Armagh Senior Championship Match Reports

Group 4

Killeavy 1-5 St Patrick’s 1-12

A goal with the last kick of the game took the bad look off the result for Killeavy but they will be massively disappointed with themselves for serving up and underwhelming performance while travelling side Cullyhanna were much more up for the game which was evident straight from the throw in.

Kieran Hoey saw his early shot for goal blocked down with Cullyhanna’s reliable free taker Aidan Nugent popping the ball over the black spot from the resulting 45. Nugent went on to split the posts a further two times while Eugene Casey also chipped over two points to see St Pat’s ahead 0-5 to 0-0 after 18 minutes.

Killeavy were being dominated all over the park and finally got off the mark in the 21st minute when Conor O’Neill opened their account. Nugent replied for Cullyhanna with another from the dead ball while Jason Duffy also got in on the action. O’Neill struck Killeavy’s second and final point of the half with the away side in front 0-7 to 0-2 at the break.

Killeavy reduced Cullyhanna’s advantage when Niall O’Neill punched over a point in the opening minute of the half before Nugent once again shot his side further in front. The game could have been a whole lot different was it not for the crossbar as Ben Hughes saw his blistering shot thump off Malachy Mackin’s crossbar and bounce clear only for Cullyhanna to work the ball forward, ending in another Aidan Nugent score.

Then came the opening goal of the game and it ultimately put the game to bed as it fired Cullyhanna nine points ahead. Beautiful build up play from Jason Duffy saw Conor Nugent transfer possession across the square for Kieran Hoey to palm to the net with 23 minutes stilll on the clock.

Nugent brought his personal tally to seven with another converted free while Pearse Casey scored from a difficult angle. Eugene Casey also knocked over a score with a brilliant outside of the boot effort from close to the sideline. Killeavy got the final three scores through Niall Magennis and Caolan McConville before Magennis’ goal brought the scoring to an end with Cullyhanna deservingly ahead at the final whistle.

Killeavy Scorers: Niall Magennis (1-1), Conor O’Neill (0-2), Niall O’Neill (0-1), Caolan McConville (0-1).

St Patrick’s Scorers: Aidan Nugent (0-7), Eugene Casey (0-3), Kieran Hoey (1-0), Pearse Casey (0-1), Jason Duffy (0-1).

Group 3

Madden 1-16 Annaghmore 1-11

Madden knew heading into this game that a win could see them top the table and book their spot in the quarter finals but they needed other results to go their way. As it worked out, Maghery’s destruction of Dromintee saw the League Champions confirm the number one position as Madden will have to go the play off route with a tie against Killeavy while Annaghmore crashed out of the Championship.

Madden seemed to be in control of the contest at the interval but the visiting side came roaring back with a goal at the beginning of the second half to make the hosts sweat. Man of the Match Kyle Morgan opened the scoring inside 60 seconds before a Tomas McCormack score saw the game tied.

Points from Aron McKenna, Ciaran Rafferty and a Niall Grimley free eased Madden into a three point lead before three points on the trot from Conor Cullen (3 frees) saw the sides level for the second time. Annaghmore failed to score for the remaining 15 minutes and Madden controlled the game with points from Joe Sheridan, Kyle Morgan (2) and Aron McKenna before Niall Smith palmed home the opening goal to see Madden lead 1-8 to 0-4 at the break.

Annaghmore were level incredibly within the first five minutes of the second period, beginning with a bang as a long, goal bound kick pass was punched to the net by Sean McCann followed up by Conor Cullen (3) and Shea Reavey points to see the sides evenly matched once again at 1-8 apiece.

Liam Grimley steadied the ship with a pointed free while Ciaran Rafferty did likewise to hand Madden a two point lead. Stephen McConville halved the deficit but Madden reeled off the next six scores to confirm victory with Conor Grimley, Niall Grimley, Kyle Morgan, Colly Mallon (2) and Joe Sheridan all getting in on the action.

Annaghmore pulled two back through Matthew Willis to see out the game as Madden were victorious 1-16 to 1-11. Elsewhere Maghery confirmed their entrance into the last eight with an impressive 13 point victory, holding Dromintee to a single point in the opening half before pulling away to win 4-11 to 0-10.

Madden Scorers: Kyle Morgan (0-4), Niall Smith (1-0), Aron McKenna (0-2), Ciaran Rafferty (0-2), Niall Grimley (0-2), Joe Sheridan (0-2), Colly Mallon (0-2), Liam Grimley (0-1), Co nor Grimley (0-1).

Annaghmore Scorers: Conor Cullen (0-6), Sean McCann (1-0), Tomas McCormack (0-1), Shea Reavey (0-1), Stephen McConville (0-1), Matthew Willis (0-1).

Group 2

Armagh Harps 4-8 Silverbridge 1-19

Both sides knew they were heading to a play off place before the ball was threw in on Sunday with the winner confirming second place and the loser taking third place as Granemore had already topped group 2 after two games with St Peter’s crashing out of the competition after the same number of matches.

Silverbridge opened the scoring with an early Aaron Duffy score after nice build up play further out the field but the Bridge soon lost their advantage when a fine catch in the centre of the park from Declan McKenna began a Harps attack that ended with Caolan McQuaid hitting the first goal of the game.

Silverbridge pulled one back through a Ronan Reel 45 while Aaron Duffy pointed to level the score but once again the Harps pushed on when a Silverbridge effort was dropped short leading the Harps to attack from deep and once again strike the net, this time from their attack minded defender Rory McGrath.

Paddy Reel responded with another white flag for the Bridge before Joe McElroy captured possession in the midfield and expertly drove forward to score a brilliant individual point. The Harps defence was on top and this stage, forcing the opposition attack to really work hard while the forwards on the other side were doing their bit with Gareth Swift knocking over a free.

Some brilliant build up play allowed Caolan McQuaid to curl over an excellent point while Aaron Duffy saw his effort cancelled out by two more Gareth Swift scores. The Harps could have been further in front but for a fantastic save from Silverbridge’s number one Eoghan Burns and this produced a counter attack that ended with a Jamie Murphy point.

The game took a momentum switch and the Bridge found themselves on top now with scores coming through Duffy, Peter Carragher (2) and Ronan Reel to close the gap to two points on the stroke of half time with the Harps goals leaving them ahead at the break, Armagh Harps 2-5 Silverbridge 0-9.

A frantic start to the second half saw the Harps produce their third goal of the game with Joe McElroy this time blasting the ball past the keeper. The sides swapped scores with Gareth Swift and Paddy Reel both on target before Reel again raised a white flag from a placed ball effort.

The Harps were dominant in the third quarter however and grabbed another three pointer from the resulting kick out with Tom O’Kane the man getting the shot away. The Bridge began to find their groove however and points from Ronan Reel (2) and Peter Carragher (2) were evenly split by a Joe McElroy free.

The Harps became wasteful in possession as Silverbridge took full advantage of their mistakes and made them pay as a Ronan Reel effort struck the upright with Paddy Reel reacting quickest to pounce on possession and fire the ball to the back of the net with only minutes left on the clock.

Mark Rowland followed up with a point for the Bridge who were now in control of the contest while the day just went from bad to worse for Armagh Harps when they were reduced to 14 after a second yellow card offence for Conor White. Ronan Reel kicked the final score of the game to hand Silverbridge a two point victory, setting up a tie with Sarsfields while the Harps will meet Ballymacnab.

Group 1

Crossmaglen 3-15 Ballymacnab 2-12

Ballymacnab done amazingly well to claw themselves back into contention in the second half after a disastrous opening quarter which saw them trail 1-7 to no score with the result seemingly never in doubt. However the Round Towers cut the deficit to four but two quick fire goals for the Rangers handed the home side the advantage once again.

The game was just 11 seconds old when Crossmaglen rattled the net for their first score with a brilliantly worked move straight from the training ground. Rian O’Neill rose highest to fetch the throw up and found his brother Oisin in acres of space bursting through the forward line to collect possession and bury the ball to the net with the Nab immediately in trouble.

Things only got worse as the O’Neill brothers ran riot along with their younger cousin Cian McConville who kicked the opening point after three minutes. Rian O’Neill (2), Stephen Morris, Colin O’Connor and Oisin O’Neill all added points before Ballymacnab got off the mark in the 15th minute with a Gavin McParland 45.

Ballymacnab outscored the hosts for the rest of the half with Rory Grugan trading scores with Oisin O’Neill while Ryan Kennedy exchanged points with Cian McConville to keep nine the margin. Jack Grugan saw his point followed by a Oisin McGivern free to bring the half to a close with Cross on top 1-9 to 0-5.

A changed Nab side entered the fray for the second half and reeled off four of the first five points to bring them right back into the game. Rory Grugan and Ryan Watters converted scores before Oisin O’Neill struck his third point. Grugan got his second of the half while his brother Jack scored to bring the deficit back to four, with Ballymacnab on top at this stage.

Then disaster struck for the men in maroon and white as all their hard work was undone in a crazy 20 second spell. Mel Boyce rattled the net to give Cross some comfort before Kyle Carragher captured the resulting kick out and blasted the ball past the goal keeper to send his side 10 ahead.

Ballymacnab did continue to fight their corner with Gavin McParland firing the ball to the net while Oisin McGivern and McParland brought the margin back to five. But Cross turned on the style once again and points from Oisin O’Neill, Stephen Morris, Kyle Carragher and Paul Hughes ended any hope of a Nab revival.

Jack Grugan finished off with a pointed free before sticking home a penalty with Ballymacnab’s last score. It was Cross who tagged on the final score of the game through a Rian O’Neill dead ball to leave the home side six points to the good when the final whistle sounded.

Crossmaglen Scorers: Oisin O’Neill (1-4), Rian O’Neill (0-4), Kyle Carragher (1-1), Mel Boyce (1-0), Cian McConville (0-2), Stephen Morris (0-2), Colin O’Connor (0-1), Paul Hughes (0-1).

Ballymacnab Scorers: Jack Grugan (1-3), Gavin McParland (1-2), Rory Grugan (0-3), Oisin McGivern (0-2), Ryan Kennedy (0-1), Ryan Watters (0-1).