Midway through the second half of this game as Banagher hit six unanswered points to lead 0-13 to 0-06, the talk among all the supporters would have been about the size of Banagher’s victory.
Fast forward to the 56th minute when Cathal O’Kane popped over a point to leave one between the sides, the momentum very much with Craigbane as 14 man Banagher clung on for dear life.
In the end Banagher held out for victory, Craigbane just wondering how they had played so poorly in the third quarter after trailing by just one point, 0-07 to 0-06 at half-time, and with a player advantage as a result of Padhraic Murphy’s red card in added time at the end of the first half.
Craigbane came into this game as rank outsiders but they belied that tag in the early stages with points from a Gavan Conwell free and a monster effort from 50 metres from Aidan Kerlin. But Banagher settled and points from Eunan Murphy in the 12th minute Paul Cartin two minutes later tied the scores. However Craigbane were playing with a fair degree of confidence, Banagher rather lethargic as David Lowry put Craigbane back in front, with Gavan Conwell extending the lead from a free 12 minutes from half-time.
Gavin O’Neill kick-started their mini revival with a 21st minute point which continued after Jude McLaughlin had fired over a delightful score.
Eunan Murphy finished the half with three points from play for a 0-07 to 0-06 interval lead. After an incident in the goalmouth with Craigbane keeper Paul Sharkey in the 33rd minute the referee showed Padhraic Murphy a red card. Gavan Conwell dropped an early free short to the Banagher goalmouth, Mark Lynch off target with a long range effort after three minutes. Then Mark Lynch broke through the Craigbane defence but blazed over the bar, following up with a second point in the 38th minute. Substitute Conor Lynch cut the lead to four points , Eunan Murphy then sending Stefan McCloskey in for his second point, five now between the teams. A six minutes scoring hiatus followed, during which Mark Lynch, , landed a 43 metre free. And when Eunan Murphy found himself in acres of room he worked himself into a scoring position and duly put Banagher 0-13 to 0-06 ahead 10 minutes from time. That would prove their last score!