Tullylish 2:9 Loughinisland 1:11
DIVISION One football was welcomed back to Pairc na n’Og last Monday evening as Tullylish picked up their first two points of the league. It was a goal in the last minute of injury time that secured a superb win for the home side.
Loughinisland dominated in the opening period with a point from Rory Mason in the third minute, a missed goal opportunity from Dan Gordon and another point from fellow mid-fielder Ryan Stranney. When the ball was delivered to John McAreavey from a high tempo solo up the side-line from Kevin McKiverigan, it was popped over the bar by the left footed forward.
An incident in the 14th minute involving Shannon Drainey and Dan Gordon resulted in a red card for the Loughinisland mid-fielder and left Drainey with a yellow. With only 14 men, the pressure was now on the East Down side. Tullylish utilized their extra player immediately scoring two points from John McAreavey and Kevin Murphy respectively, leaving the sides level.
Two minutes later, Loughinisland responded with a Conor McGoran point. Great defending from Chris Magee in corner back meant the ball was worked up the pitch, resulting in a free kick scored by Shannon Drainey. Not long after, Pete Quinn also added to the Tullylish account with a point.
Loughinisland’s Raymond Nixon won the next Tullylish kick out and with support play from fellow defenders, the first goal of the game was put on the board by Rory Mason to give his side a one point lead at the break.
Four consecutive points early in the second half for the visitors left Tullylish chasing the game. They desperately tried to respond with scores as the defence worked hard to carry the ball out but with a strong attacking opposition this proved difficult.
Tullylish’s luck changed in the 44th minute when full forward Pete Quinn found the net scoring an excellent goal leaving this game anyone’s for the taking. Two more points from Loughinisland was answered by a Shannon Drainey pointed free which was followed up by another Tullylish point.
Loughinisland came back with another point worked from the backline to which John McAreavey responded with two spectacular points. In the last minute of normal time the visitors scored a point leaving a two point deficit and the end was almost in sight.
However, the determination and enthusiasm of the ‘Lish men prevailed to the greatest extent in the dying seconds of injury time. With a very close goal opportunity that went wide, it was the last Loughinisland kick out that proved immensely important. Tullylish gained possession and the ball was worked up the field with high intensity by Davey Corbett, Joe McDermott and Conor Magee to reach the mouth of the Tullylish forward line. After a mix up in the Loughinisland goal mouth, the ball finally reached the back of the net thanks to Conor McManus.
The one point victory for the newcomers to Division One was well deserved and proved to be an enthralling finish for the many spectators in Laurencetown.