SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 1
Ballymacnab 2-14 Clan Na Gael 2-06
Our seniors were in action on Friday past when they faced Clan Na Gael in the 1st Round of the Championship at the Morgan Athletic Grounds. Conditions were ideal and at the end of the sixty minutes Ballymacnab came away with a deserving victory on a scoreline of 2-14 to 2-06.
Clans started the game in a blaze and from their first attack only a point blank save from 'keeper Sean Hughes denied them a goal, at the expense of a point. They quickly followed with another point a minute later. On the 5th minute the Clans had the ball in the net having cut through a bewildered 'Nab defence. Pauric Gribben caught the resulting kick out and raced forward to kick the Round Towers first score. Brian McCone followed up shortly with a pointed free to leave just the goal between the sides. On the 12th minute a quick free by Michael Beagan found Rory Grugan free and he converted his first score of the game with a point. A pointed free from captain Brian McCone on the 14th minute was followed by a point from Gavin McParland to level the sides. As the 'Nab began to take control in the midfield berth Michael Beagan kicked over a magnificent point from around 40 meters to give Ballymacnab the lead for the first time. Rory Grugan showed great accuracy both from a free and open play with a point from each. Five minutes from the interval Ballymacnab had to temporarily replace Paul Kennedy due to a blood injury but his replacement, James Gray, made an immediate impact when he pounced on a loose ball and drove the ball to the net. Clans however responded quickly with three unanswered point and by the interval had reduced the deficit to two point and only another superb catch from Sean Hughes denied a certain goal.
The second half began with a bang from a Ballymacnab perspective when Clans recorded a second goal. To the lads credit their response was immediate through points in quick succession from Pauric Gribben and Brian McCone. On the 43rd minute the 'Nab fired forward once more and built up a move involving Kevin Beagan, Joe Gribben and Rory Grugan setting up Pauric Gribben to finish off the move with a goal. This score seemed to knock the heart out of Clans but our lads did not let up and added further points from Rory Grugan (2), Joe Gribben and Sean McArdle.
The team will be happy with the result and to be in 'the hat' for the next round. The defence responded well to the Clans second half goal and snuffed out their remaining attacks and keeping them scoreless for the reminder of the game, with Ryan Kennedy deserving particular praise. Pauric Gribben put in another good display in the middle, with Joe Gribben collecting a good percentage of breaking ball. Paul Kennedy worked tirelessly in the second half while Rory Grugan showed his worth once more with great accuracy in collecting five points.
Team: Sean Hughes, Chris Loughran, Paudi Crilly, Dwayne McParland, Ruairi Gribben, Ryan Kennedy, Kevin Beagan, Sean McArdle (0-1), Pauric Gribben (1-2), Michael Beagan (0-1), Brian McCone (Capt 0-3), Paul Kennedy, Joe Gribben (0-1), Rory Grugan (0-5), Gavin McParland (0-1). Subs: James Gray (1-0) for J.Gribben, Dominic McParland for B.McCone.
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