Nixon nets hat-trick for Ballyhegan

Tir na nOg enjoying the St Paul's Blitz.
Tir na nOg enjoying the St Paul's Blitz.

Ballyhegan bagged three goals to see off the Clonmore challenge and seal a Junior Championship quarter-final spot.

It marked a second success of the season against Clonmore as Ballyhegan added championship progress by 3-8 to 1-13 to the previous league win.

Clonmore converted early free-kicks before Thomas Reynolds capped slick play between Daniel McKeever and Jack Rafferty.

Paddy Marley turned over a free between Clonmore points and the gap was four before Paul Nixon switched to full forward and made his mark.

Paul Nixon converted Thomas Reynolds’ pass to grab a goal then Ballyhegan regained possession from the restart. Mark McKeever attacked and picked out Paul Nixon for a second goal in quick succession.

Paul Nixon then turned from scorer to playmaker by combining with Daniel McKeever and Jack Rafferty for Thomas Reynolds to steer over a point.

Substitute Conal McKeever guided in a free before late Clonmore pressure put Ballyhegan down by a single point at half-time.

Conal McKeever left the teams level but Ballyhegan gained control across a slick four-minute scoring spell.

Paul Nixon added a point to his tally of goals before Conal McKeever registered from open play.

Mark Hughes and Jack Rafferty found Paul Nixon for his hat-trick finish as Ballyhegan held the three-point advantage entering the final 10 minutes.

Clonmore cut the gap to a single point but Paul Nixon posted on the scoreboard and Ballyhegan worked hard overall to secure success.

Ballyhegan will face Corrinshego at home on Sunday.

Ballyhegan’s Junior A League fixture with Tullysaran O’Connells recently resulted in a midweek triumph by 1-13 to 1-8.

It handed Ballyhegan a winning return to competitive play following a four-week absence from the fixture list - with the league leaders on the backfoot as a result.

Paddy Marley opened the Ballyhegan scoring before James McKeever was on target off approach play by Tony Keegan and Shane McKeever.

The experienced Joey Murphy proved an asset in defence and his counter-attack finished with Paul Nixon on target

Paddy Marley increased the Ballyhegan scoreline before a crucial spell of play by the community club.

Conor Loughran left the teams level before the McKeever brothers, Shane and Mark, linked up to find Mark Hughes for a key score.

Paddy Marley increased the Ballyhegan lead thanks to Jack Rafferty’s hard work and added to his personal tally with two second-half free-kicks.

Mark Hughes added his second point of the fixture then Ballyhegan battled in the face of Tullysaran pressure.

Thomas Reynolds joined play as a substitute and produced a vital clearance off the line.

Another player off the sidelines, Conor Williamson, surged forward past two tackles before firing a shot beyond the Tullysaran goalkeeper.

Goalkeeper Jonny McKeever increased the lead to seven points across injury-time before the final whistle confirmed a win by 1-13 to 1-8.

TIR NA NOG

Tir na nOg under 10s progressed to the quarter-finals of the St Paul’s Blitz last weekend following wins against Wolfe Tones and St Michael’s Magheralin.

The Portadown players finished top of the group but finished with defeat in the quarter-finals against Clann Eireann.

Club officials would like to thank St Paul’s for providing such excellent hospitality.

Training will take place tonight (Friday) from 6 o’clock ahead of the trip to Cellbridge in County Kildare for the under 10s’ All-Ireland event.

Tir na nOg under 16s played host to Silverbridge and finished with league success.

A commanding performance against spirited Silverbridge led to a convincing Tir na nOg victory.

Leo Monteiro proved commanding in midfield during the first half, with Ryan McGuckin alert between the posts.

Declan Murphy, Oran McGuckin, Ryan Guy, Declan O’Neill, Oran Power, Conor Larkin and Michael Smith each finished on the scoreboard.

Club members and friends are encouraged to support the weekly Tir na nOg lotto draw.

The latest lotto numbers are 2, 16, 19 and 27. Five Match Two winners collected a prize and the jackpot stands at £1,040.