BRYANSFORD 3-11 1-7 LOUGHINISLAND
Match report by Peter McGrath Jnr
An hour before throw in the sky was dark over Newcastle and repeated rumbling of loud claps of thunder indicated this game may be played in a deluge. However, the storm passed and while there was a stiff breeze in the first half by the end of the hour this game was being played in stereotypically Summery conditions with a gentle breeze, warm sunshine and a pure blue sky.
Bryansford were first off the mark with a Danny Savage point and Ciaran Brannigan then fired over from a tight angle. Loughinisland’s response was an Aaron McClements free. The ‘island were heavily reliant on the county minor at full forward all night and he eventually weighed in with five points including all three of his team’s scores in the second half.
Danny Savage had once again opened a two point gap but an exquisite score from an off-balance McClements and an equally fine Rory Mason effort had the game level. It was a Savage free which restored the Ford lead and then they got the first of their three goals, and a score which at the time looked as if it would give them the momentum to push on.
Aidan Keenan did well to win a ball broken down by Aaron Somers, he worked it forward to Timmy Hanna and his pass found Danny Savage who embarked on a strong run and shot to the roof of the net. Loughinisland though were undaunted and almost hit back immediately only for Sean James Brannigan to make a fine save to keep out Aidan Nixon.
But as Bryansford tried to work the ball out of defence they lost possession on the 45 and Loughinisland were left with a man over. They maneuvered the ball in, eventually finding John McCarthy who slotted to the net. Bryansford tagged on another two frees before the break with Savage and Chris Brannigan registering one apiece while Dominic McClements kept the scoreboard ticking for the visitors with a point.
Early in the second half Conor Maginn and Aaron McClements traded points before very assured strikes from wing forward Aidan Keenan and full back Brian King had the four point margin opened for a second time.
A fourth McClements point kept the ‘island in touch but Danny Savage’s second goal killed the game. He intercepted a short kickout worked a one two with Ciaran Brannigan which took ‘keeper Kieran Gordon out of the equation and then he simply palmed to an open net.
Stalemate ensued for a ten minute spell but it was broken in style as Conor Maginn fielded a high ball beautifully, turned perfectly and slid the ball between keeper and post. McClements did manage to raise another white flag at the othewr end but it was fitting that the final two points of the game were scored by the excellent Danny Savage as Bryansford eventually ran out ten point winners.