Two second half goals from substitute Neil Dougan continued H&W Welders’s good form and saw off the challenge from Loughgall. There were three red cards in the game with Steven Ferguson and Wilson Taveres dismissed for the Villagers, and Paul Dickson for the hosts.
H&W Welders had the best of the play in the first period but were denied by Loughgall goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan who was in inspired form.
Ten minutes before the break Aaron Walsh played a free kick to Steven Ferguson who fired a well-hit shot that was well parried by ‘keeper Michael Dougherty.
The Welders missed a brilliant opportunity to open the scoring on the stroke of half time when Josh Cahoon was released clear. The striker bearing down on goal selflessly squared for Davy Rainey who was denied by a magnificent reflex save from ‘keeper Buchanan.
The hosts threatened again when Cahoon headed against the crossbar following a well-delivered corner.
The goal eventually came controversial circumstances on 71 minutes when referee Steven Taylor adjudged Wilson Taveres to have fouled inside the penalty area despite the contrary advice from his assistant who was better placed. Neil Dougan stepped up and calmly slotted the resultant penalty low into the bottom corner.
The three dismissals came in a seven minute spell that started with Loughgall captain Ferguson being red-carded for dissent. Then a heavy challenge on Taveres caused a melee which resulted in Taveres and Dickson being dismissed from either side.
The hosts made sure of the three points when Dougan received the ball inside the penalty area before finishing low beyond Buchanan.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Taveres, Henderson (Ryan 76m), Taylor (Wilson 64m), Hudson, Walsh, Dallas, Ferguson, Mullen, McMahon, Rea. Unused subs: Boyle, Mallen, Dane.