Sunday 5th June 2016
Both sides traded early scores before St Patrick's seized the initiative and hit three points without reply to lead by 0-2 to 0-5 at the mid-point of the first half. The game then swung in Ballyhegan's favour with a point and then James McKeever struck for a well taken goal following a fine team move with Michael Hamill providing the assist. Further points were traded to leave a half-time score of Ballyhegan 1-5 St Patrick's IIs 0-7.
In the second half Conall McKeever came game to the fore for the Davitts both from frees and from play, hitting a number of fine points and with Paul Nixon as ever busy for the forward line. Given the searing heat the Davitts emptied the bench in the second half and were able to open up a sizeable five-point gap with ten minutes to go. However, this really should have been more, in particular as earlier in the half a goal chance was spurned following a fine through ball from Shane McCormack. The Davitts were nearly made to pay as the Cullyhanna men grabbed a goal and a couple of points to level matters as the game reached its conclusion. With five minutes of injury time to play, Ballyhegan were awarded a free in their own half. The ball was moved up close to the 45m line following a bit of indiscipline from the visitors and with the impetus being handed over, Jonny McKeever stepped up to split the posts to give the Davitts their winning point as they closed out the game. This was Jonny's second clutch kick this season following a similar effort that levelled matters in Clonmore. Final Score: Ballyhegan 1-14 St Patrick's IIs 1-13.
There were a number of fine performances for Ballyhegan across the park in particular with Mark Hughes at midfield and Conall McKeever top scorer on the day. Nevertheless, there is work to do and no doubt management will be concerned at chances not converted, with the kick-out strategy (that had been working) being abandoned in the latter stages and with the concession of a late goal almost putting the result in doubt. That said the Davitts were worthy of their victory and with two valuable league points secured the team should be confident as they head into a busy week with Lissummon away on Tuesday night and Keady at home this Sunday.
Ballyhegan Team: J McKeever (C) , R McCormick, M McKeever, P Marley, J McAtarsney, S McKeever, C McGlinchey, M Hughes, C Loughran, R McKeever, C McKeever, JP McKeever, S McCormack, P Nixon, M Hamill The following subs all came on: L McGrane, T Power, D McKeever, K Turbit