Ballynagross Take Points In Killough Showdown


Newcastle and District Amateur Football League

Premier League Match

Killough  2  3  Ballynagross

Killough played Ballynagross in this home game in bright sunshine at Strangford playing fields writes Cyril McKinney. 

Both teams entered this game understrength and within one minute of the kick-off Ballynagross took the lead after some hesitancy in the Killough defence when Daniel Taggart beat the offside trap and squared for Donal McCavera to slot home.

Killough responded almost immediately but McCullough in the Ballynagross nets was equal to a cross-come-shot from the speedy Declan Looney on the left wing.

Ballynagross’ Mark Magill and Aaron Beattie in action with Killough’s Gareth George and Ross Armstrong.

As Killough settled into the game Burns and McIlhone began to influence proceedings in the middle of the park and on 12 minutes a magnificent McIlhone cross field pass found Looney on the back post but he  could not convert what was a difficult chance. After Killough forward Gareth George fired a shot over the bar, the equaliser came on 21 minutes when McIlhone charged through the Ballynagross defence from half way up the field before laying off to that man Looney who cut in on his right before rifling in a low pile driver which flew past McCullough in the ‘gross nets.

Killough’s Tony Mcilhone races with Gross’ Mark Magill to the ball.

On the half hour, Ballynagross went ahead again when Killough failed to close down the ‘Gross midfielder Eoin Rooney who cut in from the right flank and his deflected shot hit the back of the Killough net. It was 1-3 nine minutes later when Daniel Taggart was set free down the left and as he rounded the advancing keeper he calmly slotted home from an acute angle.

Killough responded on 42 minutes when the influential McIlhone fired past McCullough from outside the box to reduce the deficit just before half time to 2-3.

Killough were on the offensive in the early stages of the second half  with George sending a rasping shot over the bar and after a double substitution young Jack Mclaughlin was high and wide cutting in on his right from all of 25 yards on the hour mark.

A minute later McIlhone made room on the edge of the box but his shot was wide of the mark. The Ballynagross backline were holding firm and Carberry and Beattie were especially commanding in the air. Arnold and Magill kept battling hard in the midfield area with all  tackles keenly contested on both sides but despite having a lot of the play Killough could not find that key pass to unlock the Ballynagross defence despite the best efforts of Armstrong, George and O’Connor on the right wing.

Killough FC: Peter Kelly, Conor Kearney, Stephen Laverty, Jason Clarke, Kevin Groves, Michael Burns, Tony McIlHone, Freddie O’Connor, Gareth George, Ross Armstrong, Declan Looney. Subs: Ryan McIlhone for Michael Burns, Jack McLaughlin for Declan Looney, Colm Stranney for Stephen Laverty

 Balynagross FCConor McCullough, Conor Marron, John Shields, Aaron Beattie, Gary Carberry, Mark Magill, Eoin Rooney, Deaglan Arnold, Donal McCavera, Daniel Taggart, Rory McDonnell. Subs: Cormac Byrne for Rory McDonnell, Kieran Taggart for Eoin Rooney, Scott Grieves for Daniel Taggart.