‘Islanders put in fine display to see off RGU

‘Islanders put in fine display to see off RGU

22 June 2022

LOUGHINISLAND recorded a resounding win over local rivals Downpatrick in their rearranged league fixture at Macartan Park on Friday evening.

A large crowd attended the contest and observed a minute’s silence before throw-in in memory of Downpatrick-native Frankie Perry and Bryansford GAC stalwart Raymond Harbinson, as well as to mark the following day’s anniversary of the Loughinisland Massacre.

It was the visitors who came out of the traps quickest with Downpatrick racing into a two-point lead after Oran Cunningham and Conor Doherty both split the posts from range.

The hosts responded promptly with a neatly taken score from Declan McClements that was followed with a nice turnover and point conversion from team-mate Óisín Savage.

Downpatrick’s Cunningham once again kicked over, this time with his left foot, before Loughinisland defender Jamie Boyd picked up a yellow card for a mistimed tackle.

However, the tie would begin to swing in the home side’s favour thanks to an impressive following five minutes from Blues full forward Rory Mason, who within that time added a personal tally of 1-2.

Firstly, Mason converted a free before giving his side the lead in the next passage of play with a good point from range. 

Loughinisland’s Aaron McClements added a further point but it would be Mason who would score the first goal of the match after catching Downpatrick ‘keeper Peter Telford off guard and finding the back of the net from distance.

Downpatrick replied with a Jarlath Brannigan free and Sean Bell’s point from play, but the Blues kept up appearances with a score from Brandon Boyd.

Downpatrick custodian Peter Telford made a notable point-blank save from an Aaron McClements effort but he could do nothing to stop the next points from Mason and Savage.

Tom McNeill fisted an effort over the bar in reply for the Hoops before ‘keeper Telford yet again pulled off a great save to thwart the home side.

However, the Blues did notch the final score of the half through another Mason free. Half-time: Loughinisland 1-9 Downpatrick 0-6.

Despite some early exchange of points after the interval — with Brannigan (2) and Ruairi Og Quinn kicking over for Downpatrick and Aaron McClements (2) and Mason splitting the posts for the home side — Loughinisland began to pull away on the scoreboard.

Substitute PJ McKeown made an immediate impact coming off the bench for the Blues as he picked the key pass to allow onrushing team-mate Savage to convert his side’s second goal of the match with 37 minutes played.

Brannigan struck the next goal for Downpatrick with a confident finish into the top left corner of the net, but yet again Loughinisland would go searching for another attack and get their reward.

The lively Savage capped off a neat move with a finely taken point and a minute later team-mate Aaron McClements found the back of the net for Loughinisland’s third major score.

Gary Stranney was next to get his name on the scoresheet for the home side before Savage kicked over a trio of points.

Downpatrick’s Doherty converted a free and Sean Bell also fired an effort over the crossbar as the away side refused to give up on the contest.

However, the revival was short-lived as man of the match Savage notched Loughinisland’s fourth and final goal of the night.

McKeown added the Blues’ last point but Downpatrick were awarded a slight consolation when Brannigan converted a penalty kick in the dying minutes of the match.

The victory now means Loughinisland leapfrog Downpatrick and take fourth position, whilst RGU slip to sixth below Clonduff due to point scoring difference.

Loughinisland: C Turley; J Boyd, S Cochrane, D McLaughlin; B Boyd (0-1), J Flynn, G Stranney (0-1); D O’Toole, J McCarthy; A McClements (1-3), D McClements (0-1), P McKenny; O Savage (2-6), R Mason (1-5, 3f), R Deegan.

Subs used: P J McKeown (0-1), S O’Toole, E Nixon, R McGlew.

Yellow cards: J Boyd.

Downpatrick: P Telford; C Farrell, R Murphy, N McShane; E Rooney, M Fitzpatrick, C Doherty (0-2, 1f); P Turley, C McCarron; T McNeill (0-1), G Trainor, S Bell (0-2); J Brannigan (2-3, 3f, 1 pen), R Og Quinn (0-1), O Cunningham (0-2).

Subs used: C McElroy, J Collins, P Carberry.