Senior league champions, Cullyhanna, opened their championship campaign on Sunday and made light work of the Pearse Óg challenge. Highlights of the game can be viewed by clicking here
Both sides were missing a few players through injury, but St Patrick’s cruised through to a second round tie against Sarsfields, after a 2-20 to 1-5 demolition of the city side.
Pearse Óg hit the opening score after 30 seconds through Ross Clarke, but it would take them all of 30 minutes to hit their second. Cullyhanna went on a rampage in Ballymacnab with Shea Hoey hitting 0-4 in the first half, 0-2 from Phelim McArdle and Eugene Casey and 0-1 for Mal Mackin and Conor Connolly. Cullyhanna’s first goal came on 22 minutes when Jason Duffy palmed the ball to the net from Connolly’s pass who gathered a great ball in from Eugene Casey. Five minutes later, the south Armagh side added a second goal with Gary McCooey converting a penalty.
HT Coilleach Eanach 2-10 Piarsaigh Óga 0-2
Cullyhanna began the second half in the same ruthless fashion with Phelim Savage hitting the first score after 20 seconds. Further scores in the second half from Shea Hoey with 4, Mal Mackin with 2 and one apiece for Jason Duffy, Eugene Casey and second half substitute Kieran Hoey saw St Peatricks run out easy winners. Pearse Óg did manage 1-3 in the second half with two of their youngest players hitting the points, Conor Nugent with 2 and Ruairí McCay with 1 and the goal finished by Tiarnán Donnelly. It was a day to forget for the Ógs who will now play Madden in the qualifiers, while Cullyhanna will expect bigger challenges as they move on through the championship.
FT Coilleach Eanach 2-20 Piarsaigh Óga 1-5
Wolfe Tones got off to a bright enough start in the final tie of the first round leading the Grange by 1-5 to 0-2 after 15 minutes. Niall Geoghegan hit 1-2 of that tally, the goal finished after a shot by Finnian Moriarty was blocked. The Grange hit back through Dáire Mallon and Cathal McKenna, while the next two Grange scores came from bad mistakes by the Tones defence who gave the ball straight to their opponents. The Grange were soon level when Dáire Mallon passed the ball through to Ryan Kieran who finished to the net to leave the score 1-6 to 1-6 after 20 minutes. Finnian Moriarty and Eoin Rafferty traded scores, and with Chris Nugent through on goal, his shot was saved and put out for a 45. The Grange took great heart from the save and finished the half strongly with points from Mark Toal and Eoin Rafferty putting them two ahead at half time.
HT De Bhulbh Tón 1-7 An Ghráinseach 1-9
The Grange went further ahead at the start of the second with a couple of converted frees but a couple of wides in the same period would prove costly. James Doyle hit the second goal for the Derrymacash men, after great work from Ruairí McCaughley to get by three defenders. The Tones pushed ahead from then with scores from Chris Nugent, Doyle, Declan Lavery and Niall Geoghegan and with ten minutes to go, they led 2-12 to 1-12. The Tones went further ahead with a great ball in from Caolán Farrell put Ruairí McCaughley through and his finish increased the gap to 5, Mark Toal hitting a free for the Grange. The Tones were reduced to 14 men six minutes from time. Points were traded in the remaining five minutes and deep in injury time, Colm Rafferty converted a very soft penalty to leave just three points in it. As the Tones fans waited for the full time whistle, the Grange tried high ball after high ball, but Brendan Rafferty could only manage a point nine minutes into time added on and the Tones advanced to a tough round two tie against Maghery.
FT De Bhulbh Tón 3-15 An Ghráinseach 2-16