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Seniors out of Championship

posted 30 Jul 2012, 01:45 by Shaun-Marty Lawless

Sunday July 29th 2012 Junior Championship

Ballyhegan Davitts v Killeavy II,

                                                    Captain's hand shake: Adrian Doran of Killeavy and Mark McKeever of Ballyhegan.

Carrickcruppen hosted this Junior Championship first round fixture on Sunday, under very changeable skies. The changeable weather mirrored the game, with both sides taking turns to dominate possession and scores.

Ballyhegan having posted a comfortable win over Killeavy II in the league back in early May would have been marked as favourites for this tie; a bolstered Killeavy squad had other ideas.

The South Armagh men started very brightly scoring three points & carving out a goal opportunity in the opening eight minutes.

Davitts attacker James McKeever then showed terrific skill and turn of pace, taking on three Killeavy defenders only to blast the ball off the post. The rebound fell to Paul Courtney who ably tapped the ball over the bar for Ballyhegan’s first score.

Killeavy’s dangerous corner forward Anthony O’Hare restored the Killeavy three point advantage on ten minutes, but Ballyhegan would go on to dominate the remaining twenty minutes of the half.

Corner forward Paddy Marley played a clever pass through to Ronan Devlin, who drew a super save from the Killeavy net minder.

Philip Kelly then showed good perseverance to deliver a pass to centre back Conor Morgan to coolly shoot over the bar with his left boot.

Mark Hughes reduced the deficit to the minimum, popping the ball over the black spot, after finding possession in space thirty five minutes from goal.

The sides were level entering the final ten minutes of the first half. Some clever movement from Paddy Marley to create space for the pass, Plunkett McCormack challenged bravely forcing a break and Philip Kelly was on hand to collect the ball and split the posts from the left hand side.

Davitts went in at the break two points up, Paddy Marley and Philip Kelly converting two free kicks in the final five minutes, but with nine wides accumulated in the first half, the Ballyhegan men would rue some of their wayward shooting.

Half Time: Ballyhegan 0.06 – Killeavy II 0.04


Killeavy again started strongly from the restart, leveling the sides once more, just three minutes into the second half.

Davitts reacted very well, Philip Kelly ran onto a super long Paul Courtney free kick from his own half, and bore down on goal, leaving defenders trailing, and clinically striking a low shot to the corner of the net, beyond the keepers outstretched hand – a super finish!

Paddy Marley followed the goal up with two points, the first from play, out in front for another Paul Courtney pass; Marley produced a super turn and accurate chip over the bar. The second point from a free kick awarded for a foul on substitute Paul Nixon.

Nixon extended the Ballyhegan advantage to six points as the game entered the final quarter, but it would prove to be the Davitts final score of the game, as Killeavy made some telling influential substitutions; they found some fresh impetus to dominate the remainder of the game.

Killeavy reduced the deficit to four points, scoring from two free kicks and then survived one final scare. Paul Nixon turned over possession for Ballyhegan and laid off to Philip Kelly to play in Paddy Marley who rounded the keeper only for his neat shot to come off the upright and away from danger.

With six minutes to go, Davitts were unable to deal with a high ball into square, as attempts to clear failed, the Killeavy men capitalised, with a soccer style finish to the net, setting up a grand finale.

Ballyhegan had no answer to the South Armagh men as the equalized then kicked the winning point in the final minute of the game.

We wish the Killeavy team the best of luck in the rest of the Championship!

Full Time: Ballyhegan 1.09 – Killeavy II 1.10

With expectations high, this was a very disappointing defeat for the Ballyhegan men, ending a ten game winning streak. The break from league action seemed to come at the wrong time as the lads looked a little ring rusty on the day.

Unfortunately many of our players didn’t do themselves justice, as league form evaporated. However, in defence Mark McKeever continued his good form with another strong hour and in attack Paddy Marley’s clever runs were again the main threat in attack.

Attention now turns back to league action, with a trip to Lissummon on Wednesday evening, an ideal opportunity to bounce back! #UTD

Ballyhegan Team lined out as follows:

Jonny McKeever, J. Murphy, M. Courtney, M. McKeever, T. Keegan, C. Morgan 0.01, P. McCormack, P. Courtney 0.01, J. Guy, A. Kelly, M. Hughes 0.01, James McKeever (P. Nixon 0.01, 35) P. Kelly 1.02 (1f), R. Devlin (S. McKeever, 38), P. Marley 0.03 (2f)