Killough overpower Newcastle visitors

Killough overpower Newcastle visitors

1 September 2021

KILLOUGH secured their first win of the season with a commanding win over fellow seasiders Newcastle Swifts on a sizzling hot day at the Mill on Saturday.

To their credit, Newcastle were travelling to this away fixture with a mixture of their second and third sides but still remained up for the challenge from the first whistle.

Killough set off to assert their dominance early on with an effort from Tony Mcilhone that just went the wrong side of the crossbar, as well as a pacey cross into the box that fizzed past the head of Daniel Taggart.

However, it was the visitors who took the lead after 12 minutes when Killough’s Ruairi Sharvin was punished for his foul throw attempt which overturned possession for his side.

The ball found its way back up the left wing to the feet of Swifts striker Cathal Keaveney, who cut inside to launch an unstoppable right-footed strike from 25 yards out over the head of debutant goalkeeper James Crangle and into the top corner.

Keaveney continued to be a handful as just one minute later he was in the heart of the opposing defence again, although he seen his penalty appeal waved off by referee Damien Laverty after he was adjudged to be challenged fairly in the box.

Newcastle enjoyed the next ten minutes, with notable link-up play between Corey Baker and Keaveney earning applause from the surrounding crowd.

Darragh Rooney won the battle in midfield on the 20 minute mark to release a pass to Baker who skied a golden opportunity.

This scare seemed to have woken Killough from their slumber as they began piecing their passes together and finding more opportunities in front of goal.

By the half hour mark the hosts were pushing for the equaliser and they almost got it when Sharvin placed a header to team-mate Mcilhone, before he slipped his pass through to striker Connor Kelly who could only see his effort smartly saved by Newcastle ‘keeper Lochlainn Leneghan.

Killough’s persistence would be rewarded three minutes later after winger Declan Burns switched his pass from the right side of the pitch to the left and into the path of Kelly, who cracked a half volley into the top left corner of the net in what was a sublime finish.

With ten minutes to go to the interval, Killough took the lead when Newcastle failed to clear the ball from their half. Taggart displayed some dancing footwork to work an angle and find the back of the net.

The Swifts refused to roll over and equalised five minutes later when winger Chris McMahon surged down the right flank, managing to evade two Killough tackles before finding the feet of Keaveney who placed his finish neatly into the bottom right corner.

With one minute of added time on the clock at the halfway mark, Sharvin played an intelligent pass into Killough striker Taggart who wasted no time in releasing a snapshot to fool the Newcastle number one and give the home side the lead. Half-time: Killough 3 Newcastle Swifts 2.

As the second half began, it was clear that the weather would begin to play its part in the contest with players visibly beginning to feel the effects of the heat. 

Mcilhone saw his header sublimely saved by Leneghan from point-blank range two minutes into the restart, but Killough never stopped in their search for more goals.

The midfield duo of Gareth George and Kevin Groves began pulling the strings, although Rooney, Jack Harbinson and James Maginn must be commended for their efforts for their Newcastle side.

On 64 minutes, Killough substitute Lee Murphy’s corner floated directly onto the head of another substitute in Matt McKiernan who confidently aimed the ball into the back of the net.

Just four minutes later, Looney added Killough’s fifth after poking his effort beyond the outstretched arm of Leneghan.

Groves was almost rewarded for his persistent running as he managed to fairly block a ‘keeper clearance, only to see the ball bounce of the post and into the grateful hands of the Newcastle custodian.

Looney grabbed his second of the game with a neat finish with just seven minutes remaining, before the Swifts’ misery was compounded a minute later when Mcilhone’s saved effort fell into the path of Groves who completed the scoring with an easy finish.

Man of the match Groves gave his opinions on the contest and reflected on his team’s performance after the final whistle.

“It was shaky at times but the boys dug deep. There was a few heavy heads from the [Killough] festival last night so it was just good to get the result,” he said.

“There were plenty of goals as usual, but there were also plenty conceded so that’s something we will have to work on but job done and now we want to enjoy the rest of the festival.”

Killough: J Crangle, S Og Burns, E Gargan, G George, K Groves, D Burns, R Sharvin, D Looney, T Mcilhone, C Kelly, D Taggart.  Subs: M McKiernan, L Murphy, J McLaughlin.

Newcastle Swifts:  L Leneghan, S Kearney, M Valentine, C Pimm, J Maginn, J Harbinson, C Baker, D Rooney, C Keaveney, C Morrison, C McMahon. Subs: S Young, C Smyth, A Small. Referee: Damien Laverty.