RATHFRILAND Swifts played their home game against Armagh City Reserves at Gilford on Saturday and after a tight game on a great surface came from a goal down to win 2–1 in a game where maybe even a draw would have been a fair result.
In the early stages of this game Armagh probably had the better exchanges and could have and could have taken the lead had the big number 9’s shot not have been blocked. The same player however did put the visitors a goal up when he fired in from 10 yards after a corner kick.
At the other end both Keith Megaw and Miceal Quinn had a freekicks saved and blocked respectively.
Armagh went close to making it 2–0 but on the half hour Miceal Quinn made it 1-1 when Ryan Monaghan broke up play to allow Niall Fitzpatrick to slip in Quinn who steadied himself to score with a cracking low angled drive. Fitzaptrick and Toal also had shots blocked but the first forty five finished on level terms at 1–1.
In the second period Rathfriland got stronger and created some good openings but a combination of great goalkeeping and defending and a slice of fortune allowed the Swifts to not concede in the second period.
Derek Curran pulled off two fantastic point blank saves when a goal seemed likely but controversy continued when what seemed to be a certain goal with the ball at least a foot over the line was hacked away by Niall Fitzpatrick with the referee waving play on.
At the other end Rathfriland were looking more dangerous with Fitzpatrick going close with a one on one and Miceal Quinn connecting with the mother of all shots when he let fly from all of 30 yards only for the ball to crack the crossbar.
Within minutes of this and with time running out a corner kick was brilliantly headed back towards goal by Connell Jackson to find substitute Niall Maginn whose preditary instincts seen him forcing the ball in from six yards. Armagh went dangerously close with a series of corner kicks near the finish but the final score remained 2–1 to Rathfriland. Overall a brilliant three points for the Swifts in a tight game but maybe a draw would have been a fair result leaving Armagh somewhat feeling hard done by – nevertheless that`s football and Rathfriland will not apologise to taking the three points.
TEAM: Derek Curran, Keith Megaw, Colum McComish, Brian Magennis, Connell Jackson, David Gilmore, Niall Fitzpatrick, Ryan Monaghan, Miceal Quinn, Joe Toal, Conan Power.
Subs: Niall Maginn, Gary O`Reilly.