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Seniors get off to winning start in Championship (25/08/18)

posted 28 Aug 2018, 14:38 by ballymacnab armagh

After a hugely positive and successful league, our senior side kept their momentum running as they began their championship campaign with an impressive win on Saturday evening away to Sarsfields with the final score reading 3-14 to 1-11.

It was Sarsfields who started the brighter, converting their first scoring opportunity straight from the throw in. Ballymacnab replied in emphatic fashion however as Gavin McParland rattled the net after good work from Paul Meegan and Jack Grugan. Sarsfields came back with a score of their own, a pointed free to leave the Nab 1-0 to 0-2 in front.

Their lead was soon stretched as Jack Grugan opened his account for the evening with a well taken point before brother Rory set up Brendan Toner for the simplest of goals, with Toner tapping the ball into an empty net to leave his side 2-1 to 0-2 ahead with just 8 minutes played.

The home side soon converted another point from the dead ball before Paul Meegan burst through the Sarsfield defence to fire over his team’s second point. Jack Grugan extended the lead to 6 with a right footed shot before Ryan Watters got his name on the score sheet with a well taken effort.

Sarsfields were then handed a lifeline on the 20th minute when they converted a penalty, before scoring their 4th point of the game, leaving the deficit now at 3, Ballymacnab still in front 2-4 to 1-4. The visitors then went further ahead once more when Brendan Toner added to his early goal with a point this time, before Sarsfields answer back with another point.

Rory Grugan swung over a beautiful score, followed by points from Paul Meegan and Ryan Watters to push their side further ahead. Sarsfields scored the final point of the half, leaving the half time score Ballymacnab 2-8 Sarsfields 1-6.

Unlike the first half, Ballymacnab started the quicker of the two, with Oisin McGivern setting up a Jack Grugan point before a well worked counter attack saw Grugan once again score, this time burying the ball in the back of the net. Ballymacnab now lead by double scores, 3-9 to 1-6. 

The Nab kept on top and kept driving on, with McGivern getting in on the scoring with a converted free before Meegan once again split the posts to get his 3rd of the game. Sarsfields eventually opened their account for the second half with three well taken points, leaving them trailing by 8 points now.

Sarsfields purple patch ended when Ballymacnab registered their 12th point of the game, this time from substitute Kieran Hughes, however Sarsfields did hit back with another two scores to leave the score 3-12 to 1-11 with time almost up. Aodhan Toner knocked over a point before Meegan got the final score of the game, leaving Ballymacnab 9 points victors.

A good win for the lads, who now sit top of Group A, with Sean Hughes, Paul Meegan and Jack Grugan being the stand out performers on the night. They now face Whitecross away on Friday evening, with a throw in time of 6:45pm.

Team: Sean Hughes, Ciaran Connelly, Ryan Kennedy, Ruairi Gribben, Michael Beagan, Paudi Crilly, James Gray, Rory Grugan (0-1), Paul Meegan (0-4), Cormac McKee, Oisin McGivern (0-1), Ryan Watters (0-2), Gavin McParland (1-0), Jack Grugan (1-3), Brendan Toner (1-1).     


Subs: Kieran Hughes (0-1) for G. McParland, Sean Lynch for J. Gray, Damien McGeown for R. Watters, Aodhan Toner (0-1) for B. Toner, Niall McKee for C. Connelly.