ACFL First Division
Clonduff 0-06 Bryansford 2-16
Shell-shocked is the only way to describe the feelings of those hardy Hilltown folks who remained to the final whistle of this Division One game writes Michael McCartan.
For the first five minutes the home side breezed through a feeble Bryansford defence, registering two points, Aidan Carr and Conor O’ Hagan, inside the space of a minute. A positive result appeared to be the likely outcome as the midfield pairing of Niall McPolin and Damien Canning were totally dominating the middle of the park. As for the visitors, their defence struggled to keep track of their free-running opponents; only poor shooting, at this early stage, kept the tally low.
After five minutes the Ford, who had difficulty escaping their own half, eventually breached the Clonduff forty-five line. This attack was easily repelled and no-one could foresee the visitors going on to hold Clonduff scoreless for the next twenty-six minutes, which they did until a free by Finbarr Mc Conville, just before the interval.
But! That’s what happened and laid the foundation for what was to be Bryansford’s best performance of the season.
Four points inside three minutes, Chris Brannigan, Ciaran Brannigan, Ruairi Wells and Danny Savage stunned the home support. Allied to this was the Ford’s solid defence especially the pairing of Jim Magorrian and Aidan Keenan. Magorrian was inspirational and instrumental in the next two Ford points, making one and scoring the second. Chris Brannigan finally brought the first half proceedings to a close with the Ford leading 0-07 to 0-03.
A raging restart saw Clonduff rip through the Ford giving Mc Conville a chance inside a minute. His free hit the upright, to be gathered by David Mc Kibbin who raced in support of the breakaway and finished the clearance of his lines, by adding his name to the scoresheet. The resultant kickout was returned with interest by Chris Brannigan but his score was cancelled within a minute by Gary Mc Donald.
The floodgates then opened with Bryansford roaming forward at will. A penalty, for a needles foul on Danny Savage, was driven to the net by Ciaran Brannigan followed by seven points, split by a solitary Mc Conville free. Lack of chances was frustrating the home side, but to make matters worse for them, Bryansford substitute Eoghan Mc Mullan made an immediate impact finding the back of the net within thirty seconds of entry to the game. A surging run by Maginn, whose shot was parried by keeper Neil Trainor, fell perfectly for a low drive passed two defenders vainly trying to protect their line.
With Bryansford running out as worthy winners, Aidan Carr’s last minute point made no difference to the outcome.