Crossmaglen 0-7 Ballymacnab 7-9
You may need a second glance at the score line, but your eyes have not deceived you, and it is not a misprint.
Ballymacnab recorded seven goals past an inexperienced Crossmaglen team that were short several regulars on Friday evening, to pick up their first points of the season.
The O’Neill brothers, along with Callum Cumiskey, Paul Hughes and Stephen Morris offered Cross a strong spine, but on the wings, they were fairly new to this level of football.
Like last week, Stephen Kernan continued to blood some new talent into the Crossmaglen senior ranks while they await the return of Aaron Kernan, James Morgan, Kyle Carragher and Cian McConville, among others.
Jack Grugan shone brightest in the maroon colours and his four first half goals helped paved the way for a hugely unexpected result.
Ballymacnab took full advantage of Crossmaglen’s man-to-man stance and delivered ball after ball into their deadly full forward line, with oceans of space available in front of them.
The home side held a 0-4 to 0-2 advantage after 12 minutes of play with Rory Grugan and Gavin McParland replying to scores from Mel Boyce, Dara O’Callaghan, Rian O’Neill and Stephen Morris.
Then came the opening goal of the game as Grugan smashed the ball into the net before following it up with a point.
Ciaran Connolly darted forward to lay off Grugan as he once again locked eyes with the Crossmaglen netminder.
The Ballymacnab full-forward beautifully chipped the ball over the diving keeper to record his second major.
Paul Meegan and Rian O’Neill traded scores before Grugan once again bore down on goal but was fouled prior to getting a shot away.
With the hat-trick on, there was only one man going to hit the penalty and Ballymacnab’s number 14 made no mistake in powering the ball into the top corner.
And he wasn’t finished yet. A high ball towards the square was met with the fist of Grugan and within the space of 13 minutes, The Nabs talisman had struck the net four times.
The game was essentially over by the interval with the away side well ahead, 4-6 to 0-4.
The same narrative continued as Gavin McParland started the second half with two goals in the opening ten minutes, while Fearghal Nugent also chipped in with a three-pointer.
Rory Grugan tapped over three frees, matching Cross’s total tally for the second period, to see out a famous win for the Round Towers.
Elsewhere in the division, Dromintee continued their winning streak on Saturday evening, defeating an out-of-form Armagh Harps side.
Cathal McKenna’s first half major was the game winning score as the home side just scraped through in the end, winning 1-8 to 0-10.
St Peter’s 0-16 Grange 0-18
The Grange continued their terrific start in the league with another huge win on Friday night, beating St Peter’s away from home by two points.
Ethan Rafferty was the dominating figure around the centre of the park for Grange and he chipped in with five points throughout the evening.
Miceal McKenna and Ben Toal were their usual accurate best and the away side were well in control at the short whistle, registering 0-13 to St Peter’s 0-8.
Cathal McKenna extended their lead early in the second period, before the Lurgan side started to claw their way back into the game.
Ethan Rafferty kept his side ahead, kicking them into a four-point lead near the conclusion of the game as St Peter’s closed the gap to two just before the final whistle.
Two hugely impressive performances and results sees Grange sit top of Division 1B as they continue to build momentum heading towards the championship.
Tir na nOg hosted Tullysaran on Friday evening as the sides locked horns in the only game of the division on the night.
Following opening day defeats last weekend, both teams wanted to get off the mark and pick up their first points of the season.
It was the visiting side who came away with the two points on offer, commanding an eight-point lead by the end of the game.
Three goals were the telling difference between the sides, as Tullysaran ran out comfortable winners in the end, 3-10 to 0-11.
Middletown 0-12 Clonmore 1-10
Clonmore continued their early season form with their second win in as many games, with the minimum of margins separating the sides at the end.
Ryan O’Hagan was the star in the green and gold and ended the contest with a personal tally of 1-7 (four frees).
The sides were equally matched after ten minutes, both recording one point each before the visitors hit a purple patch, recording four unanswered points.
Middletown enjoyed a period of dominance themselves, and soon had the margin dwindled down to a single point, Clonmore ahead 0-5 to 0-4 at the break.
The sides were once again on level terms in the second half before O’Hagan rattled the net after some brilliant work from youngster Sean Quigley.
Middletown did fight back but the away side were fit to hold out and managed to maintain their one-point lead and claim maximum points for the second week running.
Wolfe Tones also recorded a victory on Friday evening with a two-point win over hosts Collegeland, the game ending 0-12 to 0-10.
O’Hanlon’s 1-10 Derrynoose 1-15
Derrynoose continued to display their early promise in the Junior Division, making it two wins from two on Friday night.
Davy McCreesh saw his two opening points split by an O’Hanlon’s score before the home side raced into the lead with the games opening goal through Darryl Trainor.
O’Hanlon’s soon found themselves five points ahead with three points on the trot as Charlie and Adam Magill along with Eamon O’Reilly all got on the score sheet before Davy McCreesh and Pauric McNaughton halted the momentum.
The sides continued to trade scores right up to the end of the first half and it was the home side with the lead at the break, 1-6 to 0-7.
The advantage was short lived however as Derrynoose started the second half all guns blazing, hitting 1-4 during the early exchanges of the third quarter.
O’Hanlon’s tagged on four points to leave the margin at two, but a brace from McCreesh and one from Sean McGuigan handed Derrynoose a five-point lead at the full-time whistle.
Eire Og got their second win from two games, defeating Mullabrack in round two by 14 points in the end, 1-13 to 0-2.
Crossmaglen IIs also recorded a huge victory on Friday evening, defeating Corrinshego 2-16 to 0-9 on home soil.