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Davitts Back In Action

posted 9 Mar 2015, 04:20 by Jarlath McCann
Friday 6th March 2015
Ballyhegan Davitts v Eire Og
A cold and blustery Friday night in Ballyhegan played host to the Davitts' first challenge game of the season and their first game under new manager Joe McGrane. Intermediate side Eire Og, Craigavon provided the opposition for the night in what would be a testing affair for the hosts.
Both sides looked a little rusty at the beginning and took a while to settle into the game. Numerous wides were kicked at both ends in he opening exchanges before Ballyhegan finally opened the scoring after 18 minutes with right corner forward Conal Gallagher producing a nice effort from the right hand side to split the posts. Conal then doubled the Davitts and his own tally 2 minutes later, winning possession from his marker following some good hassling and putting the ball over again. Daniel McKeever, playing top of the left, extended Ballyhegan's lead to 3 soon after, collecting a great ball in from Mark Hughes in midfield and slotting over. Last season's Senior player of the year, Conor Williamson then stretched the home side's lead to 4 points in the 24th minute, wisely fisting his effort over the bar. The visitors pulled one back soon, capitalising on a misplaced pass to open their account. Conal Gallagher then added his third and the final score of the half. Following good build up play from Daniel McKeever and Rory McKeever, Conal collected and fisted over from close range.
Half time: Ballyhegan Davitts 0-05 - Eire Og 0-01
Following a multitude of changes at half time, Eire Og came out the brighter of the 2 side at the start of the second half and began to claw their way back into the game. 2 pointed frees and another from play had the visitors right back in the game and with only a point between the sides Davitts goalkeeper - and Captain for the season - Jonny McKeever, pulled off a fine save on 45 minutes to prevent the Craigavon men from taking the lead. They did draw level a few minute later through a free kick which set up a tense final 10 minutes. Young Thomas Reynolds, just out of minor football, restored the lead for the hosts with a nice effort off the right boot only for the visitors to draw level again. The Davitts again restored their lead, this time through PJ McNally, another graduate from last years minor team, as he capitalised on a drop in Eire Og's defence and nipped in to point. Eire Og again drew level but wih just 1 minute left on the clock, Gerard Morgan hit a fine score from the left hand side to win the game for the hosts.
Full time: Ballyhegan Davitts 0-08 - Eire Og 0-07
A decent performance from the hosts on their first outing of the season. A lot of work remains to be done as there is a long road ahead until the end of the season but this performance was encouraging. The Davitts finished the game strongly and were turning over possesion in key areas right up until the final whistle. A squad of 28 was available for selection on the night and all got a chance to show what they can do and give Joe a few selection headaches.
Ballyhegan team lined out as follows: Jonny McKeever (c), Tony Keegan (Joey Murphy), Mark McKeever (Micky Hamill), Shane Mckeever (Roger McCormick), Conor Loughran (John Guy), Plunkett McCormack, Conor Morgan (James McAtarsney), Conor Williamson 0-01 (Mel Courtney), Mark Hughes (Conor Williamson), Rory McKeever (Paul Nixon), Shane McKeever (Thomas Reynolds 0-01), James McKeever (Gerard Morgan 0-01), Conal Gallagher 0-03 (Conal McKeever), Shane McCormack (Stefan NcNally), Daniel McKeever 0-01 (PJ McNally 0-01)