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Opening Day Defeat In Lurgan for Seniors

posted 17 Apr 2011, 10:41 by Shaun-Marty Lawless   [ updated 17 Apr 2011, 13:53 ]

Sunday April 17th
St Peter's, Lurgan  v  Ballyhegan Davitts

A tricky third division opener for Ballyhegan Senior Men on Sunday, visiting the familiar opposition of St Peter's, Lurgan who were also relegated from Division II last season.
Gary McKeever opened the scoring for Ballyhegan in the 6th minute, from a free kick on the right hand side, following a foul on Plunkett McCormack.
In the 14th minute, Mark Hughes won the ball around the middle, had his shot blocked and Paul Nixon picked it up and fed Niall Fearon who improvised well to point for Davitts.

St Peters got their first score of the game a minute later, half way through the first half, pointing a free kick from the left.

Ballyhegan then squandered two glorious goal chances. Firstly Paul Nixon robbed a St Peter's defender and passed to James McKeever, who dinked inside and outside, before blasting the ball off the cross bar – very unlucky.

Paul Nixon again caused havoc in the St Peter's defence, with a penetrating run, beating 3 defenders and engineering a chance for Jack Wilson, only to have his shot blocked off the line from a defender, the keeper beat!

Sean McNally then robbed a St Peters attacker and ran 50 yards before passing to Conor Williamson, who broke through a tackle and split the posts from 30 meters, a lovely score...

Paul Nixon thought he had got on the score sheet himself a couple of minutes later following some good play from Conor Williamson and Mark Hughes, only for the umpire (uncle Charlie) over ruling the St Peter's representative behind the goals.
St Peters levelled the scores just before the break, but Ballyhegan dominated the first half, and would go on to rue missing the 2 goal chances.

Half Time: St Peter's 0.03 - Ballyhegan 0.03

The Lurgan men started the second half more lively, & developed a goal chance of their own in the opening stages, only for Davitt's corner back Joey Murphy robbing the attacker at the crucial moment.
St Peter's dominated the second half and pointed 3 points in the 3rd quarter of the game, 2 from play the 3rd a super score from the outside of the forward's boot following some nice interplay.
Ballyhegan's third goal opportunity came inside the last ten minutes of the game. Substitutes Eoin Reynolds & Paddy Marley combined to present Ronan Devlin with a glorious opportunity to level the sides, however the St Peter's keeper made a super save, denying Ballyhegan yet again.

St Peter's then went on to score another two points from play following the breakdown of two more Ballyhegan attacks – five scores without reply, 4 from play in effect ending Ballyhegan's hopes of an opening day victory.
Ballyhegan's only score of the second half came in injury time. Paul Nixon converting a free kick awarded following a foul on Paddy Marley.
Full Time: St Peter's 0.08 - Ballyhegan 0.04

A disappointing start to the 2011 campaign. It'll take time for this new Ballyhegan team to gel, after the loss of so many experienced players in the closed season and injuries to so many others.

Best for the Davitt's was the full back line of Joey Murphy, Mel Courtney & Sean McNally, ably supported by new keeper Micky McKeever.

Mark Hughes & Jack Wilson got through a lot of work around the middle & In attack Paul Nixon featured heavily, particularly in the first half.

Ballyhegan Team lined out as follows:

Michael McKeever, J. Murphy, M. Courtney, S. McNally, Mark McKeever, P. McCormack, J. Guy, M. Hughes 0-01, R. Devlin, G. McKeever 0-01 (1f), J. Wilson, C. Williamson 0-01, N. Fearon 0-01 (P. Marley), P. Nixon 0-01 (1f), J. McKeever (E. Reynolds, 30)