Tullylish 1:7 Castlewellan 0:11
PAIRC NA N’OG played host to an exceptional game of football last Friday evening as Tullylish came up against one of the league front runners Castlewellan but it was the visiting side who came out on top with a narrow one point win despite the spectacular performance from the Tullylish team.
Castlewellan opened the scoring with a free kick in the 3rd minute which was pointed by Fionntan McGreevy. It was merely two minutes later when Tullylish replied with a superb goal.
After a surging run from Gareth Johnston, who laid the ball off to Kevin McCartan, it was finally delivered to the safe hands of Kevin McKiverigan who rattled the back of the net.
After each side exchanged two points, this left the hosts leading by three. With pace, power and agility Castlwellan were strong in the middle of the field. However, their first score from play didn’t come until the 7th minute of the first half when wing half forward Matthew Stratton bisected the posts. When a free was awarded to his side moments later, team mate Fionntan McGreevy whipped over yet another point which brought the sides level.
Two more points from frees for the ‘Lish men left them leading by two at half time courtesy of John McAreavey and Pete Quinn.
After the break Castlewellan’s ferocity remained high as peripheral players maximised opportunities as they wanted to hold on to their third place league position. After a string of wides they finally found their range with three consecutive points and it wasn’t until this stage when they took the lead for the first time.
Strong in mid field Gareth Johnston alongside Niall Donnelly worked tirelessly to win balls with Joe McDermott ready and waiting underneath for the break. With another free awarded to Gareth Johnston, forward John McAreavey comfortably sent the ball over the black spot which brought his side back to level terms.
With Matthew Strattan coming closest to Castlewellan’s first goal, the shot that deflected off the post was well cleared by Barry Priestly in the Tullylish defence.
Two more points for either side brought the scoreboard level for the fourth time with 10 minutes left. A crucial free was awarded to Fionntan McGreevy of Castlewellan which was pointed by the mid fielder leaving the visitors taking the lead.
With Tullylish struggling to find their range and Castlewellan retaining possession, the game was in melting pot until the final whistle.
Deep into injury time, a free was awarded to Kevin McKiverigan after a very bad tackle. From an obscure and difficult angle close to the 50 yard line this free kick was Tullylish’s last chance to tie the game but despite a superb strike from Pete Quinn the ball drifted just wide of the post as the visitors breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Tullylish team: Aaron O’Hagan, Barry Priestly, John Savage, Chris Magee, John McKiverigan, Joe McDermott, Kevin McKiverigan (1:0) Gareth Johnston, Paddy McKiverigan, Niall Donnelly, John McAreavey (0:4 frees) Seamus O’Hare, Kevin McCartan, Fiontann O’Dowd (0:1) James McDermott