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Senior Men defeat St Paul's

posted 4 Sep 2011, 08:28 by Shaun-Marty Lawless   [ updated 5 Sep 2011, 00:41 ]
Sunday September 4th
Ballyhegan Davitt's v St Paul's Lurgan

Ballyhegan played their penultimate fixture on Sunday, the final home game of the season, hosting St Paul's of Lurgan, still requiring a win to secure Division III survival. The Lurgan outfit safe in mid table, however still eager to gain revenge for the defeat in Taghnevan earlier in the season.

St Paul's opened the scoring in the first minute, converting a long range free kick, after winning possession form the throw-in.
Good pressure from Cathal McNeice high up the field forced a foul a couple of minutes later and Paul Courtney converted the free kick to level the scores.

John Guy struck a decent point in the seventh minute, following some good interchange involving Paul Courtney & Jack Wilson, to put the Davitt's in front.

The visitors then took control of the game with a five minute spell of dominance, converting three free kicks and a superb solo goal from the centre half forward, striking the ball from twenty metres into the top corner, despite the close attention & pressure from Plunkett McCormack. St Paul's five points up after sixteen first half minutes.

Davitt's regrouped superbly and hit back immediately, Paul Courtney converting another free kick awarded for the foul on James McKeever. A minute later Conor Morgan found space on the right wing and split the posts with a sweet strike, a goal now the difference.
Jack Wilson fielded the kick out, Joey Murphy provided a direct incisive run and Philip Kelly leveled the sides with a clinical finish to the net.

St Paul's again took the lead with ten minutes remaining in the opening half with a point from play, but Philip Kelly again leveled the teams with his left boot, Joey Murphy again involved in the build up.

St Paul's scored another point in the closing stages of the half, but the hosts finished stronger, again Davitt's pressured the St Paul's defenders forcing another free kick, and once again, Paul Courtney converted the free kick.

Philip Kelly got his second point of the game, following some intricate passing with Jack Wilson and Conor Morgan, to put the Davitt's in front at the break.
Half Time: Ballyhegan 1.07 - St Paul's 1.06

Philip Kelly converted a free kick to open the second half scoring in the fifth minute, the foul on James McKeever.
St Paul's converted a free kick, to narrow the gap to the minimum again, and five minutes later Philip Kelly split the posts with a marvelous score, cutting inside from wide on the right and greeted with rapturous applause from the stand and sideline.

Paul Courtney got his fourth point of the game with ten minutes remaining, following excellent defensive work from Joey Murphy and substitute Rory McKeever and a minute later fellow substitute Kevin Keegan extended the Ballyhegan advantage with a clever chipped finish over the bar - Joey Murphy again providing the cross field pass to set up the attack.

With five minutes remaining Paul Courtney received a late challenge in the back from former All Ireland Minor winner Andrew Murnin, and young Philip Kelly converted the resulting free kick, to leave his personal tally at an impressive 1.05 for the day.

St Paul's scored the final score of the game, a point from a placed ball to reduce Ballyhegan's advantage of four points at the final whistle and ensure both teams would meet again next year!

Full Time: Ballyhegan 1.12 - St Paul's 1.08
Excellent result for Ballyhegan in a surprisingly competitive and entertaining game of football.
There were plenty of good performers, but the stand out players on the field were Paul Courtney in midfield and Joey Murphy in defence, whilst in attack Philip Kelly shone with some excellent scores.

Ballyhegan Team lined out as follows:
Jonny McKeever, M. McKeever (J. McCann, 60), M. Courtney, T. Keegan,  J. Murphy, P. McCormack, C. McNeice (R. McKeever, 44), P. Courtney 0.04 (3f), J. Wilson, J. Guy 0.01  (C. Williamson, 47), C. Morgan 0.01, R. Devlin, A. Kelly (K. Keegan 0.01, 47), James McKeever (S. McKeever, 40), P. Kelly 1.05 (2f)