Clann na Banna held to a draw in keenly contested fixture

Clann na Banna held to a draw in keenly contested fixture
CLANN na Banna seniors travelled to Pairc Elser this week for a showdown with Newry Shamrocks, home of Clann na Banna manager Damien Rafferty.

CLANN na Banna seniors travelled to Pairc Elser this week for a showdown with Newry Shamrocks, home of Clann na Banna manager Damien Rafferty.

The fixture which stood out in Division 2, which could be seen by the fantastic support shown from both clubs.

From the off, Bann continued where they’d left off the week before against Glassdrummen, firmly in the driving seat, dominating shamrocks with some fantastic displays of football.

Matty Mallon was proving too accurate for the shamrocks defensive with some great point taking from acute angles.Liam Devlin and Conor Lunny were dominating midfield and proving too good for Gough and McGuigan.

Against the run of play, Damien McKeown for Shamrocks went on a fine individual run from his own half to send the ball passed Gary McGrath.

Bann quickly responded with a couple of frees which Steven McArdle gladly dispatched. Paddy Feeney continued to supply good ball into the forward line, including a long side line ball, which Alan McGrath rose to fist the ball over the black spot.

As half time approached, Stephen McArdle received the ball on the 18 yard line, passed two defenders and sent the ball clinically into the back of the net. Bann took a five point lead into the second half.

Within the opening minutes of the second half Rory Hill fisted the ball past the Shamrocks goal keeper to open up an impressive eight point lead. Unfortunately for the Bann this provoked a response by the shamrocks team who went onto to dominate for a 20 minute period.

The home team’s midfield started to get on top, winning most of the kick outs and break ball. Their forward line were clinical in the attack kicking a series of well taken points, followed by yet another excellent well taken goal by Shamrocks’ Damien McKeown, who later was carried off injured.

The last 10 minutes was a period of great intensity in and around the midfield, which saw three red cards get handed out by the referee, two of which were for the away side.

In the dying minutes Shamrocks took the lead for the first time, to lead by a single point.

Shortly after Clann na Banna were awarded a free from 25 yards out wide on the left, which saw substitute Paudie Bradley cooly step up and slot over the bar to tie the game.

It was probably a fair result in which the Bann can take away a lot of positives from the game, especially in the first half. Next week sees the seniors take on Attical at home on Friday 26th April.