U14s Begin with a win
Ballyhegan Davitts under 14s got their 2015 season up and running on Tuesday 14 April 2015 in a closely contested match against Sarsfields.
Played at Ballyhegan Park this was the first match of the season and the young Davitts started well with points from James McCormack, Ethan and Matthew McAtarsney putting them into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead after 10 minutes. Sarsfields fought back and a goal put them a point ahead before Ballyhegan replied with a blistered run of scores reeling off 3-3 without reply with goals from Jack Furphy and Ethan McAtarsney. Whilst the forwards were doing their bit the defence was solid with James Crummie, Kevin McCann and Dan McKeever breaking up a number of Sarsfields attacks. As the half drew to a close a bit of complacency set in and Sarsfields managed 3 quick goals in the last 5 minutes to leave the score 3-9 to 4-2 at half-time.
With Peter McGrane replacing the injured Dan McKeever for the second half, it was still all to play for in the but it was Sarsfields who got off to the better start pulling it back to within a point within 10 minutes. Ballyhegan didn't panic, though it took some great work by Michael McCann, Jamie McGahan and James Crummie in defence to keep the Sarsfields forwards out.
With Ryan Rafferty and Ethan McAtarsney starting to dominate midfield it gave the hard working half forward line of John Doherty, James McCormack and Sam Harrison plenty of opportunity to run at the Sarsfields defence. Further points by Peter McGrane and Jack Furphy and a goal by Jack following good work by James Crummie had Ballyhegan 6 points up again with 10 minutes to go. Sarsfields needed a goal and they managed to get 2 in the last 10 minutes to draw the game. The game was finely balanced and it took the quick reactions of Tiernan Donachy who came off his line twice in the closing stages cut out the Sarsfields attack, with James Crummie also catching the ball under his own cross bar when under pressure. From one of these interceptions the ball was moved quickly into the forward line to James McCormack who was fouled. James converted the resulting free which turned out to be the last play of the game.
This was a close contest between 2 well matched teams. Ballyhegan always had the upper hand and were always able to get the scores when it mattered most and with 15 points scored thoroughly deserved their victory.
Final score Ballyhegan Davitts 4-15: Sarsfields 6-07Ballyhegan Team – Tiernan Donachy, Dan McKeever, Jamie McGahan, Michael McCann, Kevin McCann, James Crummie, Ryan Rafferty, Ethan McAtarsney, John Doherty, James McCormack, Sam Harrison, Jack Furphy, Matthew McAtarsney, Peter McGrane, Sean Hughes, Thomas Hughes, James Harvey.
Wednesday 15th April 2015
North Armagh Reserve League result:
Eire Og 0-07 Ballyhegan 0-07
Good to see some familiar faces back with us last night in Adrian Knox and 'Big Sam' Al-Janabi, welcome back lads!
Best wishes to the Eire Og player who suffered what looked like a serious injury right at the end of the game.
Sunday 12th April 2015
Junior A League Round 1
Ballyhegan Davitts v Crossmaglen IIs
Ballyhegan opened their league campaign on Sunday against familiar opponents in Crossmaglen IIs. The teams met on 4 occassions last term, all of which were close encounters and it proved no different this time around.
Heavy rain over ther weekend led to poor conditions underfoot on the day which caused erorrs on both sides.
The home team started better laying siege on the visitor's goal with Plunkett McCormack and Rory McKeever creating early goal chances only to be denied on both occassions. Midfielder John Guy fielded a great ball and launched another attack which created a scramble in the box and after another effort on goal, a shot of the post, the ball eventually found its way out to County U-21 player Jack Rafferty who sensibly fisted over to open the scoring after 6 minutes. Goalkeeper and captain Jonny McKeever made his way up the pitch soon after to convert a 50' and double the lead. Young corner forward Conal McKeever then increased the lead further with a nice effort from the let following good work from Paul Nixon. Conal was on target again 5 minutes later with a free and almost immeadiately after kicked his third of the half again following good interchange play with Paul Nixon. Cross opened their account on 20 minutes with 2 scores in quick succession, the first from play and a free kick a minute later. Full forwad Paul Nixon replied for the Davitts soon after following good build up play from substitute Shane McKeever and Conal McKeever. Just before half time Cross were awarded and penalty that was hit low to the right and wide. Ballyhegan had time for one more attack which resulted in a Jack Rafferty hitting a fantastic free from far out on the right hand side.
Half time: Ballyhegan 0-07 Crossmaglen IIs 0-02
Ballyhegan were quick off the mark in the second half with 2 points in the first minute. Corner forward Daniel McKeever scored following good hassling on the defender then half forward Rory McKeever pointed after being on the receiving end of a great ball from Shane McKeever. Cross pulled 2 back before Conal McKeever hit another free and Jack Rafferty blasted over on 40 minutes. The visitors replied with a goal a minute later with Plunkett McCormack hitting a point for the home side straight away. The South Armagh men then had two very profitable attacks both of which resulted in goals for them and, very much against the run of play, saw them go in to a one point lead with 10 minutes to go. Goalkeeper Jonny McKeever was once again on target with a long range free to bring the game level. Cross added 2 more points to lead with 2 minutes to go. The Davitts however, to their credit, kept fighting and won 2 free kicks, both of which were converted by Conal McKeever, the second one being the last kick of the ball earing a draw.
Full time: Ballyhegan 0-15 Crossmaglen IIs 3-06
Ballyhegan played some great football for the majority of the game and really should have been out of sight. They will be extremely disappointed with being caught out and conceding 3 goals in the second half but can take credit for coming back to avoid defeat.
Up next is St Michael's Newtownhamilton at home on Sunday 19th April at 2pm.
Ballyhegan team lined out as follows: Jonny McKeever (c) 0-02 (1 50', 1f), Roger MCCormick, Shane McKeever, Conor Loughran, Plunkett McCormack 0-01, Tony Keegan (Mark McKeever 46), Mark Hughes, John Guy, Rory McKeever 0-01 (Thomas Reynolds 38), Jack Rafferty 0-03 (1f), James McKeever (Shane McKeever 20), Daniel McKeever 0-01 (Paddy Marley 56), Paul Nixon 0-01, Conal McKeever 0-06 (3f)
Friday 27th March 2015
Ballyhegan Davitts v Lissan
Ballyhegan were visited by Lissan on Friday night past, coming all the way from South Derry for what was the Davitt's final pre-season challange match before the league gets underway on Sunday 12th April at home to Crossmaglen IIs.
The home team put in a great first half performance against a physically much bigger side. Smart movement, passing and great energy and effort when out of possession were key to this.
After exchanging early scores, Paul Nixon on target for the Davitts, Ballyhegan raced into a 1-04 to 0-01 lead with scores from Conal McKeever, 2 from Big Conor Williamson and a goal from midfielder Mark Hughes. The visitors hit back with 2 points, 1 from a free, but this would prove to be their final scores of the half as the hosts finished strong adding another 4 points, Conal McKeever (0-02), Conor Williamson and Paul Nixon all on target again.
Half time: Ballhegan 1-08 - Lissan 0-03
The second half was a much closer affair. Stefan McNally opened the scoring for the hosts soon after the restart but the Derrymen hit back with 3 on the bounce, 2 from frees. Rory McKeever added another for the Davitts followed by a free from Conal McKeever to which Lissan replied with a point of their own almost immeadiately. A minute later Ballyhegan were on the attack again with Thomas Reynolds finding himself infront of goal and he didnt disappoint adding another 3-poiner to the home side's total. The visitors pointed a minute later but Rory McKeever then added the Davitts third goal effectively sealing the match. The lads to their credit didn't slack in the final 10 minutes. Shane McKeever increased the lead with a point but the visitors also stuck to their guns hitting 3 points from play before Conor Williamson closed the scoring with his fourth of the night.
Full time: Ballyhegan 3-13 - Lissan 0-11
Ballyhegan scorers: Conor Williamson 0-04, Conal McKeever 0-04 (2f), Rory McKeever 1-01, Mark Hughes 1-00, Thomas Reynolds 1-00, Paul Nixon 0-02, Stefan McNally 0-01, Shane McKeever 0-01
Thursday 26th March 2015
Ballyhegan Ladies V Armagh Harps Ladies
The Ballyhegan Davitts ladies senior team took to the field again last night in their third challenge game of the pre-season. Preparation wasn’t ideal as we had a flood light failure at the start. However once that was sorted the game got underway.
On a heavy pitch, the Davitts made a great start with a midfield duo of Brenda McCormack and Clodagh McCann dominating and winning clean possession. Up front the pace of Lauren O’Gorman was exposing gaps in the Harps defence, and with accurate passing from midfield the Davitts got off to a flyer with 6 unanswered points. A youthful looking half forward line of Edith McCormick, Eimear Murray and Nuala McKeever, provided plenty of energy and lots of skill, their work rate ensured the Davitts continued to dominate until half time. The second half started were the first left off with Brenda and Clodagh enjoying time and space with the ball. The constant movement and energy of Edith McCormick was giving the Harps a massive headache her link up play and the support of Lisa Knox and the midfield meant the Davitts extended their lead to 1-8 to 0-2 with 20 minutes to go.
A change in the Harps system saw them come into the game more with young Leah McGoldrick beginning to find space to receive the ball. Her pace was an issue for the Davitts defence but the ladies stuck to their task well and after a concerted attack by the Harps when they struck the up-right three times the ball was eventually cleared. To keep the Harps at bay Davitts net minder Orla McKeever had to make two excellent saves, a very accomplished performance by the noisy keeper. The Davitts half back line of Lisa Knox, Kate McCormack and Sarah Louise Doherty were busy now but limited to the visitors to just 3 more points in the half. The defensive effort was helped by the experience of Carol McCann, who made a welcome return after 18 months out of the game, and newcomer Maria Nugent who had her best game yet in the Blue jersey.
A late goal by the Harps didn’t take away from the fine performance of all the Davitts on the night, and a superb point from Edith McCormick which finished off a flowing move was a fitting end to the scoring. Ballyhegan were missing quite a few players on the night due to work and confirmation commitments, so the pressure is now on for the returning players to regain their place in the team.
Final score Ballyhegan 1-10 Armagh Harps 1-5
DVDs of Strictly Ballyhegan are now available by order only. They are priced at £10 for a 2 Disc box-set.
All orders MUST be received by 4pm on Friday 3rd April.
Friday 20th March 2015
Ballyhegan Davitts v Patrick Sarsfields, Belfast
Ballyhegan were visited on Friday night by Patrick Sarsfields of Belfast for their fourth challenge match of the pre-season. 'The Paddies', who this year will play division 2 football in Antrim, would provide stern opposition for the Davitts.
Ballyhegan got off to a dream start, getting on the score sheet first with a well taken goal from full forward Shane McKeever following a wonderful catch and pass inside from number 11 Paul Nixon. The visitors showed their pedigree responding with 2 points either side of a fantastic save from Jonny McKeever diving low to his right to deny an almost certain goal. The pendulum then swung back in Ballyhegan's favour as they extended the lead through Thomas Reynolds with a fine long range effort which came out about following a nice dummy from Tony Keegan to create some space. The Davitts followed up on this 2 minutes later with their second goal of the game. Corner forward Daniel McKeever dispossessed a defender and fed the ball across goal for PJ McNally to tap in on his first start for the senior team. The visitors kept pressuring the Davitts defence who held their ground well, keeping them at bay and denying 2 more goals with another save from McKeever and a great block from Keegan. Sarsfields managed to split the posts once more before Thomas Reynolds replied with what would be the final score of the half.
Half time: Ballyhegan 2-02 - Sarsfields 0-03
As was the case in the first half, it was the hosts who were first to register on the scoreboard after the break. Midfielder Mark Hughes broke through to point after some nice work again from Paul Nixon. Half forward James McKeever opened his account for the night through a free kick from the left and doubled it again a minute later running past his opponent and striking between the posts to increase the lead to 8 points. Sarsfileds pulled one back with a pointed free on 39 minutes but Thomas Reynolds then hit 2 beauties, the first following good work from James McKeever and the second less than a minute later, was created via a nice dummy from Shane McKeever. The Davitts then worked a good goal scoring opportunity but following a good save a block from the Paddies defence, James McKeever collected and sensibly took his point. Two minutes later substitute Conal Gallagher got on the end of a pass and scored what would be the home sides final score of the game. The visitors finished out the contest strongly registering 1-02 without reply.
Full time: Ballyhegan 2-09 - Sarsfields 1-07
A good performance from the Davitts against decent opposition. Tackling, pressure and turnovers, not just in defence but all over the pitch was fantastic as was some of the build up play. Finishing wasn't what it should be however with 16 efforts either going wide or dropping short. Overall an impressive display with a lot of chances created.
Ballyhegan team lined out as follows: Jonny McKeever (c), Roger McCormick, Mark McKeever, Shane McKeever, Conor Loughran (James McAtarsney), Conor Morgan, Tony Keegan (Paddy Marley), John Guy, Mark Hughes 0-01 (Conor Williamson), Thomas Reynolds 0-04, Paul Nixon, James McKeever 0-03 (1f), PJ McNally 1-00 (Conal Gallagher 0-01), Shane McKeever 1-00 (Shane McCormack), Daniel McKeever (Gerard Morgan)
Sunday 15th March 2015
Middletown v Ballyhegan Davitts
Ballyhegan travelled to Middletown for a 1pm throw in on Sunday past for their third challenge game of the preseason. A fantastic second half performance was enough to ensure an impressive victory in a high scoring encounter.
The Davitts started off the brighter side taking the lead through right half forward Rory McKeever after 2 minutes. The hosts drew level with a free kick a minute later before Ballyhegan replied with 3 points unanswered through Shane McKeever, Daniel McKeever and from Conor Loughran following good work from Paul Nixon and Mark Hughes. Middletown pulled one back with James McKeever extending the visitor's lead to 3 points with a nice score on 15 minutes. Middletown fought their way back into it scoring 3 points without reply over the next 15 minutes. The Davitts were creating chances in this period but could not make it show on the score board. They kept persisting however and Rory McKeever split the posts following a good run on 28 minutes to bring parity to the game. Middletown however went on to hit 1-01 in injury time to go in with a 4 point lead.
Half time: Middletown 1-07 - Ballyhegan 0-06
The Davitts opened the scoring in the second half through corner forward Conal McKeever but the hosts replied with another goal soon after. Ballyhegan were not deflated and hit 3 points in a row through Thomas Reynolds from the right, a Conal McKeever free kick and a score from James McKeever being set up by PJ McNally. Just like at the end of the first half the hosts hit a goal and a point in quick succession to build a 7 point lead approaching the midway point of the half. Ballyhegan, to their credit responded in fine style however, registering 1-05 without reply in a 10minute spell to regain the lead. PJ McNally won and converted a free, midfielder John Guy pointed following good work in defence from Joey Murphy, Conal McKeever increased his tally 2 either side of a Thomas Reynolds effort from the left then substitute Gerard Morgan banged in a goal from close range. With 5 minute left Middletown scored a free but The Davitts replied with a further 3 points to secure the victory through Gerard Morgan following good build up play from Conor Morgan and Paddy Marley, another Conal McKeever free kick and Rory McKeever's third point of the day.
Full time: Middletown 3-09 - Ballyhegan 1-18
This was a very encouraging performance from the Davitts. Although a little wasteful in front of goal in the first half, they kept at it and played some great football scoring 1-12 in the second half. Still, it's only one game and there is a long road infront of us yet but a good performance none the less.
Ballyhegan team lined out as follows: Joseph McKeever, R McCormick, C Morgan, Shane McKeever, C Loughran 0-01 (J McAtarsney), P McCormack (J Murphy), T Reynolds 0-02 (P Marley), M Hughes, J Guy 0-01 (M Hamill), R McKeever 0-03, P Nixon, James McKeever 0-02 (G Morgan 1-01), C McKeever 0-05 (2f), Shane McKeever 0-01, D McKeever 0-01 (PJ McNally 0-01f)
Despite being down a couple of girls due to work and other arrangements, the Davitts fielded a strong looking team with several young players along side some more experienced heads. The Armagh Ladies minor team are in the middle of their Ulster Championship campaign and wanted a fixture to get some much needed game time for squad players before their match against Cavan next Sunday.
This was only the second outing of pre season for the Davitts, but the players all stuck to the game plan and came out victors with an impressive 2-10 to 1-4 win. Although this wasn't a full strength minor team there was some very impressive link up play from the Davitts and fine flowing football played. This was a great team performance with every player making a positive contribution, the battle for a place in the starting 15 for the first league game against Dromintee has been stepped up. Next up is the postponed game from Saturday night against Mullaghbrack.