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Four Masters edge out Reds by three

09 April 2010

Ulster Hurling League: Four Masters 1-12 Ballyvarley 1-9 Ballyvarley turned their long trek to Donegal for this Ulster Hurling League game into a pleasant team-bonding exercise when they spent the weekend in the pleasant sea-side town. The team arrived early, had their lunch, enjoyed a good warm-up but for some reason never got going when the starting whistle sounded. Expectations were high for this game as the Reds team was quite a strong one but the sharp tackling and pacey play of their eager opponents never allowed Ballyvarley to settle into any kind of rhythm. They struggled to win their puck-outs and played second fiddle to the home side in the opening half. Two early points from James McGrath sparked a bright beginning but the light faded as Ballyvarley struggled to win possession and the Reds defence were caught for pace time and time again. Lack of discipline in the tackle cost the Reds dearly as six of Four Master’s eight points came from frees. A late goal from the Donegal side was cancelled out by Ballyvarley when a long drive from Paul O’Neill was touched on by Jamie Murray past the home keeper. Half time: Four Masters 1-8 Ballyvarley 1-4 The second half went better for the Reds with Paul O’Neill(0-3) gaining a foothold in midfield and James McGrath(0-2) providing a threat up front but the Reds still struggled to turn outfield possession into scores and Four Masters held on to deservedly win by three points. The broken finger sustained by James McDermott in the first half was the real downside to this game. Otherwise , the weekend went well and a good time was had by all, well…nearly all…except for those who naively expected they would get some sleep Final Score: Four Masters 1-12 Ballyvarley 1-9 Team: Cathal O’Neill; Steven Daly, Eunan McConville, Leigh McConville; Sean Kennedy, Colm O’Neill, David Lavery; James McDermott, Thomas Lennon; Patrick Mackin, Paul O’Neill(0-5), Colin O’Neill; Jamie Murray(1-0), James McGrath(0-4), Ciaran Connolly Subs; James McConville, Stuart Cartmill, Philip Grafton