Killough Edging Towards League Win

Ardglass deny Killough outright win to claim the league title yet

Ardglass deny Killough outright win to claim the league title yet

The Newcastle and District Amateur Football League,

Premier Division, League Match,

The Meadow, Ardglass, on Saturday 22nd April 2023,

Final Score: Ardglass FC 3 3 Killough FC.

Killough made the short trip along the coast for this local derby knowing that a victory over their neighbours would inch them closer to the league title writes Cyril McKinney.

By halftime Killough thought it was job done as they raced into a 0-2 lead by the interval .

In the opening exchanges both sides were equally competitive in the middle of the park and it was Killough’s Jay Gibney who had the first clear cut chance on 11 minutes but he was wide of the mark as he got on the end of a Daniel Taggart cross from the right wing. 

Ardglass striker Michael Magee challenged by Killough midfielder Tony McIlhone. (Photos by Cyril McKinney).

Ardglass responded through Mick Magee who shot over the bar from the edge of the box just left of centre after being cleverly set up by Stephen Deegan on 22 minutes.

Killough took the lead on 25 minutes after a great run and cross  from Taggart on the right wing who again managed to get the better of his man and fired in a great ball across the six yard box and as the Ardglass defence hesitated Declan Looney ghosted in and side-footed home past the helpless Crangle in nets.

Ardglass responded well but despite good periods of possession they could not trouble Doyle in the Killough nets and were undone when a misplaced header on the edge of the Killough box led to a Killough breakaway on 39 minutes.

Declan Looney raced clear on the left wing and as he approached the Ardglass box he waited before squaring the ball for Tony McIlhone to slide in at the back post to double the visitors lead at half time.

Michael Burns for Killough and Aidan Watson for Ardglass tussle for the ball in the Premier League local derby.

Ardglass needed to respond quickly in the second period and that they did as they upped the tempo and were rewarded on 52 minutes through Stephen Deegan who fired in a thunderbolt from 25 yards out which Killough keeper Doyle could only stand and admire as it hit his right hand post before nestling in the back of the net. 

It was game on as this seemed to galvanise the home side driven forward by Rooney, Watson and Magee and they got on level terms on 71 minutes through Karl O’Neill who converted from close in to set-up a grandstand finish.

Killough responded and went looking for the winner and retook the lead on 79 minutes through Declan Looney whose partially blocked shot looped over the stranded Crangle in the home nets and agonisingly for the home side dropped into the empty net to the delight of the travelling Killough supporters.

Ardglass forward Brendan McMenamin chases for the ball but is beaten by Killough’s Jay Gibney.

Killough’s celebrations were dampened on 85 minutes when Michael  Magee headed on a long throw-in from the right wing and there was Matthew Rooney to nod home in a crowded goalmouth to level things up at 3-3.

Deep in injury time Ardglass had a chance to win the game but Magee was inches wide with a thumping near post header from a right wing corner.

Overall both teams deserved to get something out of this game and the destination of the league title is put on hold for another week at least.

Ardglass had good performances from Rooney and Watson, Deegan and Magee and the defensive pairing of O’Shea and Deegan.

Killough were well served by  the hard working Michael Burns, Gareth George and the front
three of Looney, Gibney and Taggart. McIlhone too was back in action after mission the Harry Clarke final.

Ardglass FC: James Crangle, Michael  Clarke, James Telford, Jordan Deegan, Caolain
O’Shea, Matthew Rooney, Stephen Deegan, Aidy Watson, Michael Magee, Karl
O’Neill, Brendan McMenamin. Subs:  Philip Sutcliffe for KArl O’Neill, David Armstrong for  Aidy Watson , Martin Halpin for James Telford.

Killough FC: Conor Doyle, Eamon  Gargan, Conor Black, Kevin Groves, Sean Og Burns,
Gareth George, Declan Looney, Tony McIlhone, Jay Gibney, Michael Burns,
Daniel Taggart. Subs: Lee Murphy for Conor Black, Conor Kelly for Declan Looney, Dylan Duffy for Michael Burns.