Sunday 31st May 2015
Simplyfruit Junior A League Rd 7
Clonmore Robert Emmetts v Ballyhegan Davits
Ballyhegan made the short journey north to take on Clonmore on Sunday past. It hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the Davitts in recent years but on the back of 2 straight wins and a manager who knew the hosts inside out, they were confident of coming away with a win going into the game.
That confidence was boosted a little more as Ballyhegan got off to a great start. Our reliable free-taker Conal McKeever opened the scoring on 3 minutes with a free from the left. A couple of minutes later he was on target from a dead ball once again, this time from the right after Paddy Marley was fouled as he ran through the defence. Soon after corner forward Paul Nixon got on the end of a great ball from experienced half back Tony Keegan to fire over and put the Davitts 3 up. The hosts responded with 2 points in as many minutes, one from play and one from a free, to leave it a one-point game but on 11 minutes our marauding half back Rory McKeever broke from defence and neatly exchaned with Paul Nixon and Conal McKeever before firing low into the net to extend the Davitts lead to 4. Clonmore hit back with a point from play on 16 minutes before Ballyhegan hit a purple patch seeing them register 1-03 without reply. On 17 minutes Tony Keegan, showing age is but a number as he got up and down the line with ease, finished off an attack as he dropped over a fine effort from the left. Conal McKeever added 2 more freekicks before finding the back of the net on 26 minutes. Paul Nixon made a fine catch before turning and forcing the keeper to make a fine save, Mark Hughes got on the rebound but once again brought the best out of the keeper, at the third time of asking it fell to Conal McKeever and this time the keeper couldn't get to it as Coanl fired into the goal. Clonmore hit another free to reduce the gap just before half time.
Half time score: Clonmore 0-04 Ballyhegan 2-06
As expected Clonmore came out fired up and took the game to the Davitts from the offset of the second half firing over 3 points from play before Ballyhegan could hit back with another Conal McKeever free on 36 minutes. 2 scores in quick succession, one from a free and one from a wind-assisted sideline ball saw the host continue to chip away at the lead. Ballyhegan hit back though, determined to hold on, with a nice score from centre half forwrad Paddy Marley following good build up plat from Tony Keegan and Thomas Reynolds. The teams then exchanged scores over the next 10 minutes, Clonmore with a free on 42 minutes to which the Daviits replied through the boot of half forwrd Thomas Reynolds. Clonmore then pointed from play soon after with half back Rory McKeever adding to his tally for the day replying with a point for the visitors. The hosts kept fighting as expected with 2 unanswered points to leave 3 in it going into injury time but on the 64th minute of the game, and not for the first time this season, goalkeeper Jonny McKeever stepped up with a late free from distance to put the game beyond the hosts.
Full time score: Clonmore 0-13 Ballyhegan 2-11
Similar to last week's game in Corinshego, the Davitts produced a great first half display and weathered the storm in the second half for a bit as they went toe-to-toe with their opponents. This was a great win on the road for Ballyhegan seeing them now win 3 on the trot. A fantastic team effort from all, incuding all the substitutes who came on to help ensure the win but in particular from wing half backs Rory McKeever and the age-less Tony Keegan who rolled back the years getting in important tackles and interceptions as well as playing a key attacking role. Paddy Marley once again put in a vital and self-less display at centre half forward and it was nice also to see last year's Senior Player of the Year Conor Williamson make his first league appearance of the season as he continues to battle back from ankle ligament damage. Up next for the Davitts a home tie against Derrynoose this Sunday 7th June.
Ballyhegan team lined out as follows: Jonny McKeever (c) 0-01f, Roger McCormick, Shane McKeever, Rory McKeever 1-01, Mark McKeever, Tony Keegan 0-01, Mark Hughes (Conor Williamson), John Guy (Shane McKeever), Thonas Reynolds 0-01 (Joey Murphy), Paddy Marley 0-01, James McKeever (Gerard Morgan), Conal McKeever 1-05 (5f) (PJ McNally), Jack Rafferty, Paul Nixon 0-01.