sheep than looking to tear holes in the opposition's last line of defence. At one stage during the Valleymount game, Tyrrell could be seen standing dead still on the 21 with his arms folded like a man at the back of the chapel at Sunday mass, half dying with desire for the priest to get to the communion so he could hightail it for a cure.
But last Sunday was different. Tyrrell was looking like he was in the zone. Anyone that knows Junior football in Wicklow will know of the potential of Kevin Tyrrell and when he's on form he's a pure headache for a corner-back.
Derek 'Shamrock' Kavanagh gathers the ball close to the half-way line on the dressing room side of Joule Park, Aughrim, from a pass from the hard-working Declan Whelan and after good work by Paddy Byrne. Kavanagh turns for goal but fumbles the ball but manages to gather it again. He takes a quick look up and wallops a long ball into a slight gap in the Barndarrig defence and it's on the way to Johnny Devereux and Tyrrell. Tyrrell watches it hop and knows the craic. Devereux commits but it's a disastrous decision and the ball is gone over his flailing hand and into the very uncrossed arms of Tyrrell. He still has work to do. Jamie Roe is approaching and he's proved to be equal to whatever Knockananna have thrown at him so far.
Out comes Roe. Tyrrell looks up, his thought processes functioning at a higher level, and he dinks the ball over Roe and it's in the back of the net. Beautiful.
It takes a certain kind of player to be able to produce that bit of magic in such a brief flash of time and Kevin Tyrrell is exactly that kind of player.
It's an enjoyable game so far for what was a very disappointing crowd of spectators. The sides were level at the break at 0-07 apiece.
Things were looking very promising for Barndarrig after 11 minutes when the led by 0-04 to 0-01 with points coming from Paddy Byrne, Jimmy Waldron and two Michael Murphy converted frees. Knockananna's lone point had come from the boot of Derek Kavanagh from a free not long after centre-half back Paddy Byrne had almost cracked the crossbar of Jamie Roe's goal with a rocket of a shot that the Barndarrig keeper got his fingertips to somehow; Byrne having been set free by a dinky little pass from a seemingly born-again Keith Corrigan.
Knockananna were creating goal chances and Johnny Wybrant pointed from one such opportunity and this was followed by points from Kevin Tyrrell and another Kavanagh free to tie the scores.
Wides were beginning to appear on the horizon as a potential problem for Barndarrig at this stage, while Knockananna lost corner-back Michael Byrne to injury with 16 gone but they took the lead on 20 minutes thanks to another Kavanagh free but Jimmy Waldron levelled matters again with a fine effort from play.
Kavanagh and Richard Sheane traded points and Michael Murphy and the aforementioned Kavanagh made it 0-07 apiece at the end of the first half with Johnny Wybrant bringing an excellent save out of Roe in between those two final scores.
Kevin Tyrrell's goal was answered very well by Barndarrig, with points from Sheane and Murphy either side of a point from Tyrrell that was made possible by an exquisite dummy by the talented corner-forward.
A superb score from Eddie Bracken was followed by a lovely score from Garry Bradley and when Tyrrell added another, things were looking very good for Eugene O'Brien's men at 1-11 to 0-09 with 42 minutes played.
Barndarrig's Martin Cullen started to make his presence felt at this stage and he would bag two fine scores over the next six minutes with a Jimmy Waldron effort in between while Lorcan Tyrrell split the Barndarrig defence wide open but decided to blaze over rather than go for the jugular, 1-12 to 0-12 with 49 on the clock.
A Michael Murphy free left Knockananna ahead by two points and that's how it teetered for the last few moments until Derek 'Shamrock' Kavanagh gathered possession in the spills of rain out near the sideline and in a moment of footballing beauty the former Aughrim star let loose with a mighty effort off the outside of his right boot and it flew straight and true over the black spot to return Knockananna to a three-point lead.
Barndarrig would come calling and Michael Murphy would win a free off Padraig Lancaster but his effort flew wide and Pat Hickey sounded the final whistle on John Farrell's resulting kick out.
A decent display from Knockananna.
They are far from the finished article but in Padraig Lancaster, Paddy Byrne, Garrry Bradley, Derek Kavanagh, Kevin Tyrrell and Johnny Wybrant to name but a few they will cause plenty of problems.
They face Laragh next in a winner take all clash with Decky Byrne's men.
Scorers - Knockananna: Derek Kavanagh 0-06 (5f), Kevin Tyrrell 1-03, Johnny Wybrant 0-01, Edward Bracken 0-01, Gary Bradley 0-01, Lorcan Tyrrell 0-01. Barndarrig: Michael Murphy 0-05 (5f), Jimmy Waldron 0-03, Richard Sheane 0-02, Martin Cullen 0-02, Paddy Byrne 0-01.
Knockananna: John Farrell; Michael Byrne, Padraig Lancaster, Paddy O'Keeffe; Alan Byrne, Paddy Byrne, Keith Corrigan; Declan 'Rana' Whelan, Gary Bradley; Edward Bracken, Lorcan Tyrrell, Derek Kavanagh; Kevin Tyrrell, Johnny Wybrant, Darren Flynn. Subs: Arron O'Neill for M Byrne (inj), Tristan Maher for A Byrne.
Barndarrig: Jamie Roe; Johnny Devereux, James Cullen, Kevin Cullen; Jacques McCall, Martin Cullen, Shane Whelan; Paul Ryan, Michael Cullen; Nicky Sinnott, Jimmy Waldron, Philip Kinsella; Paddy Byrne, Michael Murphy, Richard Sheane. Subs:
Referee: Pat Hickey