Heelham is Ballyvea champion

Heelham is Ballyvea champion

5 December 2012

BALLYVEA bewitched and bewildered Killough, but it took Peter Heelham’s goal to settle this entertaining semi-final clash at Bear Park, Newcastle.

The Carginagh Road side, missing quite a few regulars from last year, were not expected to get in Killough’s road, but Frank Hylands’ side brought their own , rode their luck at the death and booked their spot in the final on Boxing Day against either Castlewellan or Mourne Rovers.

The first 20 minutes or so were a bit hard to watch as both sides started tentatively with neither really committing too many players to attacking forays.

Philip Gelston ploughed a lone furrow up front for Killough with Mark Burden in an identical role for Ballyvea.

Killough looked strangely subdued and their 4-2-3-1 system meant that their only ‘out ball’ in the opening stages was to Freddie O’Connor on the left flank, Ballyvea, on the other hand, used Mark McConnell as a link-man to great effect with Philip Main and Brian White digging in in midfield.

The first real opportunity came in the 23rd minute when Mark McConnell got in behind Kieran Sharvin out on the right and crossed, low and hard into the box, but Philip Chambers was unable to get any power into his shot.

Burden then missed an absolute sitter a minute later after Heelham had carved out the opening. Ballyvea continued to pose problems for Killough and with 33 minutes gone took the lead.

Philip Main and Mark McConnell combined down the left with the latter putting the ball on a plate for Heelham as the Killough defence looked for an offside decision that didn’t come.

Heelham showed his team-mates how to score when he drilled the ball past Chris Mallon.

Sharvin had to be alert in the 35th minute when Mark McConnell threatened again down the left, but he produced a timely tackle to avert the danger.

Burden wasted another good chance for Ballyvea at the start of the second half and with 53 minutes gone Mark McConnell was picked out by Burden, but shot wide.

The big striker was then guilty of a glaring miss when he was denied by Mallon after another creative touch from Mark McConnell.

Ballyvea’s wastefulness left Killough with something to play for and they dominated the remainder of the game, but couldn’t break down a stubborn Mourne brick wall in the shape of Keith Hanna, Philip McConnell, David McConnell and Matthew Johnston.

Killough were ill at ease and despite seeing plenty of the ball in the latter stages of the game, never really threatened Ballyvea. O’Connor went it alone in the 71st minute when B. J. McMenamin was all alone in the box and Leo Noble had a shot blocked on the line, but that was as good as it got for a disappointing Killough side.

Ballyvea: J. Main, M. Johnston, K. Hanna, P. McConnell, D. McConnell, P. Heelham, P. Chambers, B. White, P. Main, M. McConnell, M. Burden. Subs: P. Thompson, M. Haugh, J. McConnell.

Killough: C. Mallon, K. Sharvin, J. Clarke, S. Sloan, C. Stranney, L. Noble. F. O’Connor, T. McElhone. B. J. McMenamin, P. Gelston, M. McKiernan. Subs: C. Kelly, M. Sharvin, K. Groves.

Ballyvea 1

Killough 0