McBride sends AGB to victory
Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney had their first home game inn the new look Senior football league on Sunday and played it as a curtain raiser to the Wicklow v Fingal match in the hurling league.
AGB, it could be said, stole this brace of points in Division 2 with a late goal to sink Baltinglsss after a great battle.
This was a high class game of football which would do justice to any grade.
It was played in nice conditions with no more than a point or two separating the sides at any stage.
The sides were level three times in the first half before a late point sent the home side in leading by 0-5 to 0-4 at half time.
Cormac Hyland, who is rapidly closing the gap on his more famous brother, Ciaran, opened the scoring with a point almost straight from the throw in.
Paul Fleming, the veteran of many battles with the Baltinglass Seniors was quick to post a reply. Paudie Swinbourne edged Baltinglass in front but straight away the lively Donal O'Keeffe had the sides level again.
The Arklow keeper, Michael Carey, made the first of a number of great saves to deprive Fabian Dunne a goal while at the other end AGB missed a great chance of a goal.
Midfield was developing into a great battle between Chris Earls and Stephen Hurley for the home side and Conor Keogh and young hopeful, Adam Fleming. Points by Cormac Hyland and Stephen Hurley opened up the first gap but did not last for long.
Fabian Dunne who was having a very good game and over lapping wing back Eoin Sweeney picking off points for Baltinglass.
On the stroke of the half hour Hyland struck again for another point to send his side in Leading by that single pointm 0-5 to 0-4.
The second half followed the same pattern. Straight from the restart Baltinglass won a free and the ever reliable Swinbourne brought the sides level once more. Adam Fleming had a great point for the lead but Hyland was in again at the other end and the sides were level once more.
Stephen Hurley gave the Seasiders the lead once more but when Willie Kavanagh was brought down, Swinbourne was on target again.
Two points in quick succession put daylight between the sides but Baltinglass set about remedying that with another point by Swinbourne
With five minutes to go Arklow struck for home. A rasping shot by a remarkably subdued Phillip Healy was brilliantly pushed on to the cross bar by young goalie, Willie Hanlon, but fell at the feet of substitute, David McBride, who just tapped home the only goal of the match to give AGB victory and their first brace of points.
Baltinglass did try a late come back; Swinbourne and substitute John Kelly sent over points but time ran out. According to the club Chairman, Ray Menton, the Arklow side have lost a number of players and are in the rebuilding process. He was very pleased with the result.