Confident Ballyvarley side produce their best display of the season

Ballygalget 1-4 Ballyvarley 0-9

A confident Ballyvarley side were in dominant form on Monday night when they produced their best display of the season in carving out a rare victory in the normally inhospitable surroundings of McKenna Park in Ballygalget.

The first half was virtually one-way traffic as the Reds made the most of wind advantage to pile the pressure on the home defence.

Paul O’Neill opened Ballyvarley’s account with a long range point but against the run of play the home side equalised from a free. Two solo runs up the left wing saw O’Neill fire over two more points but for some inexplicable reason the flood gates never opened.

On at least eight occasions Ballyvarley saw great goal-scoring opportunities thwarted by a combination of great defensive blocking, superb goalkeeping, the intervention of the woodwork and just plain bad luck as the Reds remained anchored to a two point advantage.

A 65 from Paul O’Neill temporarily increased the lead to three but Ballygalget then tapped over only their second score of the game to restore the status quo.

As frustration mounted James McGrath slipped the attention of his man marker to slot over from close range before Paul O’Neill converted another 65 to leave the Reds holding a meagre four point interval lead.

O’Neill opened the second half scoring for the Reds but after a period of sustained pressure it was the home side who sent alarm bells ringing in the Ballyvarley camp as they slammed home a goal and a point to leave just one point separating the sides.

A free from Paul O’Neill increased the Ballyvarley lead to two and, after a long period without a score, it was O’Neill again who powered his way forward to strike over from play and ease much of the Reds’ anxieties. A late Ballygalget point kept the exchanges keen until the final whistle but Ballyvarley were never going to let their opportunity go and they held out for an heroic and historic two point win.