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Seniors edge Silverbridge in tight affair (07/04/19)

posted 12 Apr 2019, 05:03 by ballymacnab armagh

Ballymacnab 3-16 Silverbridge 2-15

Matchball Sponsor - Brendan Maguire

Ballymacnab earned their first points of the 2019 League campaign, with an impressive 4 point win over newly promoted Silverbridge. The Nab had to dig deep on several occasions to gain the victory, as they trailed by 4 points just after half time, while being outscored by the visitors 2-5 to no score in the final 15 minutes of the opening half.

The Nab did control the early exchanges however with Rory Grugan opening the scoring after 4 minutes of play. Silverbridge’s first point split two Nab goals, one apiece for the Hughes brother Kieran and Pearse. Kieran was again on target a minute later while Rory Grugan swung over his second score, leaving his side 2-3 to 0-1 ahead.

Silverbridge got their second before Pearse Hughes split the posts from close range. This proved to be Ballymacnab’s last contribution of the half, with Silverbridge dictating the rest of the 2nd quarter, kicking 2-5 to lead at the half time whistle, with the score Ballymacnab 2-4 Silverbridge 2-7 with the game still up for grabs in the 2nd period of 30 minutes.

Ballymacnab rang the changes during the interval, with substitute Finnen Maguire reducing the deficit to 2 points with the first shot after the resume. Silverbridge doubled their lead with 2 points of their own while a fantastic Paul Meegan point (after his hard work had turned the ball over) brought his side back to within 3.

Rory Grugan (free), Gavin McParland and Brian McCone all chipped in to level the game, with a tense and nervous 20 minutes remaining. Silverbridge kept the scoreboard ticking over with 2 more points but another Grugan free followed by McParland’s second left the sides all square once again.

Ballymacnab came strong in the final 10 minutes, with Jack Grugan this time answering another Silverbridge score. A high, hopeful ball into the square by McParland caught the goalkeeper by surprise, lobbing over his head and nestling in the back of the net. Jack Grugan again cancelled out a Silverbridge point while McParland also swapped scores with the visitors.

Silverbridge reduced the margin to leave 2 points between the sides, before Ruairi Gribben burst forward to fist the ball between the posts with the game now in injury time. Another McCone effort sailed over the bar, while Silverbridge registered one final point to leave the score 3-16 to 2-15 in favour of the ‘Nab.

Ballymacnab’s quality forward line of Kieran Hughes, Gavin McParland, Brian McCone and Jack Grugan provided them with the platform to push on and win the game in the second half. They now face the challenge of a home tie against Crossmaglen on Friday evening at 8.15pm, in the 3rd round of the league campaign.

Team: Simon Hawkins, Colm McKee, Ruairi Gribben (0-1), Jemmy Gray, Michael Beagan, Niall McKee, Chris Loughran, Rory Grugan (0-4), Paul Meegan (0-1), Cormac McKee, Oisin McGivern, Damian McGeown, Kieran Hughes (1-1), Gavin McParland (1-3), Pearse Hughes (1-1).                                                                                                                                   Subs: Ryan Watters for Cormac McKee, Brian McCone (0-2) for D. McGeown, Finnen Maguire (0-1), for C. Loughran, Jack Grugan (0-2) for Oisin McGivern, Fearghal Nugent for P. Hughes.