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Seniors lose narrowly in Championship (05/10/13)

posted 8 Oct 2013, 04:22 by Unknown user   [ updated 8 Oct 2013, 04:25 ]



Our seniors participation in this year’s Championship came to an abrupt end on Saturday evening when St.Patrick's edged out winners by a single point after a thrilling encounter. For the first 30 minutes Ballymacnab played some of the best football ever witnessed by their loyal supporters and went in at half time 2-08 to 0-07 ahead. Despite weathering the storm for most of the second half, St.Patrick's got over the line with a 60th minute free to win the game and advance to their first Senior Final.

Ballymacnab went into the game as underdogs and their hopes were dented further when inspirational forward and captain Brian McCone was unable to participate in the game after picking up an injury in training during the week. The 'Nab did however got off to a dream start when Michael Beagan set up Jack Grugan for the first score of the game within the first minute. St.Patrick's responded immediately with a point of their own but Ballymacnab restored their lead and dominated the early exchanges when Rory Grugans inch perfect pass from a side line kick to the on rushing Tony McKee, who glided over a point. Ballymacnab increased their lead on the 6th minute after some good play from Jack Grugan that saw him eventually fouled and Ryan Kennedy pointing from the resulting kick. An excellent catch in front of goals by Gary McKee saw him fouled also and Jack Grugan once again pointed from the resulting free. St.Pat's hit back with a point on the 13th minute but three minute later came the first goal of the game when a neat finish was put away by Jack Grugan. St.Pat's responded with two points, in between another Jack Grugan point, to leave three between the sides by the 19th minute. Rory Grugan was creating havoc in the opposition defence and added further headache when he fisted over a point on the 21st minute before Gary McKee curled over an excellent long range effort a minute later. St.Patrick's reduced the deficit with a point despite the courage efforts of Chris Loughran and Kevin Beagan in the 'Nab rearguard who snuffed out attack after attack. On the 25th minute Rory Grugan proved again to be a thorn in the oppositions side when he cut through the defence, before passing across the square to his brother Jack who stroked the ball to the net with his second goal and followed up with a converted free three minutes later to take his personal tally to 2-04. A point just before the interval for the opposition brought the half to a close, a half that Ballymacnab didn't want to end.

As expected, St.Patrick's hit the ground running, converting two points in quick succession but Tony McKee burst through the defence to kick his second point on the 36th minute and only an excellent stop from 'keeper Sean Hughes denied a certain goal. St.Patrick's responded with two further points as they began to dominate in the midfield berth where Ryan Kennedy and Pauric Gribben had controlled for the best part of 45 minutes. An inspirational point from Kevin Beagan on the 49th minute gave his team a much needed left but St.Pat's finished the remaining 10 minutes the strongest, hitting a goal on the 53rd minute and by the 56th minute the sides were level for the first time since the 2nd minute. It now remained who could keep their cool in the remaining minutes and it was a 60th minute pointed free for St.Pat's which saw them take the lead for the first time. Ballymacnab frantically tried to grab an equaliser but unfortunately their gallant effort just came up short. A superb performance and effort from our lads who gave their best on the night. We congratulate St.Patrick’s and wish them good luck in the forthcoming final

Team: Sean Hughes, Chris Loughran, Ruairi Gribben, Kevin Beagan (0-1), James Gray, Michael Beagan, Dominic McParland, Pauric Gribben (Capt), Tony McKee (0-2), Damian McGeown, Joe Gribben, Ryan Kennedy (0-1), Rory Grugan (0-1), Gary McKee (0-1), Jack Grugan (2-4). Subs: Dwayne McParland for J.Gribben, Sean McArdle for D. McParland.