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Ballyhegan v Sarsfields Belfast

posted 21 Mar 2015, 09:09 by Jarlath McCann
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)