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Spoils Shared with League Leaders

posted 20 Jun 2011, 01:53 by Shaun-Marty Lawless

Sunday June 19th

Ballyhegan Davitt's v St Peter’s Lurgan

St Peter’s

Divisional leaders St Peters travelled to Ballyhegan on Thursday night, putting their 2011 100% record on the line, to an ever improving young Ballyhegan side.

In the opening stages Eoin Reynolds was fouled in front of the goals & Philip Kelly converted the resulting free kick for the hosts.

St Peter’s would take complete control of the game with six unanswered scores, including four from play, as the Lurgan visitors raced to a five point lead after 20 minutes of first half action.

Paul Nixon converted Ballyhegan’s second score of the game, a free kick awarded for the foul on Mark Hughes, following some clever work from James McKeever in the corner.

St Peter’s confirmed their half time advantage, with the final two scores of the half, the first from a placed ball, to finish 6 points in front at the final whistle.

Half Time: Ballyhegan 0.02 - St Peter’s 0.08

A huge second half required for the Davitt’s to come away with anything from this game.

The half started well again, Paul Nixon converted his second free kick of the game in the first minute of the half, following the foul on Mark Hughes.

Two minutes later Plunkett McCormack was awarded a free kick after a driving run forward was ended as a defender hauled him to the ground. Philip Kelly converted the resulting free kick, his second of the game.

St Peters replied with a free-kick; before Paul Nixon received an accurate Mark Hughes pass out in front of the impressive full back, following good work from substitute Mel Courtney. A twist & dummy made space for the young forward to bury the ball in the back of the net, two points now the difference, with only five first half minutes played.

St Peters to their credit responded superbly with another spell of dominance, scoring four points without reply, three free kicks, & a super long range effort from the centre half forward, restoring their six point advantage.

A fine interception from Sean McNally set up a quick counter attack for the Davitt’s, Mark Hughes again involved, and Paul Nixon fouled. Paul stood up to convert the resulting free-kick himself.

With 11 minutes left, Mel Courtney received a quick Mark Hughes free in space, to kick an excellent score from 40 metres out.

A few minutes later Philip Kelly was fouled wide on the right, and after missing a free minute’s earlier, Philip knocked over a more difficult free from a tight angle, with relative ease, super score.

St Peter’s replied again with another score from play, but Ballyhegan would go on an impressive five minutes display, scoring five points without reply to take the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the match.

Philip Kelly played a one-two with Mark Hughes and kicked a lovely score for the first.

Philip then turned provider, feeding Kevin Keegan on the over lap to reduce the deficit further.

Substitute Ronan Devlin got in on the scoring following neat play in the corner from Dermot Kelly.

And Kevin Keegan then returned the favour to Philip Kelly’s over lapping run, and a neat right footed finish followed.

Kelly repeated the trick two minutes later, showing his blistering pace to run away from three defenders & again, finish neatly with the right foot. A minute remaining on the watch!

The Lurgan men scored a late free kick to level the sides entering injury time, yet there was still time for both teams to shoot wide, leaving the scores level, & the points shared.

Both sides will feel they could have won the match, so the draw was probably a fair result in the end of a super game of football.

Full Time: Ballyhegan 1.12 - St Peter’s 0.15

Following an impressive ten wins on the bounce, Ballyhegan will be delighted to take something off the run away league leaders from Lurgan, which now leaves the Davitt’s on their own five game unbeaten run.

In defence Plunkett McCormack had a stormer marking the St Peter’s dangerman, he won’t have a more difficult match this year.
In Midfield Mel Courtney made a big impact coming on at half time, & Mark Hughes lorded the second half, a fantastic display!

In attack Paul Nixon again provided took his goal well and Philip Kelly made a superb full debut, scoring six points, three from play including 2 with his less favoured right foot.

Ballyhegan Team lined out as follows:

Jonny McKeever, S. McNally, Mark McKeever, T. Keegan, C. McNeice, P. McCormack, G. Quinn (R. McKeever, 23), M. Hughes, J. Wilson (M. Courtney 0.01, 30), A. Kelly (D. Kelly, 46), K. Keegan 0.01,  P.Kelly 0.06(3f), Eoin Reynolds, P. Nixon 1.03 (3f), James McKeever (R. Devlin 0.01, 49)