Glen find extra gear to edge out Barr’s for final spot

GLEN ROVERS will meet Na Piarsaigh in the final of the city division U21 hurling final after they beat St Finbarr’s in extra time at Ballinlough yesterday.

Leading by five points as the third quarter ended, the Glen looked to have surrendered the momentum as they allowed their rivals back into the game. Patrick Wiley’s goal for the Barrs closed the gap before they took control and they actually led courtesy of Eoin Finn’s free as the gave moved into injury time, Paul Virgo’s point rescuing the Glen.

Virgo was one of the Glen’s stars, scoring 1-7, with full-forward line colleagues Richard Whitty and Calvin Healy also impressing for them. James Mulcahy at corner-back also stood out for the Glen while Kerry U21 star Padraig Monson was excellent at midfield.

Early on, the Glen were comfortable, moving 0-9 to 0-5 ahead inside 20 minutes, Healy on fire for them while the Barrs were relying a little too heavily on Finn frees.

When Whitty added a goal for the Glen, winning a Paul Virgo delivery before shaking off Eoin Keane’s attentions to fire past David O’Gorman, it seemed as if the northsiders would win at their ease. While the Barrs responded to that almost immediately with Wiley’s first goal, Virgo then struck for the Glen’s second, doubling brilliantly on a Whitty handpass.

Even though David O’Leary and Finn of the Barrs got the last two points of the half, the Glen still led by five and were looking secure. Keane got to grips with Whitty early in the second half though and the movement of Glenn O’Connor to midfield gave St Finbarr’s more impetus and they were back in the game when Joe Fitzpatrick converted the rebound after sub Ian Power’s shot was parried by Cathal Hickey.

The Glen responded positively to that, Whitty and Healy with great points, though the Barrs gave warning that they were not out of it when Mulcahy had to clear after Hickey saved from Jonathan Power. Those warnings were not heeded, however, Wiley’s second goal cutting the gap to 2-14 to 3-9 and the Barrs were level through Jonathan Crowley on 55.

While the Togher club looked the likelier victors in the regulation 60 minutes, once the Glen forced extra time, they found another gear.

Eoin O’Flaherty’s 65th-minute goal gave them a cushion and while O’Connor did his best to keep the Barrs in it with points in the second period, the Glen were not to be denied.

Scorers for Glen Rovers: P Virgo 1-7 (six frees); R Whitty 1-4; E O’Flaherty 1-2; C Healy 0-4; C Byrnes 0-2 (frees); A Evans, R Virgo 0-1 each.

St Finbarr’s: E Finn 0-7 (five frees); P Wiley 2-0; G O’Connor 0-4 (one free); J Fitzpatrick 1-1; J Crowley 0-2; D O’Leary, J Goggin (65), J Power, I Power 0-1 each.

GLEN ROVERS: C Hickey; D Moylan, K McHenry, J Mulcahy; R Virgo, S McDonnell, D O’Toole; P Monson, C Byrnes; D Brosnan, E O’Flaherty, B O’Sullivan; P Virgo, R Whitty, C Healy.

Subs: A Evans for O’Sullivan (half-time), J Busteed for Byrnes (44).

ST FINBARR’S: D O’Gorman; N Cooke, E Keane, J Neville; D O’Leary, J Goggin, D Cahalane; J Byrnes, J Power; G O’Connor, P Wiley, E Finn; R Browner, J Crowley, J Fitzpatrick.

Subs: I Power for Cooke (22), J Sexton for Browner (35), B McCarthy for Power (65), G Neff for Sexton (half-time in extra time).

Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven).

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