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Championship Replay Required Again

posted 29 Aug 2013, 14:43 by Shaun-Marty Lawless

Tuesday August 27th 2013

Junior Championship

Ballyhegan Davitts v Tullysaran O’Connells

Ballyhegan and Tullysaran will have to do it all again for a third time, as the sides could not be separated in Tuesday Night’s re-fixture in Armagh’s Athletic Grounds, following on from the premature end to the first match in Portadown less than a fortnight previous, due to a serious injury to a Tullysaran player.

The victor will eventually take their place in the quarter finals of the Junior Championship versus the favourites, Intermediate League high fliers Annaghmore.

Nerves seemed to play it’s part in the early stages of the first half, for both sets of players, eager not to make a mistake on the home of Armagh football. Paddy Marley opened the scoring however, from a free kick, after taking a big hit in front of the posts, following good work from Jack Rafferty.

Tullysaran were level, scoring from play after five minutes, and Davitts captain John Guy kicked a big score with his left peg, good strength from Mark Hughes creating the chance.

The O’Connell men were level again soon after, converting a free kick.

Before the quarter hour mark, Paul Courtney raced forward and kicked a mighty effort from 40 metres only to come off the post. The Tullysaran men counter attacked up the field, and a goal chance seemed on, only for Plunkett McCormack to read the play well and intercept the final pass.

Mark Hughes strong running was now causing the Tullysaran defence problems, as he was again fouled within scoring distance, Paddy Marley duly obliging with the free kick, putting the Davitts in front once more at the quarter hour mark.

John Guy kicked another score from play a minute later, collecting a lovely ball from Paddy Marley and splitting the posts with aplomb.

The Davitts advantage was increased to three points after 20 minutes, A fine run down the wing from Rory McKeever ended with the referee blowing for a foot block as the defender kicked goal-wards. Paddy Marley converting the free kick.

Tullysaran scored their third point soon after, but Ballyhegan finished the half strong. First Paul Courtney kicked a free kick over the bar from the 45 metre line.

Jack Wilson & John Guy kicked two points from play late in the half to give a five point advantage at the break, the second coming from a super save from the Tullysaran keeper, out quick to deny Paddy Marley a goal – Davitts doing well to recycle the ball for the score.



Half Time: Ballyhegan 0.08 Tullysaran 0.03


Whatever was said in the half time interval in the Tullysaran changing rooms certainly paid off as they started the second half with improved intensity.

Davitts midfielder Paul Courtney fielded a high ball above his own cross bar early in the second half, denying a certain score, and his midfield partner Conor Williamson denied the Tullysaran attack a goal with a brave diving block.

Things started to go wrong for the Ballyhegan outfit with the loss of key midfielder Paul Courtney to nasty looking shoulder injury (Get well soon Paul!) ten minutes into the second half.

This loss seemed to give the Tullysaran lads renewed belief as they stormed back into the game and took the lead entering the final quarter of the game, with a goal and three points without reply.

John Guy benefited from a brave Shane McCormack interception, to curl a tidy score between the sticks, to level the sides once more, before Paddy Marley converted another free kick, his third of the evening, from the 21m line, as young Jack Rafferty was hauled down to the left of the posts – Davitts in front with only a few minutes remaining.

Tullysaran converted another free kick, before Plunkett McCormack kicked an inspirational score from distance to once more put the Davitts in front as the game entered injury time.

The final score of the game came was a Tullysaran one, an equalising point deep in injury time from a free kick, and so the sides meet again on Sunday afternoon, in Grange 2pm throw in!


Full-Time: Ballyhegan 0.11 Tullysaran 1.08


The buzz from the very successful Ballyhegan Féile last weekend followed through to the Senior team and Ballyhegan were well in control at half time. The changing point in the game seemed to be the loss of Paul Courtney due to injury, it took the Davitts a bit of time to adjust, but to their benefit they did and fought well to the end to earn the replay in the end.

Plunkett McCormack was exceptional for the Davitts, a real driving force from defence, tackled like a demon, intercepted ball and scored one of the points of the game, almost the winner!

In attack John Guy got through a mountain of work , and kicked four excellent points all from play.


Ballyhegan Team lined out as follows:

Jonny McKeever, T. Keegan, C. Morgan, R. McKeever, R. McCormack (M. McKeever, 20), P. McCormack 0.01, C. Loughran, P. Courtney 0.01 (1f) (E. Reynolds, 43), C. Williamson, M. Hughes, J. Wilson 0.01, J. Guy 0.04, P. Marley 0.03 (3f), S. McCormack (James McKeever, 52), J. Rafferty