24 APR 2017
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Magpies bag first win in Ballyholland

21 April 2017

Kilcoo bagged their first two league points on Easter Saturday evening at a blustery Ballyholland ground.

With the wind swirling around the field, scoring and accuracy proved difficult for both teams but the visitors fared better in the first half with 1-3 on the board before Ballyholland scored their first point on 28 minutes. It was 0-1 to 1-4 at the interval but Harps upped their game after the break and managed to get within a point of the Magpies when a goal of their own made it 1-4 to 1-5 midway through the half. They couldn’t quite close the gap however and Kilcoo’s determination paid off in the end when they pointed twice late in the game and held on for a 1-5 to 1-8 victory.

Kilcoo’s Dylan Ward was the first player to have a shot in the third minute, but his effort sailed wide and after Ballyholland won the kick-out Mark Walsh carried the ball down the left flank but took the wrong option in the end when he shot across the Kilcoo goalmouth into the arms of a defender.

Harps began to control possession but they seemed content to hold onto the ball rather than attempting to make any real inroads into the final third. Kilcoo remained patient and as a result points proved elusive. In the eighth minute Donal Kane did open the scoring for Kilcoo but once again Balyholland tightened up their defence and the Magpies were reduced to long range efforts that either dropped short or were off target. Aaron Morgan scored Kilcoo’s second from a long way out to make it 0-0 to 0-2 on 16 minutes and after a couple of wides from Kane and Morgan, the former scored his second from a free. On 23 minutes Daryl Branagan thumped a ball from 35 yards out on the right into the Harps goalmouth. Morgan got a touch and put the ball past Harps’ keeper Liam Coulter who couldn’t keep it out, making it 0-0 to 1-3. Ronan Murtagh converted a free with two minutes left in the half to open Ballyholland’s account but Kane scored the last before the short whistle leaving it 0-1 to 1-4 at the interval.

Ballyholland came back on the field with an attacking approach however and they scored three quick points through a Patrick Quinn free, their first from play from Patrick McAteer and another from Mark Walsh to put them within a goal of the visitors. Kane responded with Kilcoo’s first point of the half on 35 minutes but Ballyholland gave their supporters something to cheer about when Joe Murphy took a free 35 yards out on the right sideline,  Niall McQuillan received the ball, took it into the small square and passed to Mark Walsh who swatted down into the net. At 1-4 to 1-5 Kilcoo’s lead was reduced to a single point and after traded scores between Paul Devlin (free) and an excellent catch and point from Tiernan Rushe on 47 minutes, it remained as such.

Kilcoo dug deep in the end however when they found a way through a tight Ballyholland defence. Devlin put another over the bar and Eugene Branagan, who showed his class when he was subbed on, made it 1-5 to 1-8 on 56 minutes.

Ballyholland needed a goal badly, and they went for it, putting a couple of late frees into the Kilcoo box, but the Magpies held firm and that proved to be the final score, leaving Ballyholland still waiting for their first league win of the season.

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