Ballynagross Come Up Trumps Against Castlewellan

Castlewellan stage a fight-back by Ballynagross just too strong

Castlewellan stage a fight-back by Ballynagross just too strong

Newcastle and District Amateur Football League,

Venue: Mountain Quarter, 2.00pm on Saturday 18th November 2023,

Premier League Match,

Ballynagross FC 5   2 Castlewellan Forest.

Ballynagross faced Castlewellan in bright sunshine at Mountain Quarter and both teams started on the front foot right from the first whistle writes Cyril McKinney.

Both sides were equally matched and cancelled each other out with neither midfields getting time on the ball and both forward lines struggling to make an impact and clear cut chances at a minimum.

Ballynagross forward John Shields in possession as Castlewellan’s Sean Fitzsimons moves in. (Photos by Cyril McKinney).

Ballynagross striker Daniel Taggart had an early shot well saved by Brian McVeigh in the Castlewellan nets on 4 minutes while Castlewellan were restricted to a Thomas Rice shot from distance on 6 minutes.

Then on 10 minutes Sean Fitzsimons missed the target completely from close in after a great run and left wing cross from Murnin.

Murnin himself then shot over from distance on 21 minutes before Declan Dowie let fly with a left foot volley from a long throw-in on 29 minutes which missed the target for the home side.

The visitors went in front on 37 minutes after a good period of quick interplay through the middle  saw Scott Kinley upended in the box – up stepped Declan Gregory who converted from the penalty spot sending ‘Gross keeper Arnold the wrong way.

Barry Travers on the ball for Castlewellan marked by Ballynagross’ Luke Shields.

Back came Ballynagross who upped the tempo and from a right wing corner from McComiskey Christopher Laverty
steamed in and headed the ball home from close in on 44 minutes to leave things all square at the break.

It was more of the same in the early exchanges in the second half – Castlewellan number 8 Thomas Rice drilled in a low shot on 50 minutes from the edge of the box through a crowd of players but Arnold produced a fantastic save low down to his right at the expense of a corner.

On 61 minutes the home side took the lead following a mixup in the Castlewellan backline which saw the keeper handle a backpass in the six yard box.

Following a lay off Daniel Taggart drilled the ball home before Ballynagross captain headed home from a right wing corner on 65 minutes to make in 3-1 to the home side who looked to be in control at that stage.

Conor Marron presses into the Castlewellan defence for Ballynagross. (Photo by Cyril McKinney).

To their credit back came Castlewellan and they were rewarded for their endeavour on 75 minutes through a thunderbolt from 20 yards from Burns.

Any hope of a comeback was lost when after a surging run and one two with Taggart, McComiskey cooly slotted home to  make it 4-2 on 83 minutes before John Shields found his brother Luke with a slide rule pass which split the visitors defence on 87 minutes and Luke finished in style to clinch all three points for Ballynagross.

The final two goals were well worked goals but for long periods in this game the visitors were well in this game and the result could have went either way.

Ballynagross FC: Cathail Arnold, Connor Marron, Christopher Laverty, Corey Davis, Conor Campbell, Joseph Burns, Declan McComiskey, Liam Graham, Declan Dowie, Daniel Taggart, John Shields Subs: Ryan Tumelty for  Corey Davis, Luke Shields  for Declan Dowie, Conor McGrady for Liam Graham.

Castlewellan Forest: Brian McVeigh, Barry Travers, A N other, Conall Burns, Shane McCann, Joseph O’Neill, Declan Gregory, Thomas Rice, Scott Kinley, Sean Fitzsimons, Jack Murnin. Subs: Paul McVeigh for Joseph O’Neill, Shane Mooney for Jack Murnin, Stephen Connolly for Shane Mooney.