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Seniors lose in Craigavon

posted 16 Jun 2013, 15:22 by Shaun-Marty Lawless

Sunday June 16th 2013

Intermediate League

Éire Óg Craigavon Ballyhegan Davitts

Ballyhegan Seniors played their first game in three weeks on Sunday evening in Pinebank, Craigavon against Éire Óg on an immaculate pitch!

The long lay off did not seem to affect the Davitts as Eoin Reynolds caught an early long Jack Wilson pass, drew a man in, creating space for the overlapping Gerard Morgan, who coolly slotted the ball under the keeper, and into the net, great start for the Davitts!

The hosts responded well kicking four points, three from play, to take the lead after ten minutes.

Ballyhegan goal-keeper Jonny McKeever performed an important double save at the quarter hour mark, first denying an on running attacker with his hands, then stopping a separate Éire Óg attacker with his legs keeping it a one point game.

Terrific work from Shane McCormack, a minute later, defending from the front, dispossessing an opposition defender, and drawing a foul, allowing Paddy Marley to level the game from the resulting free kick.

In the final 10 minutes of the half Éire Óg kicked another three scores, interrupted by two Ballyhegan scores, the first a great team move with Eoin Reynolds, Paul Courtney and Paddy Marley all involved, but finished off by marauding full back Conor Morgan.

Ballyhegan's final score of the half came from a long free kick from Paul Courtney, after being fouled himself, 40 metres from goal, a point the difference at the break.

Half Time: Éire Óg 0.07 Ballyhegan 1.03

Éire Óg kicked the opening two points of the second half, but a dominant spell for Ballyhegan would ensue, starting with another Paul Courtney long free kick, that split the posts in the 39th minute. A minute later Plunkett McCormack stormed up the field with the ball, & fed Paddy Marley a pass, Marley sorted his feet out quickly and kicked the ball high over the bar.

Paddy Marley kicked the leveller from a free kick awarded for a foul on Conor Morgan as the game entered the final ten minutes, and Ballyhegan took the lead from the returning Mark Hughes, from injury, an inspirational strike from 45 metres out the field!

Éire Óg came at Ballyhegan in the final five minutes of the game, the Davitts defenders forcing the Craigavon men to shoot from out the field & from difficult angles, wide of the post, however the game clinching moment came with only two minutes of normal time remaining. As the hosts caught a high ball & forced the ball into the net, the referee controversially overruling the umpire on that side, who had called for a wide ball in the lead up to the goal.

Plunkett McCormack rallied the Davitts with an injury time point from distance, however it was to be Éire Óg's evening and they finished the scoring with another point from play, the difference in a tight game two points at the final whistle.

Full Time: Éire Óg 1.10 Ballyhegan 1.08

Decent performance from Ballyhegan, who will feel frustrated as looked to have done enough to take something from the game with the whole team's attitude and endeavour impressing.

Credit also to the management, as all the substitutes made a positive impact on the game.

Young Conor McCann went off with a painful looking knee injury, we wish him a speedy recovery, and hope it's not as bad as it looked!

Next up Clann Eireann away on Friday night!

Ballyhegan Team lined out as follows:

Jonny McKeever, J. Murphy, C. Morgan 0.01, T. Keegan, C. McCann (M. McKeever, 22), P. McCormack 0.01, C. Loughran, P. Courtney 0.02 (2f), J. Wilson, S. McKeever, C. Williamson (James McKeever, 41), G. Morgan 1.00 (M. Hughes 0.01, 35), E. Reynolds, S. McCormack (J. Rafferty, 41), P. Marley 0.03 (2f)