St. Barnabas 4-12
By Peter Nolan
A powerful second-half performance by St. Barnabas broke open what had been a close match, as the Bronx side ran out easy winners against Fermanagh Sunday at Gaelic Park. This victory officially qualifies Barnabas for the Junior A playoffs, leaving the final playoff spot to either Kerry and Armagh.
Underdog Fermanagh played well in a competitive first half, limiting the athletic Barnabas to a 1-2 mark at the break. Gary Judge paced Fermanagh’s solid opening stanza with half of their opening 0-6. Barnabas took their time getting untracked, perhaps missing Ronan Garvey, who sat out the opening 30 minutes before debuting after the intermission.
St. Barnabas inserted Tony Nolan along with Ronan Garvey after the break, and their fresh legs had a telling effect on the result. Barnabas broke quickly from the blocks at the start of the second half with a Dave O’Halloran point, less then a minute in, leveling scores.
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Little over a minute later, the same player shook the twines off fine passing from Ronan Garvey and Tom Kelly. The Saint’s stylish wing forward Jonathan Daly added to Barnabas’ lead with a point off of another Kelly feed.
Gary Dowd interrupted with a point, and other than an Anthony Fitzgerald point, the Ulster side were shut out the rest of the way. St. Barnabas put together an outstanding second-half display as their speed and fitness wore down their opponents. O’Halloran led the way with two second-half goals, but it was anything but a one-man show for Barnabas. Daly, Ronan Garvey, and brother, Dave, Sean Carbin and Tom Kelly all contributed mightily.
Kelly’s name didn’t show up much on the score sheet, but the corner forward made like Jason Kidd, dishing to teammates for several key assists. The Barnabas backs were well up to what little action came their way in the second half with Pat Lyons and Brian Montgomery leading the defensive effort.
St. Barnabas now prepares for the Junior A playoffs, which promise to produce some scintillating entertainment.
Man of the Match: Tom Kelly.
St. Barnabas: Eamon Deane, Brian Montgomery, Pat Lyons, Pat Flynn, Ray Gough, Eddie Grennan, Anthony Sheridan (0-1), Dave Garvey, Joe Fitzgerald, Jonathan Daly (1-3), Dave O’Halloran (2-2), Ciaran Moyles, Sean Carbin (0-4), Darren Meaney, Tom Kelly (0-1). Subs: Terrance Flynn, Tony Nolan, J.P. Kirwin (0-1), Ronan Garvey (1-0).
Fermanagh: Lawrence Kennedy, Gene Mulligan, Sean Herarty, Dave Higgins, Phil Kildea, Stephen Owens, Fergal Brennan, Mike Murphy (0-1), Gary Dowd (0-1), Paul McGuire (0-1), Pauric Kearney, Anthony Fitzgerald (0-1), Gary Judge (0-3), Emmit Carthy (0-1), Stephen Bogue. Sub: Fergie Bogue.