Ballymacnab 1-8 Madden 1-7
The opening round of the Senior Camogie Championship was a repeat of last seasons final and this one went right down to the wire.
At the half way stage, Ballymacnab looked comfortable and it seemed guaranteed they would progress to the semi finals.
But Madden came roaring back into the contest and with the clock ticking towards full time, the result was well and truly up in the air.
The Nab made a brighter start and held a three point lead by the 7th minute mark, with Eimear Smyth (2) and Aoibhin O’Hare finding their range.
The hosts replied through their reliable free-taker Sinead Kiernan, who struck a brace to bring the gap back to one.
Smyth fired over her third before two points in quick succession from Ellie McKee helped Ballymacnab into a 6-2 lead.
Kiernan continued to display her accuracy from the dead ball with her third point of the evening, cutting the deficit to three.
Ballymacnab ended the half like they started it, with a point coming from Eimear Smyth, following an Aine Maguire score.
This saw the Nab ahead 0-8 to 0-3 at half time.
Incredibly, Ballymacnab would have to wait another 24 minutes to score again as Madden clawed their way make into contention.
The poor weather denied what should have been a ding-dong battle but it was Madden who dealt with the conditions better in the second period.
Three unanswered points left two the margin with the game entering the final 15 minutes, and everything still to play for.
Michelle McArdle opened Ballymacnab’s account for the second period with the games opening three-pointer, coming from a free 50 yards from goal.
Madden replied instantly with Kelly Mallon finding the net, striking to the top corner of the goal to keep her side in with a chance.
The home side tagged on one final score but couldn’t do enough to get something from the game and Ballymacnab march on to defend their title against Tullysaran in the semi final.
Elsewhere in the Senior Championship Middletown proved too strong when they hosted Crossmaglen.
Six ppoints was the margin by the time the final whistle sounded, Middletown winning 4-7 to 2-7.
Tullysaran produced perhaps the shock of the round when they overcame Keady in the quarter final.
Extra time was needed to declare a winner and it was the home side who got over the line, winning 1-14 to 2-10.
Granemore and Naomh Mhuire also played on Wednesday evening but an injury to a Naomg Mhuire player saw the game abandoned.
In the Intermediate Championship, Cullyhanna and Culloville couldn’t be separated and a replay will decide the winner.