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Watch: Maghery boss ‘delighted’ as his side book SF spot after bruising Ballymacnab encounter

Maghery progressed to the semi finals of the Armagh senior championship at the expense of Ballymacnab following a bruising encounter in the Athletic Grounds on Saturday night.

It took last ditch scores, misses and tackles to see the Loughshore men into the last four in a game where Ballymacnab will have felt aggrieved at not coming away as victors.

For long periods, the ‘Nab were the dominant side, especially as Maghery lost two key players in Aidan Forker (10 minutes) and David Lavery (19 minutes) before the break.

Kevin Robinson was Maghery’s main threat in front of goal.

Ballymacnab led by three points thanks to a Gavin McParland point with just four minutes to play of normal time to play but events conspired against them.

As the clock rolled into added time, three minutes was shown on the board – Ballymacnab held a two point lead at this stage. At the end of those three minutes, Ballymacnab continued to lead only for referee Paudi Hughes to add on an extra four minutes. Maghery used the minutes to regain parity and force extra time, much to the consternation of everyone involved with the Round Towers side.

Kevin Robinson saw red for his part in a melee in the middle of the park moments after.

The extra 20 minutes suited the north Armagh men as they found an extra gear whereby it felt Ballymacnab’s normal time demise was a malaise they couldn’t get over, despite Rory Grugan opening the scoring in extra time.

And like Lazarus, Aidan Forker was re-introduced and with three minutes remaining. Brother Stefan Forker added his own score deep into the tie.

Ballymacnab huffed and puffed; their ‘keeper Chris Kerr became a de facto midfielder as Maghery put 15 men behind the ball. Jack Grugan had a couple of attempts to equalise blocked down but that was that as Maghery remain on track for another crack at Gerry Fagan glory.

Speaking after the game, Maghery’s manager Gabhan Wylie was delighted with the result.

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