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Lisnaskea Survive Late Onslaught From Ballyvarley In The Ulster Hurling League 20/03/10

23 March 2010

Ulster Senior Hurling League:  
Lisnaskea  0-12   Ballyvarley 0-8

A rousing rally in the last quarter almost worked the oracle for Ballyvarley on their first ever visit to Lisnaskea in the Ulster Hurling League but in the end the home side survived the unexpected fight-back to take the victory their earlier dominance had clearly earned. Up to that point Ballyvarley had looked so ineffective in front of goal as the Fermanagh side strolled into a comfortable lead but the switch of Colm O’Neill into the half-forward line produced such a transformation that the Reds dominated the play and almost caught their opponents on the hop in the closing minutes.
    The game began well for the Reds as they enjoyed a lot of territorial dominance but for all their possession they never really threatened their opponent’s goal. Inch by inch Lisnaskea tapped over the points and edged into an ever-increasing lead without ever threatening to produce a major score against a solid Ballyvarley defence. Paul O’Neill was in brilliant form winning possession time and again but even he was afflicted with squander-mania as he blazed wide of the target time and again after great individual approach play. However he did solo through for the Reds opening point and then finally found the target with a free to leave the Ballyvarley trailing by 0-2 to 0-7 at the interval.

It was much the same story in the second half with the Reds defence holding Lisnaskea to long-range points and the front line offering little threat of a breakthrough. Then came the gamble with Colm O’Neill pushing forward to add much needed urgency to the attack and suddenly Ballyvarley’s lethargy was blown away. Five points from Paul O’Neill and one from brother Colm left just a goal between the sides and as Paul O’Neill forced his way through time and again it looked as though that final goal was sure to come. But the home side rallied in the teeth of the onslaught as they smothered the shots and cleared the balls and it was with some relief that they broke away to tap over the insurance point in the closing minute to make the win finally secure. 
Final Score:  Lisnaskea  0-12   Ballyvarley 0-8
Team: Cathal O’Neill; Stephen Daly, Eunan McConville, Leigh McConville; Sean Kennedy, Colm O’Neill(0-1), David Lavery; Ciaran Connolly, Conor McClorey; James McConville, Paul O’Neill(0-7), Colin O’Neill; Patrick Mackin, Niall Savage, Stuart Cartmill
Subs: Michael McAllister, Shane McAreavey