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Senior Men win in Lurgan

posted 13 Jun 2011, 01:24 by Shaun-Marty Lawless   [ updated 13 Jun 2011, 06:15 ]

Sunday June 12th

St Paul’s Lurgan V Ballyhegan Davitt's

A miserable wet afternoon in Lurgan greeted two teams with aspirations of promotion back to Division II.

Aidan Kelly opened the scoring for the visitors, a nice point from play with his right boot.

St Paul’s rallied with 2 points from play in two minutes, before the St Paul’s keeper made a good save from a low shot from Ballyhegan midfielder Jack Wilson, after Shane McCormack played him through. Paul Courtney leveled the game, converted the resulting ’45.

A minute later Paul Nixon, just on for the injured Shane McCormack, converted a free kick following a foul on Paul Courtney, to the right of the posts.

The hosts leveled again from a free-kick, but Aidan Kelly restored the Davitt’s advantage, his second point from play & score of the half following great build up play involving Paul Nixon & James McKeever.

Paul Courtney was unlucky to hit a shot off the post, then bounced onto the cross bar & into the hands of a St Paul’s defender, who cleared his lines, ten first half minutes remaining.

Approaching the end of the first half, following an attempted fisted point from Davitt’s James McKeever, a goalmouth scramble ensued, Paul Nixon unlucky his effort was saved off the line.

Two minutes before the end of the half St Paul’s leveled the scores with another point from play.

Half Time: St Paul’s 0.04 - Ballyhegan 0.04

In the opening stages of the second half Eoin Reynolds played a delightful one-two with Paul Nixon, putting him in on goal, however the St Paul’s keeper made another good save with his feet this time, to deny the Davitt’s attack again.

St Paul’s took the lead briefly in the eighth minute of the half, but Paul Courtney drove through the middle of the field breaking two tackles and driving the ball between the sticks, an inspirational score.

Mark Hughes was next to drive through the middle of the field and point from 35 metres, following quick footwork from Kevin Keegan.

With Ballyhegan now very much on top, cutting through the St Paul’s defence, Eoin Reynolds was taken down on the edge of the square, as a one-on-one with the keeper developed, after another terrific build up again involving Paul Courtney, James McKeever & Paul Nixon.
Unfortunately Kevin Keegan was unable to match his effort from the previous match, as he struck the upright. Ballyhegan remained a point in the lead, the game now entering the final quarter.

Paul Nixon converted his second free kick a minute later, after keeping the ball in play at the touch-line for Paul Courtney who was fouled 14 metres out from the posts.

Kevin Keegan now increasingly involved in the game, scored a point from play with the outside of the right boot, from the right hand side, a super effort following a great catch from Jack Wilson.

Eoin Reynolds put four points between the sides with ten minutes remaining, a super curling effort that squeezed inside the posts, with his left boot (normally reserved for standing on!).

St Paul’s interrupted the Davitt’s spell of dominance, following five points without reply, with a point from play.

Kevin Keegan scored his second of the game, very similar to the first effort, Paul Courtney winning possession around the middle & feeding Paul Nixon, who put Kevin clear to restore the four point advantage.

Mark Hughes got his second of the game, again from play, before St Paul’s got their third and final score of the half a minute later.

Substitute Philip Kelly got the final two scores of the game, the second a special curling effort, from a wide angle on the left, to leave six points the difference at the final whistle.

Full Time: St Paul’s 0.07 - Ballyhegan 0.13

Impressive team spirit shone through, as Davitt’s displayed a super second half performance and ensuring the visitors would gain both points.

In defence, Mark McKeever & Tony Keegan dispossessed their men on multiple occasions. Mel Courtney’s reading of the game was excellent. Plunkett McCormack & Gavin Quinn picked up a lot of possession & drove Ballyhegan forward!

In midfield Davitt’s were totally on top, Mark Hughes & Paul Courtney winning a lot of primary & secondary possession.

In Attack Kevin Keegan seemed to be involved in everything particularly in the second half. Paul Nixon was out in front every time, providing a focal point in attack & laying off good ball. On another day Eoin Reynolds would have finished with a goal or two.

Philip Kelly had an impressive cameo at the end announcing his arrival at senior level!

The team would like to dedicate this win to Gerard Hughes, father of Mark, who is recovering from an operation in hospital. Get well soon Gerard!

Ballyhegan Team lined out as follows:

Jonny McKeever, T. Keegan, M. Courtney, M. McKeever, J. Guy (R. McKeever), P. McCormack, G. Quinn, M. Hughes 0.02, J. Wilson, K. Keegan 0.02, P. Courtney 0.02 (1 ‘45), A. Kelly 0.02 (P.Kelly 0.02, 51), James McKeever (C. Williamson, 48), S. McCormack (P. Nixon 0.02 (2f), 8), E. Reynolds 0.01