Sun, 14 June 2009
Barna did just enough to see off the challenge of Killanin in their Champions Qualifier on Sunday afternoon. Barna were desperately hoping to put the disappointing defeat to Moycullen behind them. Killanin and Barna had already met this season in the Sweeney Oil League, however, the championship clash was going to be different situation altogether.
Killanin got off to the better start, or should that be, Barna got off to a poor start. Either way, Killanin racked up a lead of 4 points mid way through the first half when they found the back of the net. The Killanin goal looked like being the difference in the two teams, however, Barna were beginning to get into their stride. Barna had had a goal opportunity a few minutes earlier when Brian Conneely put the ball wide after great work to create a goal opportunity for himself.
Barna’s attaching movements were causing the Killanin deference problems and as a result, the game started to generate a lot of frees. Barna’s free takers Ray Conneely and Rob Creedon were on forms and were duly able to dispatch their respective set ball opportunities.
Ray Conneely put in the outstanding performance of the first half, scoring some fine points and distributing the ball extremely well.
The second half was when Barna finally re-found their leagues form and began to move the ball with purpose. Barna introduced two players who were instrumental in the final outcome. DD Flaherty had a good game, holding the ball well and putting over a few frees. Paddy Kennedy’s introduction mid way trough the second half also played an important role. Paddy’s fresh legs and his ability to run at defenders cause serious problems to Killanin.
Ultimately, the frees won by the forwards was what won the game for Barna and full credit must be given to the forwards for taking on their men and winning their frees. The defence also had a great game. Eoin McDonagh was commanding, John Gannon was excellent in reading the game and clearing up the loose ball while Aodhfin Grehan and Paddy Naughton were full of energy and gave nothing away.
The ending was never going to be a stroll home. Barna got into two point lead as the game went into added time. Killanin then got a point to put one point between the teams. Then in the last kick of the game, Killanin worked the ball up the pitch and found themselves in front of the goals with victory within touching distance. If they found the back of the net, they were through, Barna out. However, Marty Mannion was not about to let this game be turned on his head and got down low to make a fantastic save. Barna go though to the next round.