Minnows Madden make Armagh club football history

Armagh SFC: Madden 2-8 St Patrick's 1-10

HISTORY was gallantly made at the Athletic Grounds Armagh last night when minnows Madden produced a stimulating second-half display to book a place in the final for the first time ever.

Madden came from six points down early in the second-half to take a timely lead with a Gerard Grimley point after Stephen Smith had crashed home their second goal nine minutes from time.

St Pat's, wind assisted in the first half led 0-8 to 1-2 at the break and when corner-forward Mickey Rush burst through for goal five minutes into the second-half, the Cullyhanna men looked set for their first final.

But undeterred and having hit the crossbar in each half Madden with midfielders Barry Grimley and Danny Donnelly in impregnable form chiselled away at the St Pat's advantage, producing a glorious finish.

A scrappy opening quarter accumulated eight wides in as many minutes, both teams equally inaccurate.

Sean O'Hare opened the scoring for St Pat's in the 11th minute and expeditiously added a second.

Neil McConville had them three ahead after 13 minutes before Madden struck for an equalising goal, a fine piece of individuality from Kevin McElvanna.

Within a minute Madden were in the lead via a Joe Smith point but failed to register again until the 29th minute when Barry Grimley pointed.

St Pat's were the superior side in the second quarter and unanswered points from Declan Loy (2), O'Hare, Mickey Rushe and Shane McKeever eased them into a three point interval lead.

St Pat's restarted with a dazzling Mickey rush goal but didn't score again until deep into injury time when O'Hare pointed a free. Madden staged an invigorating comeback, points from Steven Smith, Jim Moore and Barry Grimley (2) leaving them just a goal in arrears with ten minutes remaining.

The Raparees equalising goal arrived in the 51st minute, Stephen Smith finishing clinically after Barry and Mickey Grimley had carved out the opening.

With their tails in the air Madden drove on relentlessly and two points from Gerard Grimley in the 54th and 57th minutes heralded a new dawning for this small rural club.

St Pat's in the five minutes of injury time played threw everything into attack but the Madden defence were totally impervious, Stephen McIlvanna exceptionally brilliant.

Madden had the greater appetite and were magnificently rewarded for their never-say-die spirit.

Madden: K Grimley, D Gordon, S Strain, S McElvanna, B Vallely, J Moore, J Moore (0-1), D Donnelly, B Grimley (0-3), v McCusker, M Grimley, K McElvanna (1-0), S Smith (1-1), G Grimley (0-3), J Smith.

Subs: R Greene for McCusker (28); A McIlvanna for Greene (50).

St Pat's: G McKeown, A Brecknell, M Mackin, P Mackin, C O'Hare, C Murray, G McConville, S O'Hare (0-4), M McQuillan, M McCreesh, N McConville (0-1), S McConville (0-2), B Donnelly, D Loy (0-2), M Rushe (1-1).

Subs: M Rooney for Donnelly (half time), S Duffy for P Mackin (38).

Referee: D Henderson (Tir na nOg)

Down SHC: Ballycran 0-9 Portaferry 1-6

McGrattan saves Portaferry

A GOAL with the last puck of the game by Portaferry Allstar Gerard McGrattan gave his side an undeserved draw with Ballycran in this Down Guinness SHC semi-final at Mitchel Park, Ballygalget last evening.

Ballycran looked the more committed side and but for some poor finishing they could have wrapped up the game.

This was especially true in the second-half when they shot some seven wides mostly from easy positions.

Portaferry too were off target especially from frees in the second-half.

The Ballycran defence played soundly while veteran John McCarthy and U21 star Gary Gordon controlled midfield for long spells. The Ballycran attack however depended largely on the free taking of Dermot O'Prey.

The Portaferry defence played soundly throughout.

Gerard Adair worked hard at midfield while in attack Gerard McGrattan, Noel Sands and Peter Mullan carried the most danger for the Ballycran defence. In a low scoring first half Portaferry led by 0-4 to 0-2 at half-time.

Ballycran were level within five minutes of the restart following a John McCarthy point from a 65 and Sean Masterson and they went on to lead by 0-7 to 0-4 with two Dermot O'Prey frees and a Gary Gordon point. Portaferry's first score of the half came from a free by Paud Mason after 20 minutes and two minutes later he repeated defeat to leave just a point between the sides.

Ballycran looked safe when Gary Gordon and Dermot O'Prey had points with less than a minute left for play, but that Gerard McGrattan goal means that the teams must met again next Sunday to see who plays Ballygalget in the final.

Ballycran: N Keith, P Lennon, C Mallon, B Hughes, L Arthurs, G Savage, S Wilson, J McCarthy (0-1), G Gordon (0-2), M Braniff, D O'Prey (0-5), F McCann, S Masterson (0-1), K Blaney, T Masterson

Subs: C Arthurs for T Masterson, M Blaney for K Blaney Portaferry: G Smith, M Mallon, E Adair, J Trainor, S Murray, P McMullan, B Milligan, G Adair, B Coleman, R McGrattan (0-2), G McGrattan (1-1), N Sands, E Trainor, J McManus, P Mallon

Subs: P Mason (0-2) for J McManus, S McGrattan for R McGrattan

Ref: J A Gribben (Clonduff).

Camogie : Tipperary 3-10 Derry 2-13

Tipp draw a lesson for Derry

DERRY should learn from this All-Ireland junior camogie semi-final in Thurles yesterday.

They had to deal with a whole new experience and survived. However they could easily have been out, as they trailed by eight points with some 12 minutes left on the clock.

The introduction of Susan McErlean into defence and a spirited fightback means they can now look forward to a home venue in the replay.

Those late goals by Bronagh Birt and Claire Mulholland rescued them, but Dominic McKinley will want to know why his defence struggled for as long against Siobhan and Joanne Ryan.

After a good first half in which Martina Mulholland excelled - scoring six points - Derry were somewhat unlucky to go in level at the break 1-4 to 0-7 after Siobhan Ryan had buried a late free following a foul conceded to Grainne Maguire.

Tipperary took control though during the third quarter and goals from Grainne Shanahan and a second from Siobhan Ryan put them eight points to the good.

Derry though showed tremendous character in pulling back the deficit and will be content enough to get a second bite at the cherry, thanks to the skill of Martina and Claire Mulholland and the industry of Aileen O'Kane.

The replay date is August 30.

Derry scorers: Bronagh Birt (1-1), Claire Mulholland (1-0), Martina Mulholland (0-10), Aileen O'Kane (0-1), Grainne Maguire (0- 1).

Tipperary scorers: Siobhan Ryan (2-3), Grainne Shanahan (1- 2), Joanne Ryan (0-3), Niamh O'Dwyer (0-2)

A CLEVER scoring act from Ardara duo Jonathan Boyle and Don Early gave them a richly deserved semi-final slot (0-17 to 1-8) against county champions Ballyshannon, in last night's Donegal SFC quarter-final.

Opponents Cloughaneely gave them some anxious moments, but this replay of the All-Ireland Gaeltacht final never reached any heights.

Ardara: J Boyle (0-8), d Early (0-4), L Gavigan (0-2), A Brennan (0-1), N Watters (0-1).

Cloghaneely: A McFadden (1-3), J P Gallagher (0-3), R Curran (0-2)

Mark Gillespie had plenty to celebrate on Saturday when Strabane defeated Ballymena by 24 runs in the Royal Liver Irish Senior Cricket Cup final in Derry.

Their victory keeps them well on course for what would be an historic double as they can add the league title to their list of achievements if they win the remaining four matches.

Gillespie, who has been 13 years in the side, scored an unbeaten 47 as Strabane totalled 189-4.

He then turned his attention to the ball and returned superb figures of 5-33 as Ballymena slumped to 165 all out.

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