Division 2A – Shane O’Neill’s 5-11 Whitecross 1-10
Goals win games and five second half majors saw Shane O’Neill’s begin the season at the top of Division 2A.
Mark McCabe got the hosts off the mark with a well taken point only for Whitecross to respond with a Michael McGrory free.
The sides swapped scores with Shea Chambers and David McCabe matching Niall Boyle and McGrory, before a brilliant left footed effort from Ryan Quin put the Shanes three in front.
Ruairi O’Brien marked his competitive senior debut with a fine fisted point to stretch his side’s advantage.
Whitecross finished the half on top with scores from Anthony McCann, Neil McSherry, Eamon Reavey and Aidan Finnegan (2). 0-8 to 1-4 at the break.
The sides exchanged points in the opening minutes of the second period. David McCabe was on target for the Camlough men, matched by Reavey.
O’Brien then fired over to tie the game. The youngster was involved again, laying the ball off to Mark McCabe, who was then upended in the square.
Raymond Fitzpatrick made no mistake from the penalty, putting his side three up. Aodhan Conlon tagged on another point for the Shane’s, but this was quickly cancelled out by a Finnegan free.
The Shane’s hit a purple patch to seal the win courtesy of two quick fire goals from Matthew Girvan.
Whitecross reduced the deficit to seven with a converted penalty from McGrory, only for Eamon McCabe to restore the Shane’s ten-point advantage with his side’s fifth goal.
Shane O’Neill’s tagged on a further three points courtesy of Aodhan Conlon, Eamon McCabe and Raymond Fitzpatrick to claim an opening day win.
St Peter’s 0-9 Wolfe Tones 0-7
St Peter’s finished two points ahead of neighbours Wolfe Tones in the first round of Division 2A.
Two grades separated these teams last year. St Peter’s were relegated from 1B while the Tones gained promotion from 2B.
The visiting team raced into an early lead, shooting 0-4 to 0-1 in front. St Peter’s replied with five unanswered points to go into the break 6-4 ahead.
Both sides hit three point each after the interval, with St Peter’s leading when the full time whistle sounded.
Tulllysaran 0-14 Annaghmore 0-8
Tullysaran got the league campaign off to the perfect start with a comfortable home win over recently relegated Annaghmore.
The hosts had the assistance of the breeze in the first half, but it was Annaghmore who recorded the first point.
Tullysaran replied with the next three scores courtesy of Mark McKeever, Gavin Conlon and Eoghan Daly.
Annaghmore reduced the deficit before Daly shot over a brilliant point after a good run from midfield.
The away side got the next point but a Ciaran Mullen effort and two pointed frees from Eddie Mallon gave Tullysaran a three-point lead at half time. 0-7 to 0-4.
In the second period, playing against the wind, Tullysaran the more dominant team and picked off scores at will.
Mallon and Conlon grabbed all of their 7 points. Four from the boot of Conlon and three from Mallon.
Annaghmore recorded 4 points of their own but never looked like they were going to challenge the home team.
Two young fellas made their senior debuts for Tullysaran, and both gave good accounts of themselves, James Conlon and Mark McKenna.
Tir na nOg 0-13 Clonmore 0-8
Tir na nOg were five point winners over Clonmore on Sunday and deservingly picked up the first two points of the season.
Clonmore took the lead early on before Darragh McKee scored to equalise after good work by Tom Weir.
The home team edged clear as Johnny McGurgan showed great determination to break three tackles before sending the ball over the bar.
Jamie McAleenan traded scores with the opposition before Clonmore took the lead again when a long distance free bounced over the bar.
Clonmore picked up a black card as McGurgan sent over a great curling point despite being under severe pressure from the visiting defence.
One of the last plays of the first half saw Mc Aleenan put over an excellent point with the outside of the left foot and edge the home team in front for the first time. 5-4 at the break.
Substitute Oran Power made an immediate impression with a blitz of scoring in the early stages of the second half.
Four consecutive points put the Portadown men into the ascendancy. McGurgan continued his run of impressive scoring with a great point from distance.
Not to be out done, Power sent over a huge kick from 45 metres, out on the sideline. Diarmuid Tennyson and Oran Power swapped possession before releasing the ball to the tireless Carlos Pires who squeezed over an excellent score.
Oran Power worked hard to win the ball, setting up Tom Weir with the opportunity to score what was to be final point of the game.
Clonmore had one last chance to salvage something from the game, with a penalty as time was running out.
But home netminder Calum McKee pulled off a heroic save and Tir na nOg saw out a five point win.
Crossmaglen II 1-9 Ballyhegan 0-5
A first half goal from the home side settled the game as Crossmaglen II began life in Division 2B with a victory.
The Rangers were quick out of the blocks with three points from Ronan Finnegan, Liam Blessing and Diarmuid McConville.
The sides exchanged scores before Colin O’Connor fisted home the crucial three pointer. Cross led at the break 1-4 to 0-3.
Ruairi O’Neill split the posts after being introduced. His score was cancelled out by an opposition effort.
Finnegan (2) and O’Connor chipped over points while O’Connor traded scores with Joe Feeney’s men to bring an end to the game.
Belleek 1-12 Keady 1-9
2021 Junior champions marked their first game in Division 2B with a three-point win over Keady.
A first half Keady goal kept the game tight and the sides were level at the short whistle.
Belleek also found the net, with a late second half goal to seal the first two points of the year.