Sport

Clonduff book place in Down SFC quarter-final with win over Downpatrick

Eamon Brown helped Clonduff to victory over Downpatrick in their Down SFC quarter-final
Eamon Brown helped Clonduff to victory over Downpatrick in their Down SFC quarter-final Eamon Brown helped Clonduff to victory over Downpatrick in their Down SFC quarter-final

CLONDUFF were the first team to book their place in the last four of the Morgan Fuels Down SFC with a professional win over a disappointing Downpatrick.

‘The Yellas’ did the damage with Dan Rafferty’s goal seconds before the half-time whistle, knocking the stuffing out of RGU.

Downpatrick went into the game as underdogs but with big guns back in action, such as the evergreen Pete Turley and county returnee Caolan Mooney, they were expected to put up a much better fight.

Instead, they scored one point from play out of five, but the credit goes to Clonduff, who limited RGU chances with a brilliantly organised defence, marshalled by former county captain Darren O’Hagan.

Clonduff led 0-6 to 0-3 with 30 minutes gone and RGU were content to be still in the game, but Rafferty’s goal after exciting approach work from Eamonn Brown and Stephen McConville, totally put the Hilltown side in the driving seat.

Stephen McConville was impressive throughout and finished top scorer with 0-5, four from frees.

Padraig Wilson and Brown were also on target in the first half, while Downpatrick’s reply came from two marks from Jonny Bell and Sean Bell and an Anthony Doherty free.

The second half was a non-event as Clonduff’s class was evident against the Division Two side.

‘The Yellas’ didn’t force the issue and were content holding possession, while Downpatrick didn’t seem too interested in losing their shape and engaging, which didn’t make for a great spectacle.

Clonduff weren’t complaining though, Jamie Gribben impressed as Brown, Stephen McConville, Lorcan Branagan, Ben McConville and substitute Arthur McConville tagged on points.

Conor Doherty replied with a free, but as early as the 40th minute it was clear there was no way back for RGU and Clonduff had 1-12 on the board before Jarlath Branagan scored Downpatrick’s first point from play.

Clonduff were disciplined, measured and effective but they hinted that there is much more to come from them as bigger fish await them in the semi-final in a fortnight’s time.