Senior Championship Quarter Finals.
Castlewellan 3-13 Downpatrick RGU 1-8
The Castlewellan Senior Footballers qualified for the quarter finals of the Senior Championship last Saturday afternoon (8 September). The match was played at the Magpie’s ground in Kilcoo.
The Town had a convincing victory over RGU Downpatrick but the early exchanges suggested that the RGU pre-match favourites would perform strongly as within seven minutes they were 0-4 to 0-1 up with The Town’s solitary score coming from Aidan Burns.
Karl Oakes had opened up with two points for the RGU followed by Sean Bell and Garret Trainor. The Town then started to get to grips with the midfield sector they soon got themselves back in the game.
On the 15th minute Daniel Morgan raced through to slot over the equalising score to leave it 0-5 each. Shortly after this Sean Russell slotted a point to put the Town into the lead. RGU drew level twice fighting back strongly before points from Fintan McGreevy and Paddy Boyle giving 0-9 to 0-7 at the break. Aidan Burns was looking very dangerous in the Castlewellan front centre position and threatened the RGU goal on several occasions.
The second half did not start too promising with The Town hitting three wides but in the 35th minute came a turning point. The referee judged a shove in the back of Aidan Burns and awarded a penalty which was converted by Kevin Duffin. Suddenly there was a five point gap. The Town by this stage were totally dominating proceedings.
The goal brought a new energy and confidence to The Town. Soon a point by Aidan Burns followed by a three pointer from him also ended the game as a contest.
Downpatrick did rally briefly following two points by Liam McKibben. The RGU finally scored a goal followed by a point in a late charge at The Town. However Kevin Duffin converted his third goal on 51 minutes nailing a certain win for his side.
Close to the whistle, the RGU’s Sean Bell in a gutsy attack suffered what looked suspiciously like a very painful hamstring injury.
This was a very satisfying result for the Town who will now go on to the Quarter finals which will be played in the next couple of weeks.
For the RGU team who have this season moved up to top flight football, they will put this loss down to experience. Their side will develop over the next two seasons and certainly be in a more challenging position for the honours.