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Ballyvarley Senior Hurlers Get The New Season Under Way With Challenge Match Away To Craobh Rua

24 February 2010

Craobh Rua  4-8   Ballyvarley 4-4
Ballyvarley shook off some of the cobwebs from the long winter break when they were put to the test by a talented Craobh Rua side in Camlough in the first challenge game of the season, and lost surprisingly by four clear points in a below par performance.. The Reds were clearly very ring-rusty in their stickwork and although they started brightly they just could not match the Armagh sides enthusiasm in the heavy wintry conditions.
Ballyvarley began brightly with Niall Savage scoring a goal and a point in an opening ten minutes of continual Reds pressure and it looked at that stage as though Craobh Rua were out of their depth but a goal and two points for the home side gave them the kick start they needed and they grew in confidence as the game progressed. An injury to Colm O’Neill saw him move for a time to full-forward where he added a goal and a point to the Reds tally and when James McGrath burst through for the third goal all seemed rosy for the Reds. However a late goal for Craobh Rua took the shine off Ballyvarley’s first half dominance and they only held a three point advantage at the interval.
            Half time:  Craobh Rua 2-2   Ballyvarley 3-2
An opening point from Colm O’Neill promised much for Ballyvarley in the second half but for some reason they completely lost their way and their play disintegrated as the game progressed. Two goals and six points from Craobh Rua went unanswered as Ballyvarley’s stickwork floundered and the only bright sparks from a disappointing performance were the debuts of young substitutes Tony Hegarty and Patrick Mackin who pressed their claims for moving further up the pecking order. A goal from Patrick Mackin and a point from a very quiet Paul O’Neill sparked a late surge from the Reds but Craobh Rua held out for a deserved victory.
            Final Score:  Craobh Rua  4-8  Ballyvarley 4-4
Cathal O’Neill; Stephen Daly, David Lavery, John O’Neill; Martin Connolly, Colm O’Neill(1-2), Thomas Lennon; Paul O’Neill(0-1), Conor McClorey; Ciaran Connolly, James McGrath(1-0), Colin O’Neill; Niall Savage(1-1), Sean Kennedy, James McConville.   Subs: Tony Hegarty, Patrick Mackin(1-0)