NAFL Division 1A
Saturday 1 February
Wellington Rec 1 Downpatrick 2
Downpatrick’s match at Wellington was one of the only fixtures to survive the terrible weather conditions and they were eager to collect the three points. A serious gale force wind was blowing directly into one of the goals and the pitch deteriorating by the minute played its part. Choosing to play against the wind in the first half Downpatrick started brightly and attacked down the wings with Barry Treacy and Chrissy Mullan forcing Wellington to retreat.
The midfield trio of Gerdie Collins, Andrew Baggley and Conor McKenna had a decent grip on the match. Collins especially was enjoying his new role in midfield meaning he found himself in lots of dangerous and threatening positions. As Wellington started to figure out how to use the gale force wind, it was the hard work of Barry Fitzsimons, Mark Curran, Ciaran McGarrity and Matthew Carson that made it slightly easier for keeper Conan Russell to keep Wellington out.
As the hosts upped the pressure with a succession of corners and crosses the opening goal arrived via a free kick from the edge of the area on 25 minutes. All credit to the Downpatrick players, their response was immediate when McKenna teed up Treacy to smash the ball from 30 yards into the top corner with what must be one of the sweetest strikes of his career, the teams went into the break 1-1.
Now playing with the wind, Downpatrick set about the victory they craved, and on 50 minutes they took the lead when striker Stephen Galbraith raced through rounded the keeper and slotted home with his left foot. In true fashion the locals went for the kill but stern defending and wasted chances keep the game on a knives edge. Wellington weren’t finish by a long shot and only multiple saves from Russell kept the visitors in front.
With the pitch now in pieces it was a war of attrition and each of the 14 players gave everything into digging out the result. With the referee finding 5 minutes of extra time it was backs to the wall till the final whistle. The management and players would like to thank the group of supporters who travelled and supported the team in the treacherous conditions.
Downptrick: 1) C Russell 2) B Fitzsimons 3) M Carson 4) M Curran 5) C McGarrity 6) C McKenna 7) B Treacy 8) A Baggley 9) G Collins 10) S Galbraith 11) C Mullan 12) T Bell