Thursday’s only Senior League game saw Crossmaglen travel to Dromintee for their round 8 clash, with neither side able to pull away in the end. The first quarter was an ever affair, with both sides scoring three points apiece, two of Dromintee scores the result of frees while Cross’ three came from play, Oisin O’Neill, Alan Farrelly and Tomas Hughes the scorers.
The second quarter saw Crossmaglen score three points without reply, Oisin O’Neill (2,1F) and Mel Boyce gave their side a comfortable lead with the half time whistle only minutes away. Both sides swapped scores and at the half way mark Cross were in front, with the scoreboard reading Dromintee 0-4 Cross 0-7.
The second half began similarly to the first, with both teams evenly matched, the sides matching each other score for score. The home side registered three points (2 frees) while Crossmaglen replied through Mel Boyle (free), Stephen Morris and Paudie Stuttard, the score now 0-7 to 0-10.
Just past the midway point of the second period, a Dromintee point was quickly cancelled out by a Cian McConville free with three still the margin between the sides. Dromintee scored two points in quick succession, both scores the result of frees and with six minutes to go the lead was reduced to a single point; an exciting finale was on the cards.
As the game entered injury time, McConville hit a super shot which sailed over the bar to put two between the teams but the game continued. Dromintee brought it back to a one point game before hitting a long range shot which was to be the equaliser in the 37th minute of the second half, seconds later the whistle sounded and it ended all square, 0-13 each.
A strong second half comeback from Whitecross saw the visitors victorious against Tir na nOg on Thursday evening, due mostly to hat trick hero Aidan Finnegan. The home side enjoyed wind advantage in the opening period while Whitecross struggled when facing into the strong breeze.
Tir na nOg got the first score of the night, which was cancelled out 6 minutes later with a Conor Malone free. Whitecross would only score once more in this half, a point from play through Ryan McSherry, while Tir na nOg reeled off a further six points, Tom Weir (3), Paul Carville (2) and Owen Parr all getting in on the action. This saw the first half come to an end, with Tir na nOg ahead by five, 0-7 to 0-2.
A second Conor Malone free closed the gap before Tir na nOg responded brilliantly, Conor Larkin (the Armagh u20 goalkeeper) kicked a high ball into the Whitecross square, which dropped into the net and awarded Tir na nOg the first goal of the night along with a seven point advantage, five minutes into the second half.
This lead was short lived however as Aidan Finnegan shot past the Portadown net minder after finding himself in a one-on-one situation. Shea Skelton and Brian Mallon chipped over a further two points to keep some day light between the teams before Whitecross found their stride to close the gap to two points with a free from Michael McGrory and a second major from Finnegan.
Three was soon the margin as Paul Carville knocked over another Tir na nOg point, following a brilliant assist from Brian Mallon. Whitecross finished strong with Aidan Finnegan driving his team home with his third goal and three consecutive points from Cathal McSherry saw Whitecross come away with a vital victory, winning 3-7 to 1-10.
Elsewhere in the second section of the Intermediate League, table toppers Tullysaran overcame Eire Og with a strong performance, having 10 points to spare at the full time whistle, 2-20 to 2-10.
Carrickcruppen and An Port Mor couldn’t be separated over the course of 60 minutes, as the sides played out a 1-13 to 1-13 draw. An Port Mor finished the first half strongly, striking 1-1 in the closing minutes to go in front 1-8 to 1-4. ‘Cruppen enjoyed the breeze in the second period and closed the gap to see the game end level.
Belleek continued their impressive form, remaining unbeaten so far this season, seeing off St Michael’s Newtown by four points, the scoreboard at the final whistle reading Belleek 2-10 Newtown 1-9.
Lissummon and Redmond O’Hanlon’s played an entertaining game which ended all square, the score Lissummon 1-11 to O’Hanlon’s 2-8 while Collegeland produced a dominant win over Corrinshego, seeing out a 1-15 to 0-5 victory.