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Seniors Lose in Lurgan

posted 21 Apr 2013, 11:07 by Shaun-Marty Lawless

Sunday April 21st 2013

Intermediate League

Clan na Gael v Ballyhegan Davitts

Round 2 of the Intermediate league brought Ballyhegan Davitts to the newly refurbished Davitt Park in Lurgan to meet the former kingpins of Armagh football, Clan na Gael.

Heavy downpours during the first half made viewing conditions weren't pleasant, however the pitch looked in great shape.

The hosts took first blood, former Armagh legend Barry O'Hagan, kicking the first two scores in the opening minutes of the game.

Mark Hughes replied for the visitors kicking a score from play, finishing a counter attack which began with Tony Keegan in defence, and Shane McKeever & Eoin Reynolds combining to create the chance for the big midfielder.

Bumpy O'Hagan kicked another score for the Clans, before Conor Williamson, playing at wing forward, split the posts after a good interchange with Eoin Reynolds, Paddy Marley & Philip Kelly.

Clans extended their advantage to three points after ten minutes, but the Davitts responded first with a converted free kick from Philip Kelly, himself fouled, and a 1 – 2 between Paddy Marley & Conor Williamson created the space again for Mark Hughes to loop a high shot over the bar, reducing the deficit to the minimum, with ten first half minutes still to play.

The hosts raised the temperature as O'Hagan converted another two free kicks for the the Clans & Joey Murphy in the Ballyhegan defence blocked a goal effort, as Tony Keegan swept up possession clearing to safety.

Conor Williamson kicked another fine score from play, under intense pressure, after fine work from Paddy Marley who slid in to lift possession held well and turned leaving his marker.

But Clans would continue to dominate the closing stages, tagging on another three points, all coming from recycled goal efforts, as Jonny McKeever in the Davitts goals made two good diving saves with his feet & Mark McKeever cleared off the line also. Ballyhegan four points down at the half time whistle.

Half Time: Clan na Gael 0.09 Ballyhegan 0.05

The sun came out for the second have & the Lurgan hosts shone in the opening stages, scoring another three points from play, despite good pressure from Joey Murphy & Tony Keegan in the full back line.

A superb response from Ballyhegan as substitute James McKeever, raced through on goal, the referee playing good advantage, as the big forward clinically finished the ball to the net, despite an obvious pull from behind.

Philip Kelly then pointed from play as Paddy Marley and James McKeever combined to set up the chance.

With only a kick of the ball between the sides entering the final quarter of the game, Jonny McKeever once again was forced into protecting his goal well saving point blank from a Clans attacker, however once more they recycled the ball & split the posts.

Paddy Marley then converted a free kick for Ballyhegan, result of Conor Williamson being flattened in front of the posts.

Unfortunately a devastating five minute spell for the Clans deadly duo of Stefan Campbell & Barry O'Hagan put the game beyond Ballyhegan's reach. Three goals and a point from the two key forwards finished the game as a contest, as the game entered the final five minutes.

Mark Hughes and Philip Kelly kicked Ballyhegan's last two points, but they were matched by two more from the hosts.

Full Time: Clan na Gael 3.15 Ballyhegan 1.09

A strange game for the Davitts, only a kick of the ball between the sides entering the final quarter of the game, ultimately ending in a hefty defeat.

For most of the game our defence restricted a dangerous attacking outfit to scores mainly from free kicks. Jonny McKeever had a great game in nets, three separate saves, and distribution from kick outs was varied excellently against a strong opposition midfield.

Tony Keegan, Joey Murphy, & Conor Morgan all had good games in defence.

Mark Hughes in midfield was strong and competed well, scoring three points all from play.

In attack Paddy Marley turned to provider for the afternoon, as he was involved in most attacks, and himself and Conor Williamson picking up a lot of possession in the opposition half.

Ballyhegan Team lined out as follows:

Jonny McKeever, J. Murphy (R. McKeever, 37), T. Keegan (A. Kelly, 37), M. McKeever, J. McCann, C. Morgan, J. Guy (R. McCormack, 46), M. Hughes 0.03, Jack Wilson, C. Williamson 0.02 (J. Rafferty), S. McKeever, P. Marley 0.01 (1f), P. Kelly 0.03 (2f), C. McCann (James McKeever 1-00, 30), E. Reynolds