NADAFL Division 1A
Castleabbey 2 Downpatrick 4
Downpatrick added to their unbeaten run on Saturday against Castleabbey with a routine victory. Downpatrick started the brighter and had the lion’s share of possession with Castleabbey hitting them on the counter attack on the rare occasion.
Away side Downpatrick were playing some neat passing football with Neil Young and Perry pulling the strings in the middle of the park, but it was in the wide areas that Downpatrick were causing all sorts of problems. Ciaran McGrady and Michael Burns were constantly overlapping on the left wing and this was indeed where the opening two goals came from.
Burns picked the ball up from McGrady and played a great pass in to Sean McMahon just inside the box who made no mistake hammering home from about 15 yards out. The second goal came on the half hour mark when McGrady was fouled just outside the box on the left hand side from the resulting free kick Perry swung in a lovely cross and Connor Brennan rose highest to head past the keeper with a great finish.
At this stage Downpatrick looked like they would run out comfortable winners but the shot themselves in the foot twice on either side of the half for the match to be drawn at 2-2 with some calamitous defending and lack of communication. Castleabbey’s opening goal came from a long ball over the top which evaded all four defenders and Robbie Hagan in the Downpatrick nets had to come rushing out but couldn’t get there on time and left Stephen Rowden to tap in to an open net. The equalizer was even worse than the first when a lack of communication led to another tap into an empty net after a mistake had gifted Castleabbey with another goal and they couldn’t believe there luck.
Downpatrick regrouped and started to play the flowing football they can and with about 20 minutes to go McMahon scored a cracker after some interplay between Brennan and Shane Matheson when he rolled the defender and curled the ball into the top left had corner.
His hat trick came five minutes later when Downpatrick had men queuing up to score and McMahon ghosted past 3 Castleabbey players and rifled home from the edge of the area with a great strike and that completed a hat trick of hat tricks in the opening three game of the season. At this stage the game was over as a contest and Castleabbey rarely troubled the Downpatrick defence as the where able to deal with any long balls that came there way.
Downpatrick: 1) R Hagen 2) E Vaughan 3) C McGrady 4) C McDowell 5) C McGarrity 6) N Young 7) G Ross 8) V Perry 9) C Brennan 10) S McMahon 11) M Burns 12) C Kerr 14) S Matheson 15) J Kelly.