Limavady, under their new management, fielded a mainly young and light team away to Ballerin but made it extremely difficult for the home team in the first half. They battled for every ball and even though the end product was not what was expected they never gave up even when the game was well beyond them.
The Ballerin defence was excellent throughout but two more injuries and a player sent off puts further pressure on a panel that has a huge injury problem. They did get a grip on the game in the second half and the gap could have been wider had it not been for two brilliant saves from Phelim Mullan to add to one he pulled off in the first half.
Ballerin midfielder Shaun Mullan was dismissed coming up to half time but the numbers were levelled five minutes into the second period when his opposite number, Rauiri Mailey, picked up a second yellow.
The first half saw the Wolfhounds enjoy plenty of pressure but too often they ran aground against the tight home defence, supplemented by roving corner-forward Paul Ferris. The problem for Ballerin was that when they attacked the Wolfhounds had an extra defender which led to stalemate.
When Ballerin began to push forward in the second half they opened up the visiting defence and a barrage of late scores saw them comfortable winners. It was 0-2 each after 28 minutes with Pascal Hull still wondering how he missed a cross from Eugene Mullan after 15 minutes.
After the dismissal of Mullan, Ballerin tagged on quick points from Willie McGilligan and the impressive Eugene Mullan to lead by 0-4 to 0-2 at the interval. Paul Ferris missed an easy free on the resumption and Cairan Moore came close for the Wolfhounds with a shot that came off an upright before Mullan made a stunning save from Paul Ferris.
The pace of the game was picking up and that suited the home team, their lead being stretched to three from a Faulkner free with the home team screaming for a penalty. Eugene Mullan with a powerful run through the middle blasted to the net and from there on it was an uphill struggle for Limavady.
Conor Forrest closed the gap momentarily from a free but Ballerin responded with a Ferris point and a Faulkner free. As time ran out the gap increased with Ballerin sub Paul Robinson hitting two late points and the only other reposte than came from Limavady was a 52nd minute point from Michael Higgins
Ballerin scorers: Eugene Mullan 1-4, Cathal Faulkner 0-3, 0-2f, Paul Robinson 0-2, Willie McGilligan, Pascal Hull and Paul Ferris 0-1 each.
Limavady scorers: Conor Forrest 0-2f, Declan Logue and Michael Higgins 0-1 each.
A wonderful point from a 50m free by Ruairi Convery rescued a point for Swatragh who were happy enough to share the spoils considering that they were without their regular midfield of Michael Friel and James Kearney.
Claudy trailed 0-10 to 1-5 at the interval but hit a second goal early in the second half from Paddy Hargan and built a good lead. Swatragh finished strongly and that super score from Convery got them a valuable point. Michael Kirkpatrick had a great game form Swatragh top scoring with 0-5. Their other scorers were Ruairi Convery 0-4, 0-3frees, 0-1’65, Sean McNicholl 0-3, Thomas Og Gunning 0-2 and Liam O’Kane 0-1.
The Claudy scorers were Aaron Kerrigan 1-3, Paddy Hargan 1-0, Eugene McLaughlin, Paul White and Paul McLaughlin 0-2 each, Shea Kerrigan 0-1
Drumsurn were down to the bare bones for this home clash with Castledawson but still managed to make it difficult for their visitors until the last 20 minutes when Castledawson eased to an 11-point win.
With so many players working away, the understrength Drumsurn trailed by 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval.
Castledawson have rediscovered their scoring touch with a commendable 1-15 on top of 4-9 last week after a couple of blips they are now finding the target with more regularity. When Martin Heaney hit the Castledawson goal at the three quarter stage there was no way back for the spirited home team that despite being so short handed played some good football but their finishing was poor.
Castledawson scorers: Paddy Henry 0-6, Aidan Bradley 0-4, Martin Heaney 1-1, Aidan McElhone 0-2 and Ruairi Shivers 0-2.
Drumsurn scorers: Christopher Harbinson 0-4, Pearse McNicholl 0-1 and Mark McLaughlin 0-1.
Ogra Colmcille 1-6
The first half dismissal of defender Ryan Taylor left Ogra Colmcille facing an uphill struggle away to a lively Foreglen team. The visitors did well to be only a point in arrears at half time but they missed a few chances to stay in the game before Foreglen pulled away with a barrage of late scores.
The bad news for Division Two defenders is that Kevin O’Connor is fit again. He came off the bench to score 1-1. Ciaron McFeely had got Foreglen off the mark with an early goal and that score saw them hold a half time lead of a point.
Foreglen were very accurate in the second half, adding a further 1-10 to just a goal from the penalty spot by Barry Kelly for the visitors.
Foreglen scorers Ciaron McFeely 1-4, Kevin O’Connor 1-1, Conor O’Hara 0-3, Kevin O’Neill 0-2, Martin Farrell 0-2, Darren O’Kane and Owen Duffy 0-1 each.
Improving Moneymore gave joint league leaders Slaughtmanus plenty to think about at Tamnaherin where it took a one man scoring spree from Gavin McShane to pull the home team through in an entertaining contest.
Slaughtmanus built a 1-6 to 0-3 interval lead but it could have been closer had Paudie O’Neill had more assistance in the Moneymore attack. In the end it was another brace of points for Christopher Cooke’s side who have now won five from six. Moneymore are stuck on two points but they have been improving and the corner will soon be turned.
Slaughtmanus scorers Gavin McShane 1-5, 3f, Ryan Barr 0-2, 1f, 1 forty-five, Ryan Cooke, Cahir Cooke and Kevin King 0-1 each.
Moneymore scorers: Paudie O’Neill 0-5 and Stephen O’Neill 0-2.
Other result: Lissan 0-13, Desertmartin 1-9.