NAFL League Match
Tuesday 19th April 2016
Ardglass 1 Drumaness Mills 1
Ardglass faced a daunting challenge at home with Drumaness Mills following their 0-7 thrashing from Immaculata last Saturday.
But the sea-siders showed better form from the start and were much more settled and consistent in their approach to the game. Soon they were running at the Drumaness defence looking for an opening goal. In one strong attack, Ardglass player Sean Paul Halpen made a great volley on target but new Drumaness keeper Gary O’Hare held the shot well.
Drumaness made a quick reply breaking up field and won a corner for their efforts but it was cleared by the Ardglass defence and the pattern to to and fro attacks picked up with Ardglass’ Mark Feenan showing excellent pace up front on the left wing.
Ever-dangerous striker Drumaness’ Gavin McEvoy made an excellent move feeding the ball to Sean McQuoid who smashed it inches wide into the side net on the 3oth minute. This effort was quickly followed by another Drumaness volley by Tommy Williams put through by Gary Murdock but it just was over the bar.
Then Drumaness attacked again and won a free kick outside the Ardglass box – the shot by Rauri Mason was on target and solid, but was well held by keeper Armstrong.
The game had so far been played at quite a fast tempo and both teams were looking for that crucial opening goal. In this see-saw game it was Ardglass’ time to attack with Mark Feenan slipping the ball through to Sean Paul Halpen who tried to slot it into the corner post but keeper O’Hare was on to him in a flash.
On the 40 minutes, Feenan hammered a volley through the pack in front of the Drumaness goal but it just ran wide of the post.
Drumaness too were attacking well and Sean McQuoid sent an excellent chip into the box but there were no takers. Ardglass had managed to play Drumaness offside on a number of occasions and the frustration was building up toward the end of the first period.
Ardglass’ Stephen Deegans made a solo break through and faced keeper O’Hare but Deegans’ shot was diverted by a good reflex action preventing a goal just before half-time.
Then just when Ardglass thought they would be safe with the whistle blowing for half-time, Mark Drake crossed to Justin Barlow who found the space to knock the ball into the Ardglass net putting the visitors a goal up at 44 minutes.
Ardglass came out fighting in the second half and found the wind which they had battle against in the first half had died right down. Michael McGarrity up front made a great chip over the Drumaness keeper but it was just a fraction over the top bar… an excellent opportunity to equalise.
Then it was Chris Teggart’s turn to volley at the Drumaness goal and he won a corner as the keeper was forced to deflect it. But once again, Drumaness cleared quickly and were racing up the pitch with McEvoy in the middle of the action. Ardglass keeper Mark Armstrong came racing out to clear one ball and Justin Barlow reached it first and his half volley just missed the woodwork.
The game was intense as both teams prodded each others defences non-stop. But the game got quite physical as the frustration deepened for both teams looking for a goal.
The state of the pitch too did not help matters as the ball was not bouncing as it should.
Then Chris Teggart headed in a free kick taken 20 feet outside the Drumaness box to equalise in the 85th minute to the jubilation of the Ardglass supporters.
As the game was drawing to a close, left winger Daniel Smyth crossed to Stephen Moore who sent the ball just over the bar.
Mark Feenan had as usual played an excellent game probing the defence with his soft dribbling style of football, but ground conditions were just not quite right for him on the day.
Drumaness will be happy with their point, and Ardglass will feel contented that they have stopped the rot, and they will now be working in their backlog of matches to ensure they stay clear from relegation. Kilmore and Islandmagee at the moment look as though they could go down, but there are still plenty of matches to be played yet.
Ardglass FC: Mark Armstrong, Anton O’Shea, Aaron Robinson, Chris Teggart, Caolan O’Shea, Malachy Crangle, Stephen Deegans, Michael McGarrity, Sean Paul Halpen, Mark Feenan, Daniel Smyth. Subs: Luke Mulhall, Conor Fenan and Stephen Moore.
Drumaness Mills: Gary O’Hare, Mark Drake, Rauri Mason, Brendan Ward, Jordan Patterson, Paul Walsh, Gavin McEvoy, hary Murdock, Justin Barlow, Sean McQuoid, Tommy Williams. Subs: Steven Keenan, Chris Cochrane and Mark McMahon.