Pairc Liam Ui Ir was packed to capacity on Friday past when the home side welcomed Clonduff ro the home pitch of Pairc Liam Ui Ir. The Yellas have started their season on a high note and rightly so went into the game confident.
However the blues, who had lost the previous week in the dying minutes to Kilcoo has a point to prove. Both teams missing county players as this was a star game meant a shake up on each panel. The point men ran out on their home turf buzzing but the yellas opened the scoring with a fine pint from Lively. However the blues weren’t far behind when Meatsy O’Hare cane from his half back line to open the home sides scoring. This was the first of five unanswered points from the home side with keeper Gary Mac slotting over a perfectly placed point following his debut outing this season following injury.
However the away team returned with their own tally of scores and in ten minutes managed to bring it back to five a piece with seven minutes left. However the last third of the first half saw McAleenans men put on a master class with scores coming from all positions, including a perfectly placed goal from classy McGarry. The crowd went in at half time rightly thinking there was another two points in the bag with the half time score reading 1.10 to 0.05.
The second half saw a rejuvenated Hilltown side take to the sun drenched pitch in Moygannon. Despite Rhino opening the second half scoring the for blues the Clonduff boys weren’t ready to give up and seconds later found the net when keeper G Mac saw the ball blast past him with no time to react. This was the start of the Clonduff come back and saw them claw back the lead to 1.11 to 1.08 within ten minutes of the first half.
The blues continued to work hard, but goal chance after chance just couldn’t be converted and some silly passes saw the score line read 1.16 to 1.15 with just 4 minutes left and the Clonduff men looking like they were going to steal the points from the home team. However some tactical changes saw the blues saw Rhino, Ryan Magee and Christy Carr take some well needed points and on the final whistle the poor crowd breathed a heavy sigh of relief as they finished with a point to spare on 1.17 to 1.16 and took the two points.
While a the old saying goes, ‘a win is a win,’ McAleenan’s men went into the changing room with a lot of questions and missed chances and lots to work on in the coming weeks leading up to the championship.
Next up for the blues is the start of the second round of fixtures with a home draw to the sky blues, Mayobridge.