Abbey Park Armagh
An Port Mór 0-10 Tullysaran 0-11
Team Sponsor: T-Met
Game Sponsor: Tony Casey
Competition Sponsor: Cormac Leonard
An immaculate Abbey Park, Armagh on a balmy Saturday evening was the setting for An Port Mór’s entry into the first round of the Intermediate Championship. Port Mór faced near neighbours and old rivals Tullysaran, Port Mór entered the game as underdogs with their rivals at the top of Division 2A and considered one of the favourites for the championship.
Port Mór got off to a great start with half forward Oisin Campbell kicking two early points from play. Indeed, it was the underdogs playing the more attractive brand of football with Tullysaran opting to drop men back and play on the counter attack. Two Tullysaran frees on ten and thirteen minutes drew the sides level but as the first half water break approached Shane Nugent kicked his first score of the game from play.
After the water break the game continued in a similar pattern with Port Mór enjoying large spells of procession as the favourites blocked up the space.
The sides were level for the second time as Tullysaran registered their first point from play on nineteen minutes. A Nugent free was quickly cancelled out by another Tullysaran score from play. Port Mór finished the half strongly with a point from the combative Jack McQuade but a couple of more opportunities went wide.
Half Time An Port Mór 0-5 Tullysaran 0-4
Encouraged by their first half Port Mór started the second half playing the more offensive football. Two Shane Nugent frees extended Port Mór’s advantage to three but Tullysaran were about to enjoy a purple patch of their own. Three successive points drew the teams level, but it could have been worse for Port Mór as Gary McCrilly saved a penalty from the Tullysaran goal keeper.
The impressive Oisin Campbell edged Port Mór ahead again just before the second water break.
Fitness and experience looked likely to be crucial in the final quarter and that was indeed the case.
Nugent kicked his fifth point with a score from play on fifty-four minutes, Port Mór led by two. A Port Mór goal opportunity was missed and while a penalty claim was made it was waved away by the referee.
Tullysaran were now forced to come out their defensive formation and proceeded to put Port Mór under pressure. A couple of points from Tullysaran; one from distance and one from a fisted effort; drew the sides level again for the fourth time.
Tullysaran were in the ascendancy and took the lead for the first time on sixty minutes. But this young Port Mór side continued to fight and an opportunity was created for Shane Nugent who drew the match at ten points each. Both sides had possession late in the game but it was the favourites who notched the win with the last kick of the game four and a half minutes into injury time.
A good performance by Port Mór who probably deserved at least a draw and extra time out of the game. Hopefully this was a coming of age performance for Port Mór with many of the younger players producing their best performances in the amber and black jersey. Best performers on the day for Port Mór were mid fielder Vance Doherty, and half forwards Oisin Campbell and Shane Nugent. Thanks to club Chairman Tony Casey for sponsoring the game and good luck to our neighbours in the next round.
Team and scorers Gary McCrilly, Caolan Rice, Fintan Daly, Ross Gribben, Matthew Walsh, Peter Nixon, Brendan Nugent, Michael Garland, Vance Doherty, Dara McKenna, Shane Nugent(0-6), Oisin Campbell(0-3), Jack McQuade (0-1), Cormac Kieran, Ryan Gorman. Subs Used Gary Curran & Oliver Webb.