GAA: Promotion hunt still on for Clann na Banna

Clann na Banna in action against Shamrocks recently � Edward Byrne Photography INBL16-201EB
Clann na Banna in action against Shamrocks recently � Edward Byrne Photography INBL16-201EB

Clann na Banna travelled to Darragh Cross on Friday night knowing that a victory was essential to maintain their push for promotion to Division 1.

The Clann went close early on with Lenaghan having his goal bound effort saved by the keeper.

Liam McGarry opened the scoring soon after for the Clann with a neat one-two with Lenaghan and pointing well. Devlin also pointed from play before Darragh Cross hit their first point of the game. Darragh Cross then made the most of a mistake in the Clann defence and retained possession and kicked their second point to level the game.

Clann began to dominate the middle of the park and were winning vital break ball. McGrath then found himself in space and shot from distance to regain the Clann’s lead. Feeney added a further point from the left hand side of the posts at a tight angle to give the Clann a 2 point lead.

Darragh Cross were working hard and again found space in the Clann defence with ease and kicked another point in front of goal to close the gap to one point. Clann then caught Darragh Cross out in defence, McArdle intercepted a Darragh Cross ball and fisted to Liam McGarry who finished the ball to back of the net for the Clann’s first goal of the game. McGrath added another point from play to give the Clann a 5 point lead. Clann were again sleeping in defence when Darragh Cross hit a quick free and scored another point to close the gap back to four points. McAlister brought the first half to an end with converting a 45 to leave the Clann leading at half time by 5 points with a score of 1-6 to 0-4.

The Clann came out for the second half much stronger and were unlucky not to lead by more early on after failing to convert scoring chances. Mallon broke from half back and got the first point of the second half, showing composure and pointing well from distance. Clann were then unlucky not to get their 2nd goal of the game after McArdle won possession back again and fisted to McCusker who had his goal bound effort tipped over the bar for a point by the Darragh Cross keeper. Lenaghan then pointed from a 45 to extend the Clann’s lead to 8 points.

Clann were playing well and passing fluently around the Darragh Cross defence and working extremely hard for every ball. Mallon again broke from the half back line and fisted the ball over the Darragh Cross defence to find full back Dean Lennon who slid the ball under the keeper to give the Clann an 11 point lead. Darragh Cross then hit 2 points in succession, their first score of the 2nd half, to close gap to 9 points.

Clann then pressed on more towards the end of the game, breaking Darragh Cross down in their own half once more and Micky Feeney fisted to McArdle who blasted to the back of the net for the Clann’s third goal of the game.

The Clann finished the game with another goal, McCusker had the ball played to him and squeezed the ball into the bottom corner past the reach of the keeper and whilst under pressure from the Darragh Cross defence. Final score Clann 4-9 Darragh Cross 0-7.

The Clann play league leaders Warrenpoint aiming for a victory which would see them leap frog the point and into first place of Divison 2.