Loughinisland give RGU the blues with red hot show

Loughinisland give RGU the blues with red hot show

10 April 2019

NEWLY-PROMOTED Loughininland encountered few problems when they opened their campaign in the top flight with a clinically effective win over an out of sorts Downpatrick at Pairc Tomas Ruiseil on Friday night.

Downpatrick went into the game without several prominent players, but had they taken all their chances, then this could have been a different story altogether.  

Conor McGrady pointed Downpatrick into a third minute lead with a converted free, but the home side contrived to waste good possession with some wayward shooting.

This deficiency allowed Loughinisland to draw level with a free from Stefan Mason in the 10th minute before the impressive Conor Megoran nudged the visitors ahead, a lead Jody Gormley’s charges failed to relinquish.

Stefan Mason had the ball in the Downpatrick net after 13 minutes when he left his marker for dead, but referee Gavin Corrigan ruled that he over-carried the ball.

This didn’t stop Loughinisland reinforcing their superiority and two points from the roaming Rory Mason gave the visitors a 0-4 to 0-1 lead by the 16th minute.

Ruairi Quinn, Downpatrick’s most potent attacker on the night, reduced the arrears in the 20th minute with a point from play before a flowing move involving Gary Stranney and Stefan Mason ended with Conor Megoran planting the ball in the Downpatrick net, 1-4 to 0-2 to Loughinisland.

Quinn and Stefan Mason exchanged points as did Conor Megoran and Tom Smyth as Loughinisland took a convincing 1-6 to 0-4 lead into the half-time break — Downpatrick’s six wides to Loughinisland’s two told its own story.

John McCarthy fisted Loughinisland into a six point lead at the start of the second half, just seconds after Downpatrick had wasted yet another scoring opportunity.

McGrady and Rory Mason swapped points as Loughinisland continued to be the more effective in possession, although both sides gave hard-earned ball away far too easily on occasions.

Downpatrick enjoyed a period of dominance in and around the middle of the park, but all they had to show for their endeavours was a solitary point from Quinn with Conor Megoran and Rory Mason picking off their hosts with some clinical finishing to put the visitors into a commanding 1-11 to 0-6 lead midway through the second half.

Four unanswered points from Tom Smyth, Conor McGrady, Quinn and Colin Leckey left just four points in it with less than 10 minutes remaining, but good game management from Loughinisland 

saw them close up shop in the final stages.

A Stefan Mason free in the 53rd minute was followed by a stunning goal from the same player after he raced away, soccer-style, before beating Jonathan Deeny all ends up with an explosive finish to the net.

Downpatrick: Jonathan Deeny, Nathan McShane, Damian Braniff, Patrick Smyth, Ronan Murphy, Johnny Bell, Conor Doherty, Peter Turley, Conor McCarron, Conor McGrady (0-3, 1f), Sean Bell, Tom Smyth (0-2f), Marty Robinson, Ruairi Quinn (0-4, 3f, John Shields. Subs: Taylor Loudon for Robinson, Colin Leckey (0-1) for Smyth, Caolan Bentham for Shields.  

Loughinisland: Chris Turley, Peter Cochrane, Paddy Megoran, Sean Cochrane, Paul Digney, Dan Gordon, Jonny Flynn, Aaron McClements, Dahman O’Toole, Rory Mason (0-5, 1f), John McCarthy (0-1), Paddy McKenny, Ryan Stranney, Stefan Mason (1-3, 1f), Conor Megoran (1-3, 1f). Subs: Raymond Nixon for Sean Cochrane, Paddy Brannigan for Digney.

Downpatrick 0-10

Loughinisland 2-12