Ballyvarley got back to winning ways in the Down Senior Hurling League when they completed a league double over visiting Bredagh with a narrow two point victory.
Ballyvarley dominated the opening exchanges and points from Paul O’Neill(2), Tony Hegarty and Niall Savage saw them ease into a four point lead before Bredagh got off the mark. Great goalkeeping from Colm O’Neill and strong defending by the Reds rear-guard foiled a number of attempts on goal and all Bredagh had to show for some good attacking play was three solitary points.
A converted 60 five from Paul O’Neill was Ballyvarley’s solitary score in this period and it was a source of great relief for the Reds when Niall Savage struck with a fierce low ground shot to hit the back of the net and ease the home side into a five point lead. Feargal Coleman pulled a point back for Bredagh but then marauding half back Stephen Daly struck a mighty point from wide on the left to give the Reds a comfortable 1-6 to 0-4 interval lead.
Paul O’Neill soloed through for Ballyvarley’s opening point of the second half but once more Bredagh showed how dangerous they could be and four points from Donnelly, Erwin and Coleman left only two points between the sides once more. An incisive attack from the Reds saw full forward James McGrath burst through the visitors defence before hand-passing inside to the onrushing Paul O’Neill who buried the ball in the back of the net. Within minutes Chris Lennon was again bearing down on the visitor’s goal and his strong shot was parried by the Bredagh goalkeeper into the path of Niall Savage who made no mistake in notching up his second goal.
Another point from O’Neill was followed up by a great turn and strike from James McGrath.
Three Bredagh points were a warning that the tide had turned and as the free-flowing Reds now found they had to fight all the way to fashion even one more point from the industrious Paul O’Neill.
Bredagh struck for two late goals. A 65 from O’Neill eased the pressure just a little and the win eventually came.