Ballyvarley Keep League Title Bid Firmly On Track

November 8, 2018

Senior Hurling League
Ballyvarley Vs Warrenpoint II

A few absentees and a weakened Warrenpoint side saw Ballyvarley to start with a few personnnel and positional changes from the last game and gave players a chance to cement a starting spot. A burst of rain before the game made conditions slippery under foot
yet the Reds soon raced into the lead.

Paul O’Neill started well with a pointed free before a James McGrath pass saw him break down the left side, solo from the end line and hit the corner of the net from an acute angle. The forwards linked up well and when David McGovern fed Eunan McConville 45 yards out Eunan gleefully struck the sliotar over.
Time and again Ballyvarley fed young Paul O’Neill with his back to goal, before he quickly gained a yard of space to add three more points to his growing tally.

At this stage Ballyvarley’s experienced players were dominating with David Lavery first to every ball on the left wing and James McGrath and Eunan McConville using their strength and power to cut the Warrenpoint defence open. Add to this the pace of Sean Kennedy, Thomas Lennon and Niall Higgins at the back and Ballyvarley dominated most areas of the field.

There were some excellent scores taken by Ballyvarley with a first time catch and strike diagonal ball from James McDermott, being plucked out of the air by Eunan McConville who turned and struck first time over the bar from 50 yards out.

It started to become a procession as the half went on with O’Neill, E.McConville and J.McGrath sending a number of points over while the Ballyvarley rearguard confined the visitors to two points.

HALF-TIME: Ballyvarley 2-12  Warrenpoint II 0-2

Sixteen points up at the break, the emphasis on the half-time talk was to continue working hard and being out first for the ball. Early into the second half Ballyvarley emptied their bench and gave some of their younger players  a chance to impress. Jamie Murray swept up well at right half-back with Gavin McGreevy providing a physical presence on the left side.

The half was punctuated by three quick fire goals before James McGrath gave an impressive display of free taking with three long range points. The pick of the goals came from James McGrath, winning the ball near the sideline on the left and sending a thunderous drive to the opposite corner of the net. Conor Grew got a three pointer soon after from close in before Paul O’Neill got his third of the game from a placed ball.

In reply Warrenpoint got a well worked goal near the end with a point added soon after but the game and all three points belonged
to a free scoring Ballyvarley who totalled 4-12 from play.

FULL-TIME: Ballyvarley 5-17   Warrenpoint II 1-3

It was a good team performance from Ballyvarley with strong displays from Niall Higgins, David Lavery and Thomas Lennon at the back, James McDermott controlled midfield and the diamond of James McGrath, Eunan McConville and Paul O’Neill were lethal upfront.

Ballyvarley Team:
Cathal O’Neill, Stephen Daly, Niall Higgins, Martin Connolly, Sean Kennedy, Thomas Lennon, David Lavery, James McDermott, Conor McClorey, David McGovern, James McGrath (1-6), Eunan McConville (0-4), Conor Grew (1-0), Paul O’Neill (3-7), James McConville. Subs Used: Jamie Murray for Sean Kennedy, Stuart Cartmill for Conor Grew, Gavin McGreevy for David Lavery, Shane McAreavey for Paul O’Neill, Colin O’Neill.