Sunday 26th June 2016
Ballyhegan Davitts 1-11 St. Michael’s Newtownhamilton 1-03
The hosts welcomed their South Armagh visitors to Ballyhegan Park on a wet summer afternoon, with both teams keen to gain two points before the league split.
On a slippery surface, both sides found it difficult to create chances in the opening quarter, with poor handling and misplaced passes a key feature of the early exchanges. The opening score came for the visitors; a long diagonal ball into the full-forward resulting in him getting above our keeper to flick the ball towards goal. Although Jonny appeared to react quickly enough to clear before the ball crossed the line, referee Kevin Gallogly awarded the goal despite strong protestations from the defence. This goal appeared to awaken the Davitts somewhat; a few minutes after another wide, neat interplay in the half-forward line lead to Shane McKeever finding space and slotting our first score of the game over the bar. Two minutes later, James McKeever landed the second point with a firm strike before St. Michael’s responded to maintain a two point advantage. The final ten minutes of the half, however, belonged to Ballyhegan. A flowing move ended with midfielder Mark Hughes landing his first point of the game. From the resulting kickout, Shane McCormack picked the pocket of the Newtown back and fed Conall McKeever, with the young marksman rifling the ball to the top corner from 20 metres out – a fine goal! Conall added to his tally with a left-footed point to leave three between the teams at the interval.
Half-Time: Ballyhegan Davitts 1-04 St. Michael’s Newtownhamilton 1-01
Again, both sides took some time to find their rhythm at the beginning of the second period, with defences on top. St. Michael’s registered the opening score from a free, before Ballyhegan replied almost immediately, Conall McKeever finding his range once again. The hosts were beginning to gain more of a foothold around the middle, with a pass form the middle finding our inside forwards who laid it out to James McKeever to strike his second score of the contest. The visitors scored again, before Conall McKeever confidently knocked over two frees before adding another from play. Conall rounded off a great individual display with two more points in the closing stages, meaning the Davitts ran out comfortable winners.
Full-Time: Ballyhegan Davitts 1-11 St. Michael’s Newtownhamilton 1-03Although conditions were tricky, Ballyhegan will not be entirely pleased with their overall performance. The hosts struggled to impose themselves at the beginning of both halves, with some poor decision-making leading to a number of turnovers. However, the defence will be pleased to hold the opposition to four scores, with Barry Morgan and Daniel McKeever cutting out many of the opposition’s attacks, and Roger McCormick providing little or no room for his marker to escape. Around the middle, Mel Courtney was a steadying influence throughout, with Mark Hughes supporting from deep on several occasions. The Davitts will look to add another two points when they make the trip to Crossmaglen this Tuesday at 8pm. The team lined out as follows:
J.McKeever, R.McCormick, M.McKeever, B.Morgan, C.McGlinchey (L.McGrane 58), M.Courtney, J.McAtarsney, M.Hughes (0-1), T.Reynolds (C.Loughran, 38) (T.Power, 59), R.McKeever (P.Marley, 54), S.McKeever (0-1), J.P.McKeever (0-2), D.McKeever, S.McCormack (T.Rafferty, 53), C.McKeever (1-7, 0-2f)