Reds race towards Great Escape
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
ROSTREVOR 2-18 BRYANSFORD 3-11.
GERALD Colgan's Rostrevor were excellent as they produced a power-packed second half to claim a four-point win over Bryansford at a sunny Pettit Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds were full value for the win as their sumptuous attacking play, aided by some tremendous score-taking saw them propel themselves clear of a fancied 'Ford outfit.
Indeed, they made it difficult for themselves at times with Tony Fearon saving a late penalty from Conor Gribben after they had initially recovered from the concession of three goals in a first half that they had much the better of.
Caolan Mooney's second-half cameo would have also pleased a Rostrevor side that now know that victory against neighbours Cumann Pheadair Naofa in the final game of the season will complete their great escape.
Both sides were without key men on the day with Shaun Parr and Colm Murney among those missing for the Reds with Kalum King and Luke Howard amongst the Bryansford absentees.
However, there was an electric flow to the match for which credit must go to the referee, Neil Cousins. Rostrevor's Adrian Mackin opened the scoring after some fine trickery with the tireless Timmy Hanna levelling for the Ford inside three minutes. Conor Doyle and Richard Reynolds produced two fine points from the left side to power the Reds into a two-point lead by the fifth minute, but Danny Savage equalised from a close-range free before the first of Bryansford's goals arrived moments later. Conor Gribben was the scorer, cutting in from the right side superbly, to finally crash the ball inside Tony Fearon's near post.
However, Rostrevor's response was immediate with their swift attacking football providing Adrian Mackin and Brian Cole with the chances to push the Reds back into the lead with three unanswered frees. Chris Brannigan's free ensured parity by the 15th minute.
The match was being played at a breathless pace, but it was Rostrevor who were playing with the higher intensity and Bryansford were largely finding it difficult to build offence. Conor Doyle fired Rostrevor in front off the outside of this deadly left-boot with Conor Fegan doubling the advantage after a fine run and finish. Doyle tagged on a free in the 20th minute to push Rostrevor into a 0-9 to 1-3 lead.
The Ford were always dangerous though with Savage and Hanna in tune with each other throughout, and the former had the ball in the net to level the game once more. It was fortunate in its arrival with Tony Fearon misjudging the high delivery to present Savage with a close-range chance which he placed in off the inside of the post.
The same man put Bryansford in front with Adrian Mackin and the sand-haired sniper trading frees as the game winded down towards half time. Jarlath Farrell brought the Reds back on terms on 28 minutes with a fisted effort after superb work from the corner-back, with another brilliant point from Conor Doyle putting Rostrevor back in front; 0-12 to 2-5. However, Danny Savage was involved twice as Bryansford applied late pressure to stun the Reds and carry a three-point lead into the break. Firstly, he arrowed over from the left side before laying the ball off to the onrushing Gribben to smash in low to the corner of the net at the short whistle.
Conor Doyle's potential as a leading-star for future Rostrevor teams was being underlined with remarkable power and precision in front of the posts and the Minor player fired over a fine individual point to narrow the gap, before Adrian Mackin's free brought the deficit down to the minimum by the 38th minute. Rostrevor were unsteady, at times, in trying to force an equaliser and Danny Savage punished their over-eagerness with an effort from the placed ball on 43 minutes. Doyle replied with a free from the ground before Tomas Mulholland provided the major turning point at the end of the third quarter. Conor Fegan was instrumental with his typical driving from the right before playing the ball through to Mulholland, who hammered the ball past Brian Brannigan to put Rostrevor into a two-point lead in the 45th minute.
Eamon McConville launched over from range to extend the lead with Chris Brannigan keeping a fading 'Ford in touch, but it was time once again for the inspirational Brian Cole to score another vital goal for Rostrevor on 53 minutes. The Reds worked possession forward on that prosperous right-side before Doyle filtered the ball through to Cole, who bravely punched the ball past Brannigan to push the Reds into a five-point lead. Martin Cole extended the lead with a rangy effort with the reliable Mackin on hand to send Rostrevor clear entering the closing stages. There was time though for Bryansford to produce a grandstand finish in attempting to salvage a result.
Christopher Brannigan fired over twice with Conor Gribben fisting over as the Ford dropped dangerous balls into the Reds' square.
However, their fate was sealed with Tony Fearon producing nerve-saving heroics in the second minute of stoppage time, as Conor Gribben's spot-kick was tipped around the post by the young shot-stopper. A breathtaking end to a pulsating encounter at Pettit Park as Rostrevor delivered their best football of the season at the best possible time.
ROSTREVOR SCORERS: Brian Cole (1-1), Tomas Mulholland (1-0), Conor Doyle (0-6 2f), Adrian Mackin (0-6 4f), Conor Fegan, Richard Reynolds, Eamon McConville, Jarlath Farrell and Martin Cole (0-1 each).
BRYANSFORD SCORERS: Conor Gribben (2-1), Danny Savage (1-5 3f), Chris Brannigan (0-4 3f) and Timmy Hanna (0-1).
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