All Level in the Corn na Bóinne match at Millbrook

Oldcastle 2-12 Ballinabrackey 2-12
Conditions for Rd.1 of Corn na Bóinne at Millbrook this evening (25 Jan.2020) were pure Baltic, but the spectators were treated to an entertaining and hard-hitting match for their commitment .

Oldcastle took the first score: a Colin Hawdon free nicely converted. The opposition put over two frees before a Paddy Rahill free found Oran Mulvanny, back to Paddy, on to Pearse Sheridan and then to Conor Delaney who slotted it between the posts.

Ballinabrackey added on another free. Soon after C.J. found Cian McPartland who got the ball forward to Lee Healy, on to Kyle Kavanagh who made a good run, getting the ball to Conor Delaney and then Pearse Sheridan who planted it in the back of the net. Ballinabrackey added on a great point from play, but two in a row from the boot of Colin Hawdon saw Oldcastle take a four point lead. Ballinabrackey added on another, but a lovely point from C.J. saw the gap remain. The resultant kick-out broke down to Conor Delaney who was making a good run, and sailed it straight back over the bar to extend the lead to five. That was as big as it would get however, the opposition then made a super run the whole way upfield and smashed the ball at Jack McDonnell Fox who made a great save but wasn’t so lucky with the rebound which hit the back of the net. That boost saw the momentum switch to Ballinabrackey, and it was they who took the last two points of the half to leave it level at the break: Oldcastle 1-07, Ballinabrackey 1-07.

The second half began with the sides swapping points, a lovely curling ball from C.J. Healy being a standout score for Oldcastle. A goal for Ballinabrackey put them ahead ten minutes in, but a Colin Hawdon free soon after took the edge off. A sideline ball from Darren Hawdon found Colin soon after, but he was a marked man and was literally floored by his opponent.

Not even a free resulted though, just a throw-in, and soon after poor Colin himself was the recipient of a card, though it initially looked like ref Colm McManus was getting a selfie with him.

Two more scores from Ballinabrackey saw them extend their lead to four. Cian McPartland stepped it up with a super intercept, fed on to Stephen Tierney, to Colin Hawdon and finally to C.J. for another lovely point.

With the gap reduced to three Oldcastle were energised, and super-sub Stephen Tierney was the right man for the job to nab the goal and close the gap. It was Stephen again some minutes later who was running on goal, he was fouled and converted to put Oldcastle ahead with the clock ticking down.

The decision not to award a free to Darren Hawdon after a cynical tackle saw Ballinbrackey in possession again however, with a point resulting and the scores level once again. That’s when the final whistle blew: an anti-climatic ending to what was an entertaining game of football.

Oldcastle: Jack McDonnell Fox, Matthew Cadden, Ger Reidy, Joe Lynch, C.J. Healy (0-03), Robbie Farrelly, Kyle Kavanagh, Cian McPartland, Darren Hawdon, Pearse Sheridan (1-00), Conor Delaney (0-03), Colin Hawdon (0-04), Paddy Rahill, Oran Mulvanny (0-01), Lee Healy.

Subs: Martin Rudden, Keith Connell, Stephen Lawless, Oran O’Reilly, Eoin McNamee, Stephen Tierney (1-01).