Longstone proved the stronger over Loughinisland in this competitive championship qualifier.
Down GAA Senior Football Championship Match.
(Sponsored by Morgan Fuels)
Venue: Downpatrick on Saturday 15 August 2020
Loughinisland 1-08 2-09 Longstone.
This senior championship first round encounter took place in the sunshine at Downpatrick RGU writes Cyril McKinney.
Right from the throw-in both teams were looking to play possession football but both defences were resolute and clearcut chances were at a premium.
Longstone went in front on 3 minutes when Mark Poland pointed from a free following a foul on the lively Rodgers and a minute later Cunningham doubled the lead from the 21-yard line after being fouled himself.
Loughinisland eventually registered on 5 minutes with a well-taken point from Megoran following some great interlinking play.
They were level on 9 minutes through McLoughlin who escaped his marker and from 21 yards split the posts with great accuracy.
Loughinisland moved into the lead on 12 minutes through McClements before Longstone replied just before the water break with a fabulous long range point from out wide on the right flank from the hard working McElroy who had ventured forward.
At the waterbreak, Loughinisland replaced an injured Aaron McClements with Rory Deegan.
Midway through the second quarter Loughinisland went in front through Paddy McKenny with a well taken point before Longstone levelled through Poland who pointed a free from the 21 yard line.
As half-time approached, a Longstone counter attack found the unmarked Micheal Ireland bearing down on goal and despite the best efforts of Turley in the Loughinisland nets the ball finished to the net.
Halftime: Loughinisland 0-04 1-04 Longstone
Within a minute of the restart Loughinisland found a way through the Longstone defence.
McCarthy fired to the net at the 3rd attempt after a great save and block by McStay in the Longstone nets.
Not to be undone Longstone bounced straight back in front through a Poland free when Mason up-ended Young as he surged through.
The lead was doubled by Doran from play before Loughinisland responded through McClements from a free. A great long range point from Mason out wide on the Loughinisland right flank pulled one back for Loughinisland.
Further points were exchanged before the water break with the scores level 1-7 each.
In the final quarter of the game Longstone appeared the more hungier for the ball and were having the better of the 50-50 balls.
They were also faster in the counter attack and went back into the lead through Rodgers from play before Hughes was on the end of a lot of a hand-passsing attack and lashed a great shot to the net from close in. Turley in the Loughinisland nets had no chance.
A further point from a Poland free gave Longstone a 5 point lead going into the final minutes.
A long distance free from Mason was a consolation point for Loughinisland to leave the final scoreline at :
Loughinisland 1-08 2-09 Longstone
Overall, this was an entertaining game from both sides and while Longstone appeared hungrier for the ball and were a bit more direct in their attack, Loughinisland seemed slow and ponderous.
And quite often their final ball in could not reach its target. The game was well managed by referee Kieran Brannigan and his team.
Loughinisland GAC: 1. Christopher Turley 2. Peter Cochrane 3. Paddy Megoran 4. Sean Cochrane 5. Rory Mason 6. Ben O’Reilly 7. Dean McLoughlin 8. Jonathan Flynn 9. Declan McClements 10. Damhan O’Toole 11. Aaron McClements 12. John McCarthy 13. Paddy McKenny 14. Dan Gordon 15. Conor Megoran. Subs 16 Peter Kearney 17 Rory Deegan for 11 Aaron McClements 18 Conor Killen 19 Dara McDonald 20 Aidan Nixon for 15 Conor Megoran 21 Eddie Nixon 22 Odran Barlow.
Longstone GAC :1 Michael McStay 2 Niall Sloan 3 Finn McElroy 4 Ronan Harrison 5 Michael Hughes 6 Cormac Poland7 Gareth McDowell 8 Ambrose Rodgers 9 Conor Poland 10 Daithi Young 11 Mark Poland 12 Aidan Rodgers 13 Conor Doran 14 Michael Ireland 15 Matthew Cunningham. Subs:16 John Paul Haughian 17 Tyrone Fegan 18 Gareth Fitzpatrick 20 Ryan McDowell for 10 Daithi Young 21 Darren Fitzpatrick,22 Barry Doran for 15 Matthew Cunningham 23 Ryan Kelly 24 Shane McDowell 25 Conor Shields.