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Castlewellan Triumph Over the Ford
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CASTLEWELLAN 1-11      1-09 BRYANSFORD

Match Report by Peter McGrath Jnr

Perhaps the fact that this was Bryansford’s second derby match in a week took its toll as Castlewellan stormed clear putting in a powerful second half display to ensure the Ford left St Malachy’s Park with their tails between their legs.

Bryansford had led by four points at half-time, but in the first half hour Castlewellan hit no fewer than eight wides. Bryansford broke the deadlock after seven minutes (and three wides) with a Seamus Brannigan point as the number 12 dummied inside and slotted over right footed.

An easy Fintan McGreevy free squared things up but a Ciaran Brannigan free restored the visitors advantage. The good spell from the Ford continued with a Philip Bonny goal. Timmy Hanna burst through and despite taking a heavy shoulder found Bonny who shot under Castlewellan keeper Rory Burns and into the net. Conor Gribben had made it 1-3 to 0-1 but an uncontested catch from Aidan Burns led to the Town full forward driving to the net to significantly narrow the gap and in truth bring Castlewellan back into the match.

A well taken point from Daniel McDonald from 35 metres, an Eoghan McMullan point which was Tómas O Sé like and a Ciaran Brannigan chipped point to round off a soccer move had briefly restored the 5 point lead. In the meantime there had been a series of heated exchanges between the Castlewellan bench and referee Ciaran Brannigan but the tensions of the home management were eased a little by a David Gilmore pointed volley before the interval.

Castlewellan came flying out of the blocks in the second half and took total control of the game from here on. Aidan Burns and Kevin Duffin both pointed within three minutes of the restart and when Sean Russell pointed a free the gap was closed to the slenderest of margins. Bryansford thought they had registered a point through Timmy Hanna but following uncertainty among the umpires Ciaran Brannigan decided the ball had gone wide.

Conor Maginn did get Bryansford’s first score of the half 13 minutes into it but the ball went straight down the field and impressive first half substitute, Colm Flanagan got the point his play deserved to bring his side back into it again. Timmy Hanna responded with a point for Bryansford but a brace of Kevin Duffin 45s, a Fintan McGreevy free and a Colm Flanagan point left Castlewellan leading by two points.

A Ciaran Brannigan free made it 1-10 – 1-09 but the last word lay with Duffin who pointed his third 45 of the game to seal his sides first win in 10 matches. For Bryansford its back down to earth with a bump following wins against Clonduff and Kilcoo but Castlewellan will hope to kick on and propel themselves to a Championship quarter final having found form again.