Ruairi Rafferty takes on Zak Lynn in Drumsurn's win over Greenlough. (Pic: Mary K Burke)
H&A MECHANICAL SERVICES DIVISION 1
Three goals at crucial times was enough for Drumsurn to ease to a fifth win over the season at home to an understrength Greenlough on Saturday evening and take them to the top of the table.
The visitors hit 13 wides over the hour and coughed up possession easily in the opening quarter to a Drumsurn side who were excellently setup and driven by a strong running midfield duo of Dara Rafferty and Shea Murray.
Both teams mirrored each other in their setup. Drumsurn were sometimes operating with a rotation of Ruairi Rafferty or Tiarnán McHugh up front on their own, while Greenlough played Enda Lynn in a lone role up front.
When Cahir Mullan dropped off Stephen Bradley it allowed him to get on the ball, but along with Aaron Butcher the duo kept Greenlough at a comfortable distance and Mullan launched many of their attacks from deep.
On the flip side, Rafferty and Murray ran the show from midfield, with runners coming in support.
Sean Brady's men, with the aid of the wind, were 0-4 to 0-2 ahead at the first water break before notching their first goal, which was a thing of beauty.
Shea Murray's chip lift started the move out on the wing. Dara Rafferty's diagonal ball to Ruairi Rafferty opened up the Greenlough defence and when Barry Harkin timed his run to perfection, he slotted to the net.
Greenlough replied with their goal before the break. A strong run from Christopher Lynn drew Drumsurn's defence to one side before he slotted across for Ryan Tohill to palm into an empty net, helping them to a 1-6 to 1-4 interval lead.
Drumsurn had another chance for goal early in the second half, but Michael Mullan had his shot saved by Kevin Mullan with Sean Butcher free at the bar post.
Mullan made up for it minutes later with a similar run, this time he squared the ball for Murray to finish to the net.
Enda Lynn missed three chances to peg Greenlough into the game, but Drumsurn never looked like letting them in for the second goal they needed to spark a comeback.
With 46 minutes gone, Drumsurn hit their third goal from Ciaran Mullan after Dane Mullan and Harry Foster combined and there was no way back for Greenlough.
DRUMSURN: Stephen Harbinson; Eoin Ferris, Fearghal McIntyre (0-1); Aaron Butcher (0-1), Cahir Mullan; Harry Foster, Dane Mullan; Dara Rafferty, Shea Murray (1-1); Sean Butcher; Michael Mullan; Barry Harkin (1-0); Ruairi Rafferty (0-2, 1f); Ciaran Mullan (1-3), Tiarnán McHugh (0-2, 1f)
SUBS: Johnny McLaughlin for D Mullan (47), Pearse McNickle for S Butcher (49), Paddy Welsby for B Harkin (55), Eunan McGonigle for M Mullan (59), Conor Rafferty for E Ferris (60)
GREENLOUGH: Kevin Mullan; Paul Quinn, Martin McPeake; Christopher Kearney; Joe Kearney; Zak Lynn, Sean Kinoulty; Martin Kane, Kevin McCann (0-1); Stephen Bradley (0-3, f); Chrissy Lagan; Ryan Tohill (1-1), Christopher Lynn; Enda Lynn (0-5, 1m, 1f), Ruairi Henry
SUB: Caolan Tohill for C Lagan (48)
REF: John Joe Cleary (Castledawson)
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