(Report compliments of Barry Henriques) Photos Windgap GAA
Not the greatest game of hurling you will ever have seen. In fact, it was at the back of the opposite evaluation of hurling games seen, but the closeness of the encounter in Windgap (it certainly earned its Irish name, Bearna na Gaoithe) on Saturday..............................
Mount Leinster Rangers 0-16 Windgap 2-9 (Report compliments of Barry Henriques) Photos Windgap GAA
Not the greatest game of hurling you will ever have seen. In fact, it was at the back of the opposite evaluation of hurling games seen, but the closeness of the encounter in Windgap (it certainly earned its Irish name, Bearna na Gaoithe) on Saturday afternoon, kept the interest of the gathered few uneasy right to the end, and the obviously scoring element in a state of flux to boot.
The bigger, fitter, better hurling Carlow contingent looked as if they could win with something to spare whenever they decided to do so. They were first to dropping ball. Their reaction times were way ahead of their hosts. They hunted in packs, and still seemed to have plenty of bodies available to do the digging and shovelling.
If all of these observations are correct, then why were the Rangers struggling to hang on at the death.
In simple terms, I just cannot fathom that conundrum out, even 72 hours after the event.
Could it be that Windgap were better than I am giving them credit for?
But for whatever the reason, the home side never bent the knee, or fired in any colour of towel. But have we not come to expect that from Windgap teams over the years?
Of course we have.
In Shane Walsh, Peter Landy and Vinny Landy they have the new breed of Windgap hurler. Not stylish. No pretentiousness. No overvaluation of their own abilities. But they are Windgap, and that is what mattered. I use them as a reference of what I am saying.
Playing with the b breeze in the first half, Windgap tried so hard to get clear water. But it was the visitors who looked the more competent. Their halfback line of Diarmuid Byrne, Brian Nolan, and William Hickey were immovable objects, and hugely confident. At midfield Pauric Nolan and Richie Kelly shaded the affair with Philly Lonergan and Cian Ryan. Ryan’s free-taking was excellent.
Only a single point divided the sides at the break with the advantage lying in the Windgap half.
They would need much more, or so it seemed.
The second half did not pan out quite to script.
Windgap hung onto the shirt tails of the Carlow men, who clawed their way to a four-point lead by the 59th minute. They looked home and hosed.
However--- you guessed it.
Windgap being Windgap drove into the final moments with gusto. A breaking ball on the edge of the Ranger’s square was lashed to the net by Paric Walsh.
The puck out was returned, and again, with the ball in the bombing zone, Philly Lonergan flicked it goal wards.
A draw roared the few hardy annuals.
Referee, Pat Hayes, who had a real good look at it, decided that the ball had taken the distemper off the upright---- on the outside.
Mount Leinster Rangers know all about Windgap resolve.
Mount Leinster Rangers: Paul Cody (0-10, nine frees); Derek Byrne (0-3); Denis Murphy (0-2, one free); John Cody (0-1).
Windgap: Cian Ryan (1-6. pen goal); Paul Walsh (1-0); James Murray (0-2); Tommy Fleming (0-1).
Mount Leinster Rangers: Frank Foley, Michael Doyle, Garry Doyle, Ger Kelly, Diarmuid Byrne, Brian Nolan, William Hickey, Pauric Nolan, Richie Kelly, Paul Cody, David Phelan, John Cody, jack Murphy, Michael O’Grady, Derek Byrne. Subs (used): James Hickey, Denis Murphy, David Grennan, Seamus Kelly.
Windgap: Michaael Power, William Phelan, Peter Landy, Shane Walsh, Vinny Landy, Ger Purcell, Sean Foley, Philly Lonergan, Cian Ryan, Peter Hennessy, Matt Enright, Tommy Fleming, Aidan Mackey, James Murray, Paraic Walsh. Subs (used): Eoin Cody, Garry Lyons.