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Armagh GAA's helping of the good, the bad and the ugly

 

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To the four: Jack Grugan hit the Crossmaglen net four times.

To the four: Jack Grugan hit the Crossmaglen net four times.

�INPHO/Tommy Dickson

To the four: Jack Grugan hit the Crossmaglen net four times.

The All-County club leagues may have only been in vogue for two weeks but, in Armagh in particular, there has been no shortage of controversy and surprises.

Over the course of the weekend, the referee in charge of the Division One encounter between Clan na gael and Shane O'Neills was forced to bring a premature halt to proceedings when he was unable to quell a protracted outbreak of pushing and shoving.

It is understood that the game was about to enter the last quarter when the trouble broke out.

It is believed that Lurgan referee Gary Marshall and management officials from the teams remonstrated with the players involved but to no avail.

The referee's match report is expected to be submitted to the Competitions Control Committee, which looks set to investigate the incident.

And it was the Armagh All-County League Division One that threw up one of the real shock results of the weekend.

Crossmaglen Rangers, who for well over two decades have dominated the Orchard County Championship and indeed proved a powerhouse in both the Ulster and All-Ireland club championships, fell by an incredible 7-9 to 0-7 to Ballymacnab in what was their second successive league defeat.

Rarely have Rangers found themselves on the receiving end of a 23-point mauling but this was one occasion on which they truly played second fiddle.

By half-time, livewire Ballymacnab full-forward Jack Grugan had rattled the home team net four times and when he was joined by brother Rory and Gavin McParland in heaping more agony on Crossmaglen after the break, this helped seal what proved to be a memorable victory for Ballymacnab.

Rangers may have been minus a fistful of familiar faces but the team's lack of fight, cohesion and spirit has surely provided manager Stephen Kernan with some considerable food for thought.

Also in Division One of the Armagh league, a Cathal McKenna goal proved crucial in Dromintee's 1-8 to 0-10 win over Harps, while Ethan Rafferty's five points along with the trojan efforts of Miceál McKenna and Ben Toal helped to underpin a fine 0-18 to 0-16 win by Grange over St Peter's.

Pearse Og sprang something of a surprise, meanwhile, when they beat Maghery by 1-10 to 0-10.

In the Tyrone All-County League, two players bearing a famous surname were prominent when Errigal Ciaran beat Loughmacrory by 0-20 to 0-9.

Darragh Canavan scored five of the Errigal points, while his cousin Thomas was also on target after coming on as a substitute.

As well as being a key member of the Errigal Ciaran attack, hot-shot Darragh is also an important figure in the Tyrone side that will meet Dublin in the All-Ireland Under-20 semi-final in early October.  

Killyclogher, with Mark Bradley on form, proved too strong for Moy in winning by 3-12 to 2-9, while Galbally were edged out by Dromore on a score of 2-10 to 0-13.

Trillick meanwhile, were tested by Donaghmore before coming out on top by 1-14 to 0-13.

And after a fraught week following confirmation of a Covid-19 case in their camp, Eglish showed considerable spirit and courage in getting the better of Clogher by 2-9 to 0-4, a result that has certainly helped to put a spring in the step of the club again. 

Belfast Telegraph