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Goalfest sees Reds end Ulster Hurling League on a high

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Ulster Senior Hurling League:  Ballyvarley  4-13   Cappagh Gaels  0-5
 
A cracking first half of skilful hurling and deadly finishing saw Ballyvarley turn the form book upside down as they blasted high riding Cappagh Gaels and earned their second victory of their Ulster League campaign. Once more Ballyvarley proved to be a different proposition on their own turf as they controlled this game from start to finish and by producing the finishing to match their superb approach play they raced to an emphatic 20 point victory.
Almost directly from the throw-in the Reds went in front when Tony Hegarty rose to challenge the goalkeeper for a long high ball from James McGrath and managed to get the vital touch to send the sliotar to the net for the opening goal. Jamie Muraay kept the momentum going when he slotted over a point from the puck out and when Paul O’Neill sent over a sixty five and Sean Kennedy soloed through for his first senior score as a forward, the Reds were six points up with only four minutes on the clock.
A point from a sixty five by Conor O’Neill got the Tyrone side off the mark but that proved to be small consolation for the visitors as the Reds continued to power forward in search for further scores. A solo run and point from Paul O’Neill was followed by good work from Tony Hegarty and James McGrath who carved the opening for Niall Savage to smash home the second goal. Sean Kennedy was really enjoying himself in his new role at half forward and it was his ability to find the penetrating ball that put James McGrath careering through for goal number three. The quick combination play continued with James McGrath handpassing through for Paul O’Neill to sent over the bar and then Paul O’Neill lifted an outrageous ground flick over the head of the advancing defender for Jamie Murray to send his shot unerringly between the posts. With the Reds defence totally dominant, Ciaran Connolly getting through a power of work in midfield and with six different players getting on the score-sheet it was all so easy on the eye of the spectator as the Reds flowed forward for further scores. Niall Savage joined in the scoring spree when he raced clear for two more stylish points as Ballyvarley reached the half time interval with a match-winning sixteen point lead.

Half time:
Ballyvarley  3-9   Cappagh Gaels  0-2

The second half failed to produce the same intensity as the first and Ballyvarley seemed to be quite content to rest on their laurels as they coasted to a comfortable win. Sean Kennedy produced the few moments of excitement of this period when he broke clear of tight Cappagh marking to race through for two more slick points and then to add the icing to the cake he sent a delightful overhead first time volley sailing to the back of the net for goal number four. Gradually Cappagh improved in the second half and applied much more pressure on very solid Reds defence but all they could manage from some good outfield play was three further points. A final brace of points from Paul O’Neill wrapped up Ballyvarley’s morale-boosting victory and brought the curtain down on a successful first campaign for the club in the Ulster Hurling League.

Final Score: 
Ballyvarley  4-13   Cappagh Gaels  0-5

Team; Cathal O’Neill; Steven Daly, Eunan McConville, John O’Neill; Patrick Mackin, Colm O’Neill, David Lavery; Paul O’Neill(0-6), Ciaran Connolly; Jamie Murray(0-2), Sean Kennedy(1-3), Colin O’Neill; Niall Savage(1-2), James McGrath(1-0), Tony Hegarty(1-0)
Subs: Stuart Cartmill, Leigh McConville, James McConville, Peter McConville