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Ballyhegan v Tullysaran

posted 29 Jul 2015, 07:55 by Jarlath McCann
Tuesday 28th July 2015
Junior A League Round 11
Ballyhegan Davitts v Tullysaran O’Connells

Ballyhegan returned to League action for the first time in over 4 weeks in a refixed match at home against top-of-the-table Tullysaran on Tuesday night. The Davitts showed few signs of rust however as the challenge games against Stewartstown and Clonoe organised during the break stood them in good stead. 
Tullysaran got off the mark first converting a free in the first minute of the game. They added to this a few minutes later taking advantage of some confusion in the Davitts rearguard to find the net from close range. Despite getting off to a shaky start the hosts soon settled and were back on level terms with just over 10 minutes played. Corner forward Paddy Marley opened the scoring for Ballyhegan with a free kick on 5 minutes followed 2 minutes later by a great effort from the left by half forward James McKeever following good build up play from Tony Keegan and centre half forward Shane McKeever. Joey Murphy then showed his experience in defence, reading the game well to break down an attack and launch a counter for the Davitts which full forward Paul Nixon finished with another great effort from out on the left hand side. Just as he started the comeback, Paddy Marley completed it brining parity to the game from another free after 11 minutes. Tullysaran took the lead once more with a well taken 50’ on 13 minutes. Ballyhegan then embarked on a crucial period of dominance to establish a lead for the first time in the game. Wing back Conor Loughran put over a great point from out on the right to bring it level. Shane McKeever at number 11 was picking out some great passes and combined well with twin brother Mark who broke out from full back to feed Mark Hughes who pointed to put Ballyhegan ahead for the first time. Paddy Marley then extended the lead benefitting from hard work by young midfielder Jack Rafferty. The visitors reduced the lead to the minimum but on the stroke of half time Jack Rafferty restored the 2-point lead.

Half time: Ballyhegan 0-08 Tullysaran 1-03

As in the first half it was the visitors who opening the scoring after the break with Paddy Marley responding for the Davitts with 2 pointed free kicks. Midfielder Mark Hughes added his second of the game on 40 minutes provided by Paul Nixon. Tullysaran replied with another point from play and started to put the pressure on the host’s defence who, it must be said, did their jobs well and endured a period of Tullysaran dominance which saw them fail to register a score though it took a great goal line clearance from substitute Thomas Reynolds to do this.  Ballyhegan added another score on 48 minutes to go 4 points clear but again the visitors replied immediately to leave 3 in it going into the last 5 minutes. The game changed however when Davitts substitute Conor Williamson won possession and busted through 2 tackles before firing past the visitors ‘keeper to open up a 6 point lead. Ballyhegan won a free kick 2 minutes later 50 yards from goal which ‘keeper Jonny McKeever stepped up to take. Despite losing his footing as he made contact the ball sailed over leaving 7 points between the sides going into injury time. Tullysaran though, as expected, never stopped and tagged on a further 2 points from free kicks in injury time to leave 5 between the sides at the end.

Full time: Ballyhegan 1-13 Tullysaran 1-08

This was an impressive performance from the Davitts. They were tight in defence and put the Tullysaran forwards under great pressure when in possession seeing them kick a lot of wides. The forwards tracked back tirelessly when needed to and took their chances well.  
An impressive yet hard-fought victory over the league leaders but it will mean nothing unless it can be built upon in Sunday’s trip to Lissummon.
Ballyhegan team lined out: 

J. McKeever (c) 0-01 f, D. McKeever, M. McKeever, S. McKeever jnr, T. Keegan (J. Guy 43), A. Morgan 0-01, C. Loughran 0-01 (S. McNally 60), M. Hughes 0-02 (C. Williamson 1-00), J. Rafferty 0-01, R. McKeever (T. Reynolds 38), S. McKeever, J. McKeever 0-01 (J. McAtarsney 60), P. Marley 0-05 (4f) (S. McCormack 50), P. Nixon 0-01, J. Murphy.