Home Sport GAA Barry to the fore as O’Dempsey’s claim U-21 ‘B’ title in style

Barry to the fore as O’Dempsey’s claim U-21 ‘B’ title in style

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O'Dempsey's claim U-21 'B' glory

O’Dempsey’s 4-8 The Heath 0-10
Laois Shopping Centre 2018 U-21 ‘B’ Football Championship Final

Mark Barry has begun 2019 in the same form as he ended 2019 as an expert display of shooting led O’Dempsey’s to U-21 ‘B’ glory in Annanough this morning.

The teenager fired over 1-8 of O’Dempsey’s total as he and his side had too much power and physicality for a brave young outfit from The Heath.

They kept going right to the end but two goals in either half did the trick for the Killenard men who emerged 10 point winners.

O’Dempsey’s started the game brilliantly when a high ball from Mark Barry was fisted to the net by the towering Dan McCormack.

Barry added a free but The Heath were well in the game in the opening stages and a brace of Leon Holland frees either side of a fine individual score from James Phelan cut the deficit to the minimum.

However, The Heath would only manage one more point in the first half – a Leon Holland free – as O’Dempsey’s took control.

Mark Barry reeled off five points on the spin before O’Dempsey’s ended the first period with a Daithi Howlin goal to leave them 2-6 to 0-4 ahead.

O’Dempsey’s looked to put the game beyond The Heath on the resumption of play and when Barry’s effort was saved, big Dan McCormack was on hand to finish soccer-style to the corner of the net.

Leon Holland, James Phelan and Jordan Walshe tried to keep The Heath in the game but it was goals they needed. However, when the chance for one came to James Phelan, O’Dempsey’s keeper Shane Hogan produced a stunning save.

And with ten minutes to play, O’Dempsey’s settled things. Dan McCormack was pulled down in the square and Barry stepped up to score their fourth goal of the game.

O’Dempsey’s did play the final stages of the game with 12 men after captain Liam Whelehan was dismissed for a second yellow card but it had no impact on the outcome.

Leon Holland landed two more frees for The Heath and although Neil Keane got another, that was as close as they would get.

And somewhat fittingly, the excellent Barry capped a fine display with a free to bring the game to a close as his side claimed the cup.

SCORERS – O’DEMPSEY’S: Mark Barry 1-8 (1-0 pen, seven frees), Dan McCormack 2-0, Daithi Howlin 1-0¬†THE HEATH: Leon Holland 0-6 (five frees), James Phelan 0-2 (one 45), Jordan Walshe and Neil Keane 0-1

O’Dempsey’s captain Liam Whelehan receives the cup
O’Dempsey’s players celebrate
O’Dempsey’s U-21 ‘B’ 2018 winners
Captain Liam Whelehan receives the cup from Laois County Board official Tom Jones

O’DEMPSEY’S: Shane Hogan; Keith Kavanagh, Eoin Cunningham; Eoin Fitzpatrick, Cormac O’Hora, Tom Kelly; Shane Nerney, Barry Howlin; Liam Whelehan, Johnny Kelly, Mark Barry; Dan McCormack, Daithi Howlin. Subs: Tommy Keogh, Chris McCormack

THE HEATH: Daniel Hennessy; James Conroy, Jay Buggy; Neil Keane, James Phelan, Liam Kinsella; Jordan Walshe, Dylan Kavanagh; PJ Daly, Fionn Holland, Leon Holland; Conor Hyland, Benny Conroy. Subs: Jake Dargan, Conor Fitzpatrick, Jordan Ratcliffe

Referee: Clifford Ward (Portarlington)

SEE ALSO –¬†Powerful Portarlington push on to U-21 football final