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Senior League v Crossmaglen 24/07/20

posted 4 Aug 2020, 15:32 by ballymacnab armagh

Division 1A

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.

Team: Simon Hawkins, Rúairí Gribben, Ryan Kennedy, James Gray, Ryan Watters, Ciaran Connolly (Capt), Chris Loughran, Rory Grugan (0-5), Paul Meegan (0-1), Pauric Gribben, Óisín McGivern, Aodhan Toner, Gavin McParland (2-1), Jack Grugan (4-1), Fearghal Nugent (1-1). Subs: Colm McKee for C.Loughran, Michael Beagan for A.Toner, Brian McClelland for R.Kennedy, Simon King for C.Connolly, Joe Gribben for O.McGivern