Strong Loughgall side breeze past Rathfriland Swifts

THE Swifts hosted Loughgall on Wednesday night past and were swept aside by a strong side who are in a commanding league position in the race for the Reserve Championship title.

The visitors, who included a number of first teamers in their ranks, most notably Jeff Brady, got off to a strong start and soon had the lead when a chance to clear the danger was missed and the Loughgall striker made no mistake from the edge of the box firing past Swifts custodian Graham into the far bottom corner of the net.

Rathfriland were restricted to counter attacking football, however in the early exchanges they did play some neat football in areas of the pitch.

Loughgall’s second came from a corner when poor marking allowed the strong centre midfielder to power home a free header from eight yards out. Loughgall suprised the Swifts somewhat with their long ball style of play and it did catch the Swifts back line napping on a few occasions however the half ended with the score at 2-0 to the visitors

The second half began with Rathfriland still trying to play some possession football however Loughgall were stronger and soon had a third when a neat move saw the ball squared across goal were the winger Brady had the simplist of finishes as he lost his marker.

The Swifts kept plugging away and introduced young Mark McDonald for Bell and Stephen Brady for McCracken and this got some fresh legs into the fray which helped the swifts quite a bit.

It was the substitute Stephen Brady who got a consolation for the swifts when Gilmore chased down a scrappy ball and slipped the ball into the path of Toal who fired goalwards. His shot was off target but Brady arrived in perfect timing and fired a left footed strike beyond the sprawling keeper for his first Swifts goal.

The game ended with neither side really threatening to score and the swifts now look forward to another midweek fixture this Wednesday when Lurgan Celtic Reserves come calling.

Team: Graham, Bell, Jackson, Maginess, Johnston, Hollingsworth, Gilmore, A. Megaw (capt.), McCracken, K. Megaw, Toal. Subs: Brady, McDonald, Murray.