NAFL Premier Division
Saturday 1st April
Downpatrick FC 6 Malachians FC 1
Downpatrick took advantage of Ardglass’ generous offer of allowing them to use their pitch on Saturday with Rosconnor still unplayable due to the bad weather. Downpatrick started the game very strong and had the visitors under pressure in the opening ten minutes forcing the keeper into action on numerous occasions.
Then against the run of play Malachians scored the opening goal, a quick break away wrong footed the Downpatrick defence and the visiting striker coolly slotted the ball down the side of the advancing Michael McKenna to put his team in front. Less than five minutes later Mark Holland, who had a fantastic game with a hat-trick, took the game by the scruff of the neck and brought his team level, collecting the ball around twenty five yards from the goal and hitting a low daisy cutter into the bottom corner.
Downpatrick took control of the game after this and it was only a matter of time before they went in front. Midfielder Andy Baggley played a perfect through ball for Conor McCarron who found himself one-on-one with the visiting keeper and superbly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Minutes later the home team doubled their advantage, Barry Treacy crossed the ball for Philip Traynor and he beat the keeper but saw his shot blocked on the line. The ball rebounded to Holland who controlled it before seeing his shot deflected into the net by Traynor.
Half Time: Downpatrick FC 3 Malachians FC 1
In the second half Downpatrick continued to control the game with wingers Treacy and Aaron McGarry causing all sorts of problems for Malachians. A Treacy corner set up Downpatrick’s fourth goal of the game when his cross was met by Holland who climbed highest to power his header into the back of the net.
Downpatrick didn’t have too long to wait for their fifth goal, Traynor played a cross field pass to McGarry who laid the ball of first time for Ricky Kerr. The Downpatrick midfielder didn’t hesitate and sent his left-footed effort curling into the far corner of the net giving the Malachian’s keeper no chance.
Holland completed his hat-trick with Downpatrick’s last goal of the game with a trademark header as the striker rose above the Malachians centre back to head the ball home. The visitors were reduced to nine men in the second half due to red cards which helped Downpatrick create plenty of chances.
Downpatrick: 1) M McKenna 2) N Taggart 3) M Carson 4) C Holland 5) C McCarron 6) A Baggley 7) B Treacy 8) R Kerr 9) P Traynor 10) M Holland 11) A McGarry 12) N Walsh 14) T Bell 15) T McIlhone