Senior League A
St Patrick’s 1-10 Crossmaglen 0-17
Wednesday night saw St Patrick’s enjoy home advantage against rivals Crossmaglen, with Cullyhanna in dire need of the points as they look to stay in the top tier of the Senior League. The home side will rue a host of missed scoring opportunities in the opening 10 minutes when they struck a series of wides while Cross stepped up a gear in the final 10 minutes of both halves to claim the victory.
The game was just 40 seconds old when corner forward Mel Boyce split the posts for the opening score but Cullyhanna responded in the best possible form. During a St Patrick’s attack the referee pointed to the spot for an off the ball foul and Aidan Nugent made no mistake with the penalty, blasting the ball to the net after just three minutes.
Cullyhanna shot wide after wide to keep Crossmaglen in touching distance and the visitors could have been in front when Rian O’Neill’s blistering shot bounced back off the crossbar after Rico Kelly found the big full forward with an inch perfect pass that zipped over the defenders head. Two Cian McConville points did level the game before O’Neill put his side in front after turning the ball over in his own attack.
St Patrick’s talisman Nugent pointed a free to level the score but it was all Cross for the rest of the half. The Rangers dominated the oppositions kick out with their man to man press and had great success, scoring six points without reply, Rian O’Neill (2), Cian McConville (2), Oisin O’Neill and Colin O’Connor all hitting the target while Sean Og Irwin got St Pat’s second point to see the half time score Cullyhanna 1-2 Crossmaglen 0-9.
The hosts were far from done yet and stormed back into contention with the first four points of the second period with Nugent scoring twice while midfield partners Phelim Savage and Shane Conlon levelled the game. Rian O’Neill and Aidan Nugent swapped scores before Kyle Reid gathered a high ball into the square and fired over the bar, sending Cullyhanna ahead for the first time since the third minute.
Nugent doubled the lead with another free but Cross once again turned the screw and dominated the final exchanges. Oisin O’Neill was prevalent in Crossmaglen’s resurgence and his hard work out the field was accompanied with two points in quick succession while Stephen Morris also scored to make it a one point game, in Cross’ favour.
Nugent brought his personal tally to 1-6 as he tied the game but points from Morris, substitute Johnny McKeever (2) and Paudie Stuttard saw Cross take control with the game now heading into injury time. Cullyhanna tried to salvage something from the contest but Crossmaglen’s number one Jamie Carlisle pulled off a save with the final action of the night, Crossmaglen victorious 0-17 to 1-10.
Senior League A
Ballymacnab 0-14 Dromintee 0-13
Ballymacnab secured their Senior League A status for next season with a dramatic one point victory over travelling side Dromintee on Friday evening. The teams played out an even affair as they were level eight times throughout the contest with Ballymacnab stealing victory in the final moments through a magnificent Rory Grugan point.
Ballymacnab started the brighter, knocking over three points in as many minutes with captain Michael Beagan’s effort followed by two Gavin McParland points. Ryan Gaskin and Darren McKenna narrowed the gap to the minimum before another McParland brace gave the Round Towers a 5-2 lead after 11 minutes.
Dromintee were soon level as Conor Martin swung over two points six minutes apart while Ryan Hughes levelled matters with a converted placed ball. Oisin McGivern traded scores with Martin and Hughes before McParland cancelled out Ryan Gaskin’s point just before the break to ensure both sides were tied 8 apiece at the half time whistle.
Dromintee took the lead for the first time 60 seconds into the second period when half time substitute Gareth Kilgallon scored. Points from Rory Grugan and Oisin McGivern swayed the game back in Ballymacnab’s favour before Kilgallon again struck to draw the game. Dromintee headed into the last 15 minutes two points ahead as Cathal Fegan and Conor Hoey drove their side into the lead.
Ballymacnab refused to give up and as a result of their determination they scored four of the final five points to confirm victory. Brian McCone and Rory Grugan levelled the game before a monster effort from just outside the 45 saw Gavin McParland strike his 6th point of the night and more importantly nudge his side ahead by one.
Kilgallon again hit the target in the 59th minute as Dromintee seemed to have captured a vital point but it was not to be as up stepped Rory Grugan, his beautiful curling effort fighting off his sides’ relegation fears with the home side coming out on top of the titanic battle, Ballymacnab 0-14 Dromintee 0-13.
Silverbridge will play out a winner takes all contest against Dromintee next weekend as both sides look to stay in the top division for next season, with the possibility remaining that both sides may be relegated to section B of the Senior League.
Silverbridge suffered their 9th defeat of the season on Friday. The losers built a strong first half league against newly crowned League Champions Maghery, leading at the break 2-5 to 0-2 before a rousing second half comeback saw Maghery take the two points on offer with a 2-11 to 2-9 win.
Intermediate League B
Grange continued their quest to maintain a top four spot on Wednesday night with a 2-12 to 1-10 victory over Crossmaglen II’s, who have already been relegated to the Junior section of the 2020 league.
Belleek suffered only their third defeat of the season on Wednesday night, their first outside of League Champions Clonmore when hosts Collegeland knocked three goals past them to win 3-5 to 0-11. Collegeland continued their good run of form with another win on Friday evening, this time defeating the League Winners Clonmore 0-21 to 1-11.
Forkhill gained their 7th win of the league campaign, seeing out a 2-10 to 1-9 victory against home side Lissummon on Friday night. Meanwhile the bottom two teams faced off with Redmond O’Hanlon’s winning by a goal away to Mullabrack, the final score line Mullabrack 2-8 O’Hanlon’s 3-8.