Cuchulainns 2-8 Keady 2-22
Keady got their 2020 season off to a flying start on Tuesday evening with an impressive first round win against hosts Cuchulainns.
The away side built up a strong lead heading into the interval and although Cuchulainns reacted with two second half goals, it wasn’t enough to bring them back into contention.
Fionntaan Donnelly grabbed the game’s first score before Conor McKee struck the opening goal, following a great, defence splitting run by Odhran Fullerton.
Cuchulainns steadied the ship with a Cormac Toner point which was immediately matched by Fionntaan Donnelly, after an impressive 30-yard dart.
Keady continued to build momentum with further scores while Lorcan Coulter and Cormac Toner both split the posts for the home side.
The Lamh Dhearg men saw out the half stronger, leaving them 12 points ahead at the break, 2-9 to 0-3.
The visiting team remained in control in the second period with four unanswered scores early on.
Lorcan Coulter did pull one back for his side, but his effort was cancelled out by Stephen Renaghan with a long-range score.
Ciaran Clifford put in a huge effort helping out his defence and Cuchulainns looked to have hit a purple patch with Michael McCullagh splitting the posts before Coulter grabbed his teams first major.
The sides exchanged points before Cormac Toner buried the ball to the net from a free after Caolan Rice had been fouled 20 yards from goal.
Keady did claim the final score of the evening, with Renaghan grabbing another to bring the game to a close.
Middletown 2-15 Derrynoose 2-15
These two sides served up a real cracker on Tuesday evening and neither team could grab the match winning score.
A 62nd minute free from Pauric McNaughton claimed a share of the spoils for Derrynoose, who led by four early in the second period.
Derrynoose took control of the contest with Kevin McKenna’s goal in the fifth minute added to with points from Aaron Fox, McNaughton (3) and Conor McNally.
Middletown came roaring back into contention with six points in quick succession, to trail by just the minimum.
Three more McNaughton frees saw out the half with Derrynoose ahead at the break, the goal the difference, 1-8 to 0-8.
Middletown once again edged closer with two quick-fire scores in the second period while McNaughton continued to display his accuracy from placed balls.
Aaron Fox and Conor McNally both swung over scores from play to stretch the Derrynoose lead to four, seven minutes after the break.
In a five minutes spell the county champions came roaring back, hitting 1-2 to turn the game on its head.
McNaughton did claim the equaliser with a free before finding the net himself, to hand Derrynoose the ascendancy once again.
The sides cancelled each other out with two points apiece before Middletown smashed home a goal to level the game.
They looked to have sneaked an opening day win, but McNaughton fired over the last score of the contest to guarantee a share of the spoils.
Elsewhere in the division, Sean Treacy’s opened their league account with a victory away to Naomh Monnine.
A first half goal saw the Lurgan men ahead through the first half and the three-pointer was the difference at the interval, 1-8 to 0-8 at half time.
Treacy’s pushed on in the second period and held the opposition to just two points, seeing the game out to earn a convincing 2-15 to 0-10 win.
On Tuesday evening, St Malachy’s Hurling Club of Portadown competed in their first competitive action at Senior level for eight years.
Killeavy proved tough opposition on the first day of the season and completed a 3-20 to 2-12 victory.
Fergal Beattie smashed over eight points on the night while James Hamill and Michael McGuigan claimed St Malachy’s two goals.
Craobh Rua and Cuchulainns II played out a much closer affair in their first competitive outing of 2020.
The Camlough based men just did enough in the end to claim maximum points, winning 0-20 to 1-15.