GREENFIELD FOODS SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP.
Ballybay got their senior championship campaign off to a winning start when they edged past Castleblayney in this exciting cliff hanger that was played in ideal conditions in Clontibret on Saturday evening last. Ballybay started well and opened a 3 points lead after just 7 minutes but for the following 15 minutes they were under increasing pressure as a goal by Ciaran Hanratty kick started a strong period for Castleblayney as they opened a 5 points lead 7 minutes before the break. By the short whistle though Ballybay had fought back to parity with 5 points on the trot, 2 by Christopher McGuinness from frees and one apiece by Thomas Kerr, Ciaran Galligan and Paul Finlay from a free to leave the half-time score Ballybay 0-10, Castleblayney 1-7. The 2nd half developed into a riveting contest with Ballybay, thanks to the accuracy of both Christopher McGuinness and Paul Finlay, edging the exchanges in the 3rd quarter before a goal by Dermot Malone with 13 minutes remaining put Castleblayney back in front. Ballybay rallied strongly at this stage with a brace from frees by Christopher McGuinness restoring them to the lead and by the end of normal time they had opened a 3 points lead thanks to points from Paul Finlay, free, and Dessie Ward, with Castleblayney then throwing caution to the winds in an effort to salvage the situation but their only reward was a point by substitute David McMahon to leave 2 between them at the final whistle
Teams and Scorers: Ballybay: Sean Gorman, Ryan Wylie, Drew Wylie, Michael Hannon, Eoin McKearney 0-1, Patrick O’Neill 0-1, Cian Hand, Conor Galligan 0-1, Paul Finlay 0-5 (3f), Shane McQuillan, Dessie Ward 0-2, Colm Lennon, Hugh Malone, Christopher McGuinness 0-7 (4f), Thomas Kerr 0-1. Subs: Aaron Toner for P O’Neill, Mark McArdle for C Lennon, Shane McGuinness for H Malone.
Castleblayney: Bart McNamara, Ethan McCann, Peter Treanor, Dermot McArdle, Josh Walsh, Barry Hanratty, Mark Hanratty, John Beattie, Mark Treanor 0-2, Martin McElroy, Dermot Malone 1-4 (0-1f), Mark Kelly 0-1, Ciaran J Hanratty 1-2, Patrick Finnegan, Darren Daly. Subs: David McMahon 0-1 for M McElroy Patrick Tavey for M Hanratty, Fergal Rafter for P Tavey (Black Card), Kevin Mackin for J Beattie, Keith Hill for D Daly. Referee Martin McNally (Corduff).