Down Senior Football Championship round of 16: Carryduff v Longstone (today, Newcastle, 4pm)
CARRYDUFF, championship finalists for the first time in their history last year, take on a Longstone side that has already sprung a surprise in this season’s competition.
Benny Coulter’s ‘Stone side beat well-fancied Warrenpoint in the first round but the Division Two outfit came in second best against Downpatrick last weekend.
That game finished 4-7 to 1-8 in Downpatrick’s favour but Longstone’s efforts were undermined by a series of unforced errors that contributed to three of their opponents’ four goals and manager Coulter has stressed that mistakes need to be cut out in this evening’s clash.
“It’ll be tight,” said former Down Allstar Coulter.
“You can’t give away three goals and expect to win a championship match but, if we can stop doing that, we’re definitely in with a chance.
“We are one of the so-called weaker teams in the senior championship and every game we play, we’re going to go in as underdogs so it’s a good challenge for us against one of the stronger teams.”
Carryduff also lost to Downpatrick (3-8 to 0-11 in the championship opener) but bounced back impressively to beat Saul 3-20 to 1-10 last weekend.
Leading lights include Daniel Guinness at wing half-back, James Guinness (centre half-forward), Ronan Beattie (back to full fitness after an injury lay-off) and Down midfielder Owen McCabe.
“They probably aren’t going as well as they were last year but they definitely have some good quality players,” said Coulter.
“We have everybody fit. Cormac Poland (brother of Conor and Mark) is back from suspension and in contention. We’re injury-free and we’re looking forward to it.
“The big thing for us is cutting out the mistakes and I’ve told the boys that - there’s no point in having a plan and stopping Carryduff from playing if we give them scores. If our boys cut out the silly mistakes, stick to the gameplan and take their opportunities when they come along we have a chance of winning the game.”