Ballycran seal title with late flurry
Ballycran 1-15 Ballygalget 0-16 Down SHC Final
Ballycran snatched their first Down Senior Hurling Championship title since 2011 with a late burst of scores to beat Ballygalget in Portaferry.
Ballygalget were in total control of the game for 50 minutes and led by 0-16 to 0-11 heading into the last ten minutes, but Ballycran reeled off 1-4 without reply to wrestle victory away from them.
Sub Brendan Ennis scored the match-winning goal two minutes from time to level the scores, and with the momentum now clearly with Ballycran, Scott Nicholson tagged on a free and a point in injury-time to sink Ballygalget.
Ballygalget led by 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time with Danny Toner scoring four of his personal tally of six points and Gareth 'Magic' Johnston hugely influential. Conor Doran also hit four points as they built up a healthy five-point interval lead.
They were still ahead by the same margin when Ballycran suddenly sparked to life heading into the final ten with two quick-fire points. With the outstanding Scott Nicholson plus Eugene Gilmore, Sean Dineen and Brett Nicholson all scoring in the second half, they fought their way right back into it, with Ennis' goal sparking an incredible fightback.
Scorers - Ballycran: S Nicholson 0-7 (4f), B Ennis 1-0, J Coyle, E Gilmore 0-2 each; C Woods ('65'), M Hughes, B Nicholson, S Dineen 0-1 each. Ballygalget: D Toner 0-6, C Doran 0-4, G Johnson 0-3, D McManus 0-2, J McManus 0-1.
Ballycran - S Keith; S Ennis, A Bell, P Hughes; M Ennis, C Woods, M McCullagh; M Hughes, S Nicholson; B Nicholson, S Dineen, P Flynn; J Coyle, C Egan, E Gilmore. Subs: C Dorrian for M Ennis, B Ennis for J Coyle, JH Hughes for Gilmore, M Nicholson for Flynn, P Miskimmin for Egan.
Ballygalget - Graham Clarke; J Smyth, Gabriel Clarke, P McManus; J McGrath, D McManus, B Toner; J McManus, E Clarke; C Doran, G Johnston, B Byers; D Toner, S Daly, J Doran. Subs: P Coulter for D McManus, C Coulter for Byers, S Johnston for Smyth, L Clarke for Gabriel Clarke.
Ref - P Braniff