Match report V All Saints Ballymena

01 March 2011
Management report - St Agnes V All Saints Ballymena - Ulster Hurling League
The senior Hurlers hosted our old rivals Ballymena on Saturday afternoon at Pairc Naomh Una in what turned out to be a very entertaining encounter. Just like the week before we were missing some key players due to injury and work commitments. The fifteen players that made it did themselves and the club proud and worked tirelessly for each other. The management team were forced to play some lads in unfamiliar positions but they all adapted very well.
Ballymena got off to a flyer with a goal and 2 points in the first 5 minutes but the lads refused to let the heads drop and Cricky got the Aggies off the mark with a point before stepping up to bury a 21 yard free to the back of Ballymena's net. This sparked The Aggies into life and Cricky got another couple of points. At this point it looked like we would push on and put Ballymena out of sight but they had other ideas and came back with a few points of their own to go in at half time 1-6 to 1-5.
This was a fair reflection of an even first half where most of the action took place between the two 45's. Ballymena were very strong up the middle and a few positional changes were made at half time. (as well as some half time motivation from 3 year old Christopher Robb who calmly walked into the middle of the Aggies team talk and shouted BOO! to frighten the lads into action. This seemed to have a positive effect)
To counter the Ballymena threat Mark Caldwell moved onto their centre half forward to good effect and Aggies debutant, Kevin Rafferty moved out from full forward to centre half where he quickly found his range showing some excellent touches and passes. (Not bad for a guy who hasnít hurled for a few years).
The match opened up in the second half and was end to end with some fine scores taken by both sides including another 21 yard free from Cricky which hit the back of the Ballymena net. With five minutes to go it was level but Ballymena had the luxury of putting on a few subs which ultimately made the difference as these fresh legs were involved in all of Ballymena's final scores. The match finished 2-10 to 2-15.
This is another match we could have won but it wasn't to be. Despite only having 15 players and missing a few key players this was another solid and promising performance by all the lads. Stick work and sharpness were much better than last week which proves these matches are worthwhile.
We have 3 more matches in this group and there is no reason why we still canít make the semi final. With that in mind I would like to appeal to all eligible hurlers within the club including minors to make the effort to attend the remaining matches.
Next match at home to Truagh at 3pm this Saturday. This may change and management will be in touch.
Noel Burke, Ryan Reilly, Gibbies, Kevin Rafferty and Cricky (who finished with 2-8) stood out for the Aggies.
Team v Ballymena
1 P. Williams 2. D. Caldwell 3. D. Rooney 4. J. Morgan 5.R. Reilly 6. N. Burke 7. M. Robb 8. D. McLarnon 9. C. Kennedy 10. B. McGibbon (0-1) 11. M. Caldwell 12. B. O'Neill 13. C. Keyttles( 0-1) 14. K. Rafferty 15. C.McKee (Capt) 2-08
Thanks to those who came out to support the team. It's always appreciated