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Davitts win on the road

posted 12 May 2014, 00:10 by Jarlath McCann
Sunday 11th May 2014

St. Patrick’s Cullyhanna V Ballyhegan Davitts

The Davitts travelled to south Armagh seeking to back up their fine win last week and continue the momentum which has been steadily building. The Cullyhanna men have been going well so Ballyhegan knew they had to be on their game to match them. A wet and slippy pitch was not helped by a heavy shower in the first half, the home side started well, and registered the first score after two minutes. In very difficult conditions the Davitts forwards were doing well gathering and retaining possession, however persistent fouling by the home team went un-punished with a series of missed frees. The Cullyhanna wing forward scored their second point, against the run of play, from the left. Good work from John Guy earned another free, Paddy Marley converted to register the Davitts first score. A fine point from the busy James McKeever levelled the scores. The visitors continued to dominate possession with powerful displays in the middle from Mark Hughes and Conor Williamson however Davitts were too wasteful in front of goal, but two frees from Paddy Marley, a fine point from Conor Williamson and the score of the half, a fisted point from Conor Morgan put the Davitts on 0-6. The St Patricks outfit hung on well and made the most of their opportunities with another two scores to leave the half time score at 0-6 to 0-4 in favour of the visitors. The second half continued in the same vain as the first period with Ballyhegan dominant but wasteful with three missed opportunities before Paddy Marley was yet again fouled, he stepped up to convert the free. An unusual lapse in concentration allowed the Cullyhanna left wing back to advance unchallenged up the pitch and register for the home side. Paddy Marley was again fouled with no action taken other than a free, the corner forward converted which made the score 0-8 to 0-6 in favour of the Davitts. Then came the pivotal moment of the game, a good move by the home side open the visitors defence for the first time, with a goal expected, keeper Jonny McKeever made a double save, the rebound was converted for a point but the Ballyhegan goal remained intact. The home side then levelled the scores for the first time with a well worked point, but an inspirational point from Mark Hughes 35yds out raised the Davitts again. This was quickly followed by a point from Marley when a goal looked on. The Ballyhegan bench was used to freshen up proceedings on the heavy ground, Daniel McKeever replaced the tireless Eoin Reynolds, the powerful Conor Morgan dropped back to CHB as Plunkett McCormack was replaced by Michael Hamil, and Gerard Morgan who was effective all day was given a break, making way in the last ten minutes for the experience of Shane McCormack. With time against them and trailing by three the Cullyhanna men tried everything to unsettle the Davitts. The men in blue stood strong and showed their experience with a composed finish to the game, Michael Hamil was fouled, and again Paddy Marley punished the home side with a converted free. The last few minutes were tense but Ballyhegan remained strong and showed character and experience in seeing out a well deserved victory by 0-11 to 0-9. This second win in a row should provide the platform for a strong recovery from a poor start to the campaign. The support of the community will be important as the Davitts continue to make strides up the division. So let’s have a great turnout for the next match away to Crossmaglen II next Sunday.

Ballyhegan team lined out as follows: Jonny McMcKeever, J Murphy, R McCormick, R McKeever, C Loughran, P McCormack, T Keegan, M Hughes, C Williamson, C Morgan, J Guy, G Morgan, P Marley, James McKeever, E Reynolds. Subs: S McCormack, D McKeever, J Rafferty, M Hamill, D McNeill, J McCann