Senior League A
Ballymacnab 2-16 St Patrick’s 2-13
What a difference a year makes for St Patrick’s, last season they lost the league title to Ballymacnab on ‘head to head’ and this season they have been relegated to Senior B for next season by the same opposition. Although Ballymacnab came out on top they didn’t have their best performance but the loss of Aidan Nugent to a red card during the second period was detrimental to Cullyhanna’s chances of staying up.
Ballymacnab began proceedings with a brilliant Jack Grugan point from a sideline kick while Aidan Nugent scored from a free to level the game. Barry McConville’s roaming runs from his wing half back position caused Ballymacnab numerous headaches and he slotted over a point after six minutes of play.
The back and forth continued as a Pauric Gribben brace edged the Nab ahead before a Conor Nugent point tied the game for the 3rd time. Rory Grugan and Barry McConville exchanged scores as did Jack Grugan and Aidan Nugent before Nugent split the posts once again to nudge Cullyhanna ahead by the minimum.
A high ball into the square found the unmarked Nugent and despite the best efforts of Ballymacnab’s net minder Nugent raised the first green flag of the day. Ballymacnab responded tremendously and narrowed the gap to one within three minutes with points from the Grugan brothers as well as an Oisin McGivern score.
Kyle Reid got his first point with 60 seconds of normal time left in the half but Ballymacnab sparked a revival as Rory Grugan was fouled in the small rectangle and Jack Grugan stepped up to blast the ball to the back of the net, leaving Ballymacnab ahead at the break with the score 1-8 to 1-7.
Like the first half the sides were evenly matched as Ryan Watters traded scores with Aidan Nugent before Nugent levelled the contest with a converted free. Substitute Kieran Hoey then turned the game in the direction of the visitors with a well taken goal followed by another Nugent point to put St Pats four ahead.
Once more Ballymacnab came roaring back and found themselves one behind as Jack and Rory Grugan as well as Brian McCone all raised white flags. McCone got his second after being introduced and split two Aodhan Conlon points while Kyle Reid knocked over a free to leave Cullyhanna three up with just over 10 minutes remaining.
With Nugent now off the field Ballymacnab kicked into action with Jack Grugan leading the charge with another point. Joe Gribben got his name on the score sheet while full back Ciaran Connelly drifted forward to rattled the Cullyhanna net and put his side two points up with the game now in injury time.
With Cullyhanna’s fate sealed Rory Grugan put the final nail in their coffin with the last point of the game, giving Ballymacnab a three point victory with the final score of the contest Ballymacnab 2-16 St Patricks 2-13.
Joining Cullyhanna in Senior B for the 2020 season will be Silverbridge who despite a desperately close contest against Dromintee, lost out my the minimum of margins as Dromintee led at the full time whistle 2-7 to 1-9 to retain their place in the top division for next year.
Elsewhere Maghery finished their year with a lost having already won the league a number of weeks ago, losing to Armagh Harps by a single point, 1-7 to 1-6 with Gareth Swift getting the crucial final point. Crossmaglen also won their final game of the season with an away win against Killeavy, the game ending 2-19 to 0-13.
Senior League B
Madden 3-13 Culloville 5-11
Culloville got their first win of the league campaign on Sunday in a goal fest against Madden, who had their spot in the top four confirmed last weekend. The win could do nothing for Culloville only restore some pride as they knew their fate long before a ball was kicked at the weekend as they had already been relegated to the Intermediate league.
The teams were evenly match early on with Ryan Garvey and Neil McGuinness trading scores during the opening exchanges while Niall Rowlands 5th minute goal was matched by Colly Mallon two minutes later. A Liam Grimley brace was split by Culloville before Shane Carragher fired the away side ahead in the 13th minute with a goal.
Niall Smith and Kyle Morgan points saw Madden level before Culloville edged a point ahead through Niall Rowland. Joe Sheridan and Kyle Morgan got Madden ahead again but within moments the sides were level once more before Shane Carragher tucked away his second goal. Conor Grimley’s pointed ended the half with the sides tied Madden 2-7 Culloville 3-4.
Grimley opened the scoring for the second period with a pointed free while five unanswered Culloville scores (1-4) sent the visitors six ahead, with Niall Rowland instrumental for his team. Ronan Grimley pulled one back for Madden before hat-trick hero Shane Carragher struck the net for the third time, leaving Culloville up by eight points.
Kyle Morgan swapped scores with Niall Rowland before Madden hit a purple patch of their own, scoring three consecutive points with Conor, Ronan and Liam Grimley all hitting the target. Shane Carragher and Ryan Garvey points drove Culloville into a seven point lead while Conor Grimley raised a green flag with the final score of the game to see Culloville end the season with a 5-11 to 3-13 victory.
Pearse Ogs were deservingly crowed Senior B champions for 2019 winning in style on the final day with a 10 win over promotion rivals Clann Eireann, the score 1-18 to 1-8. With Clann Eireann losing it meant all Granemore needed was a point away to Annaghmore to gain promotion and that’s how it panned out with the sides drawing Annaghmore 3-6 Granemore 1-12.
Annaghmore’s hard fought point also meant they retained their Senior status as they just edged out Sarsfields on ‘head to head’. Sarsfields ended the year with a great win at home against St Peter’s hitting 7-11 to St Peter’s 2-9 win but it wasn’t enough to stay in the division and means they will play their football in the Intermediate league next season.