Seniors draw with Ballerin in opening Chamopionship game

Desertmartin: 0-11

Ballerin: 0-11

Desertmartin traveled to Owenbeg on Friday 29th to play Ballerin in their first game of the Intermediate Championship. Played under ideal conditions there was always going to be little between the sides. Desertmartin were first to score with a pointed free from Declan Murray on the fifth minute. This was followed by another pointed free from Enda McGuckin and one from play by Declan Murray to give the Saffrons a three point lead by the tweflth minute. But Desertmartin were not having it all their own way as Ballerin hit six wides in the first third of the game. The Sarsfields got their first score on the twentieth minute with a point from Gary Keane followed quickly by two more from Eoghan Mullan to tie the game at 0-3 apiece on the twenty-fifth minute. Then followed the move of the half. Ryan O’Kane, the Desertmartin goalkeeper, having saved on his goal-line carried the ball to the 45m line fed it to Paul McGovern who soloed another hundred metres before slipping the ball to Declan Murray who was immediately fouled in the penalty area. Enda McGuckin stepped forward to take the resultant penalty only to see his effort scream over the bar to give St. Martin’s a one point lead at half time.

Desertmartin started the second half strongly and added two further points, one from Paul McGovern the other from Oran Kelly to lead by three on the thirty-eighth minute. Gary Keane replied with a point for Ballerin before Desertmartin regained their three point lead with a point from Conor Monaghan. Ballerin were getting a grip on the game and in the forty-fifth minute Gary Keane pointed again to trim Desertmartin’s lead to two. Enda McGuckin eased Desertmartin further ahead with a pointed free but Ballerin hit back with two, another from Keane and one from Eoghan Mullan to reduce the arrears to one point. As the game entered its closing minutes it was impossible to call a winner. Declan Murray pointed for Desertmartin on the fifty-third minute to give the Saffrons a two point lead. But the following ten minutes belonged to Ballerin who hit four unanswered points to lead by two on the sixty-third minute. But Desertmartin refused to give up. Playing into the breeze with time running out they worked the ball forward and closed the gap to one when Eamon Burns pointed on the sixty-fourth minute. Determined to get the equaliser Desertmartin won a free twenty metres out and to the left of the Ballerin goal. Declan Murray stepped forward, held his composure and knocked over the equaliser. Two more enthralling minutes of play continued before the referee brought the game to an end with both teams locked at eleven points each.

Desertmartin: R O’Kane, S O’Neill, C Murray, E Burns (0-1), P McGovern (0-1), G McGovern, M Breen, P McCann, C Madden, F Higgins, Declan Murray (0-4, 3f), E McGuckin (0-3, 2f 1pen.), C Monaghan (0-1), O Kelly (0-1), Paul Kidd.
Subs used: M Madden, O Hegarty,