U16B Hurling Championship – Preliminary Round v Barrow Rangers – 25/7/2016

Report by Philomena Brennan

The U16 GBC team had been drawn to play a Preliminary Round in this year’s Roinn B Championship and this outing took place last Monday 25th July in Bennettsbridge. Their opponents were Barrow Rangers and the locals expected a tough encounter, which was to prove very prophetic indeed. GBC were forced to line out minus a few players due to injury which has been an issue the mentors have had to deal with all season.

The first half was slow to take off and with Aaron Brennan and Killian Egan in fine form GBC took a four point lead, however Barrow Rangers cancelled this lead with a well taken goal which was not a good omen for the boys as their opponents blew open the GBC defence on three further occasions which left GBC reeling in shock. Ten minutes from the end of the first half GBC were trailing by eight points and a mammoth task faced all concerned. However after a goal mouth shuffle GBC scored an all important goal which steadied the nerves somewhat and they went into the break trailing by four points.

HT:  GBC 1-7 Barrow Rangers 4-2.

After some encouraging words from the team mentors at half time GBC took to the field in the second half and it was clear that the boys knew they had to work hard if they were to progress any further in the competition. Bit by bit they ate into the Paulstown lead and with Aaron Brennan on form with his free-taking and Killian Egan moved back into defence GBC found their form.

Daniel Lawlor was superb in the middle of the field and with great assistance from Jason O’Brien and JJ Ryan, the full forward line were getting a great supply of the ball.  With the lead whittled down to a single point it was felt that a goal would be needed if GBC were to grab the honours. It came from a wonderful pass from full forward Finn Lanigan, who had to battle three opponents but when he passed the ball to the incoming Aaron Brennan the resultant goal gave the local lads the lead for the first time since the early minutes of the first half. The elusive three point lead was achieved when the ever reliable Scott Lawlor pointed two minutes from the end. However, the constant threat from the Paulstown lads was to lead to a last gasp attempt to salvage a draw and it looked like extra-time was on the cards but for a wonderful save from Dan Cahill in the GBC goal and with the subsequent clearance GBC were relieved to hear the full time whistle and celebrated a three point win.

FT: GBC 3-14 Barrow Rangers 4-8

GBC Team: D Cahill, S Comerford, A O’Brien, S O’Dwyer, E.Delahunty, S Keoghan, J O’Brien, K Egan, D.Lawlor, JJ Ryan, A Brennan, A Wall, P Brennan, F Lanigan, S Lawlor, B Dunne, J Butler, J Muldowney, T Brennan.

Scores: A Brennan 1-12(0-9fs) F Lanigan 2-0, K Egan 0-1 S Lawlor 0-1.