30 May 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Blackhill 1-13
Killeevan 0-06

A stronger, sharper, more adept Blackhill got their championship campaign off to a winning start when they proved too strong for Killeevan in this low-key, scrappy and at times niggly contest in McKeown Park, Drumhowan on Saturday evening last.

Blackhill reached the final of the junior football championship last year only to lose out to Emyvale after a replay, but on this display they laid down a marker that they intend to be involved at the business end of things in 2014 as well.

Stronger in most areas, Blackhill made that physicality count particularly around midfield where Anthony Courtney and Dermot Daly dominated, Daly also hitting a number of excellent scores while at the back Donal Courtney and Ryan Courtney in particular along with Ryan Craig afforded Killeevan little time or space on the ball.

It was up front though where there was a marked difference between the sides, Blackhill with pace and penetration, moving the ball quickly, through the likes of Darren Woods and Colin Woods in particular and with a little bit more composure they could certainly have registered a few more scores.

Killeevan’s mix of youth and experience struggled for the most part but they were forced to field without their two regular midfielders, Declan and Sean Clerkin and playing second fiddle in that department left them under pressure for long periods.

The defence though coped well, particularly Philip and Gerard Graham along Ryan Tierney and Kevin McGinn, with the latter then moving to full forward during the second-half but overall Killeevan were playing second fiddle throughout.

Blackhill were only headed once in the entire contest and that after four minutes when Noel Smith converted a free for an off the ball foul on Gerard Hughes.

Three minutes later Blackhill were level through the boot of Dermot Daly from a free and three minutes later still they took the lead for the first time with a point by Anthony Courtney.

By the 20 minute mark they had tagged on three …

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