Magnificent Barryroe outgun fancied Charleville
By Noel Horgan - Southern Star
21st October 2007
WHAT a way to win a first county junior hurling title. Barryroe were absolutely magnificent last Sunday at Páirc Uí Chaoimh where they outgunned fancied Charleville to come out on top by a six-point margin which didn’t flatter them in the slightest.
Narrowly defeated by Dungourney at the semi-final stage last year, Barryroe were obviously a team worthy of considerable respect, and the fact that most pundits had come out strongly in favour of Charleville to prevail in this final made no sense whatsoever.
No doubt, it served as an additional motivating factor for the Carbery kingpins, and they certainly made a mockery of all predictions, serving up an awesome performance to which every member of the side made a decent contribution.
It contained several outstanding individual displays as well, most notably from Kevin McCarthy, Adrian White and Bernard O’Brien, not to mention Kieran Griffin, who finished up with a personal tally of 12 points, including four excellent scores from play and an exquisite effort from a sideline cut.
Charleville simply had no answer to Barryroe’s power, skill and all-round balance, although they briefly threatened to justify their pre-match rating when they hit the front for the first time three minutes into the second half.
A well-taken goal by centre forward John Quinlan pushed them 1-10 to 2-5 ahead at that juncture, and they were still two points to the good after midfielder Tadgh O’Callaghan replied to a converted free by Kieran Griffin two minutes later. But three spectacular points in rapid succession from Adrian White, wing forward Conor Hurley and Griffin put Barryroe back on course, and they tacked on six more before Charleville’s John Quinlan pointed a free to break the sequence in the 47th minute.
Barryroe almost bagged a goal as well during that devastating spell when Kieran Griffin unleashed a shot that was partially blocked by Charleville custodian Shane Carroll, and full back T. J. Crowley prevented the ball from trickling over the line.
As it was, Barryroe went on to stretch the gap to eight points before Charleville’s hopes were rekindled by a goal from full forward Mervyn Gammell in the 57th minute. That left just four between the sides, but Barryroe quickly put the issue beyond all doubt, with Kevin McCarthy landing a mighty point and Kieran Griffin firing over another from a 65 to complete the scoring.
It was by no means unfitting that McCarthy and Griffin landed the scores which sealed the deal for Barryroe, as they were arguably the two most influential players on view overall. McCarthy had a massive outing at midfield which he adorned with three superb points He got Barryroe off the mark in the second minute, and less than a minute later full forward Paudie Collins steered the ball home to punish a mistake by Charleville’s T. J. Crowley, who had failed to cut off a low delivery from centre forward Adrian Fleming.
Collins claimed his second goal in the 11th minute when he finished a lob from John O’Donovan to the net, and Denis Harrington quickly added a point to make it 2-3 to 0-3.
Such was the extent of the problems experienced by the Charleville full back line against O’Donovan, Collins and Harrington during the opening quarter that Barryroe looked likely to build up a commanding lead before the break. O’Donovan was particularly lively in the left corner, and it was no surprise that Charleville switched wing back Bryan Foley in an attempt to limit his influence entering the second quarter.
That move worked out well for the North Cork side, and, after Kieran Griffin pointed a free to leave Barryroe 2-4 to 0-4 to the good midway through the first half, they didn’t concede another score until Griffin, fed by Kevin McCarthy, found the target in stoppage time.
In the interim, Charleville had nibbled away at the deficit, courtesy of five consecutive points by John Quinlan from frees, some of which were questionable, and almost all of which had been needlessly conceded.
Quinlan was prominent too in general play, while the solid defending of Bryan Foley and centre back Des Fitzgerald, and the admirable industry of wing forward Daniel O’Flynn and especially midfielder Tadgh O’Callaghan were also instrumental in allowing Charleville to get back into contention.
Aside from ’keeper Shane Carroll, who brought off a good save from Ciaran Hurley towards the end of the first half, none of the other Charleville players really measured up during the opening period.
Flattered to go in at the break just two points in arrears, 2-5 to 0-9, Charleville made a positive start to the second half, with Quinlan slotting over a 65 which came about after he had brought the best out of Barryroe ’keeper Ger Keohane.
Keohane could do nothing to prevent Quinlan from rattling the net in the 32nd minute after Charleville’s ace marksman had grabbed a high ball, struck by Des Fitzgerald from a long-range free, at the edge of the square. That appeared to be just the boost which Charleville required to snatch the initiative, but Barryroe had others ideas, and they proceeded to raise their game to new heights during the third quarter.
Kevin McCarthy, with steady support from Ger Coleman, gave them a pronounced edge at midfield, Adrian White, who excelled at left wing back, and right wing forward Ciaran Hurley both thundered into the picture as well, while Kieran Griffin continued to avail of every opportunity that came his way on the opposite flank.
Adrian Fleming worked effectively too on the 40, as did Jason Fleming at the heart of a defence in which Gearoid O’Leary, Bernard O’Brien and Timmy Carroll rarely put a foot astray in the full back line.
In keeping Charleville’s highly-rated full forward Mervyn Gammell firmly in check, O’Brien did as much as anyone to smooth Barryroe’s path to victory, and Gammell’s goal near the end amounted to nothing more than a consolation score for the Avondhu champions, whose most consistent performer was defender Bryan Foley.
In truth, Barryroe held all the aces in the second half, and one would venture to suggest that their overall performance could be favourably compared with any served up in a county junior hurling decider down through the decades.
Scorers – Barryroe: K. Griffin 0-12, 0-8 frees, P. Collins 2-0, K. McCarthy 0-3, C. Hurley 0-2, D. Harrington and A. White 0-1 each. Charleville: J. Quinlan 1-9, 0-9 frees, M. Gammell 1-1, T. O’Callaghan 0-2, D. O’Flynn 0-1.
Barryroe: G. Keohane, T. Carroll, B. O’Brien, G. O'Leary, T. Harrington, J. Fleming, A. White, G. Coleman, K. McCarthy, K. Griffin, A. Fleming, C. Hurley, D. Harrington, P. Collins, J. O’Donovan. Sub.: M. Finn for T. Harrington.
Charleville: S. Carroll, N. O’Keeffe, T. J. Crowley, D. Collins, B. Foley, D. Fitzgerald, P. J. O’Halloran, A. O’Connor, T. O’Callaghan, P. Gammell, J. Quinlan, D. O’Flynn, B. Barrett, M. Gammell, M. O’Flynn. Subs: D. Murphy for O’Halloran, J. Collins for O’Keeffe, B. Dennehy for Barrett.
Referee: G. O’Connell, Lisgoold.