By Mike Fitzpatrick
Rangers 2-14, St. Barnabas 2-9
Rangers’ underage side eventually overcame the threat of this Barnabas side in an exciting encounter at Gaelic Park. It’s not often that the under 21 teams get to play at New York’s premier Gaelic sports grounds, but the teams representing Barnabas and Rangers did themselves and the Minor Board proud on this rare occasion.
Opening with a flurry of points from Mike Bishop, Dave Williams and Niall Duggan, the Blues of Rangers looked set to rack up a decent sized score before the half. Barnabas, however, had different ideas. With some fine footballing skills displayed in midfield by Pat Flynn and Jason Clarke, the boys in green began stringing passes together and resulted in two efforts screaming over the bar, thanks to Sean Carbin and Ciaran Moyles.
Rangers immediately counterattacked and a move resulted which witnessed the first of a fine personal total of seven points for Mike Sheridan. The deficit was never more than a point or two for either side throughout the opening half, and Barnabas forward Carbin shot his side back into contention with a well-taken goal midway through the half. An effort which Rangers keeper John Williams almost got a hand to. Barnabas gained a short lived lead due to over the bar efforts from Carbin and David Daly, but two goals in quick succession from Rangers Derek Courtney brought Denis Twomey’s youngsters back in front with a two-point lead. It was to remain a two-point difference at the break, with Barnabas trailing by a score of 2-6 to 2-4.
Equality took a dive out the window for the second period, with Rangers cruising further ahead. Consecutive points from Sheridan and another from Mike Bishop gave them a seemingly healthy lead, and it appeared that Barnabas were on the ropes. Brian Hickey and Shane Larkin at the back for Barnabas had their hands full throughout with Sheridan, Bishop and Dave Williams foraging through, and at the end of the day it was points from the aforementioned trio that gave the Rangers U-21 side a fine victory over this combative Barnabas team.
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Rangers: John Williams, Tim Sullivan, Brian Morris, Kevin Coughlan, Pat Fahey, Robert Maloney, Barry Harper, Mike Bishop (0-4), Aidan Bishop, Niall Duggan (0-1), Mike Sheridan (0-7), Dave Williams (0-2), Gary Cullinane, Declan Corrigan, Derek Courtney (2-0).
St. Barnabas: Sean Moyles, Brian Hickey, Shane Larkin, Kieran Dwyer, Pauric Dwyer, Adrian Clarke (0-1), Liam Murphy, Pat Flynn, Jason Clarke, Ciaran Moyles (0-1), David Daly (0-2), Sean Carbin (1-5), Ciaran Brady (1-0), Thomas Meaney, Darren Meaney. Sub Niall Henry.