Last Minute Drama As Rostrevor Levels With CPN In Division One Clash


By Kieran McNally

dn_screenConor Fegan sent over an equalising free with the final kick of an absorbing derby, as Rostrevor battled bravely to prevent defeat under trying circumstances at Moygannon on Friday night. The Reds appeared to be on their way to victory after seizing control of the match in the closing stages of the opening half. However, Shaun Parr’s black card and a gallant Warrenpoint response meant that it would be the visitors that would need the late heroics to claim a share of the spoils.

The opening quarter set the tone for an unpredictable evening with some splendid scores, two penalties and a blistering tempo. Conor Doyle was in tremendous first-half form and opened the scoring on Rostrevor’s first foray in ‘Point territory; thumping over a superb point from the right. Equally as impressive was Jamie Grant at the other end of the park with his impactful running and power causing all sorts of trouble. He was involved as Aaron Magee levelled the side in the 5th minute before having an even more telling contribution two minutes later.

The impish Niall McGovern fashioned a pocket of space at the end of another burst up field by an incisive Blues, with his low drive being parried into the path of Grant; who in turn slammed the ball into the roof of the net for an early ‘Point advantage. However, such was the nature of the early stages that the lead was soon cancelled out. Conor Doyle doubled his tally on 9 minutes with his flair inside creating an opportunity for Caolan Mooney whose attempt was deemed to have been blocked by the foot of Conor D’Arcy with Ciarán Branagan awarding a Rostrevor penalty.

Conor Fegan made no mistake from the spot, sending D’Arcy in the opposite direction and putting the Reds in front; 1-2 to 1-1. It didn’t take long for the Warrenpoint to respond with a penalty of their own in the 14th minute and no matter how fortunate the award may have been for an unchallenged infringement off the ground, Niall McGovern’s finish was clinical to the corner.

Warrenpoint’s early success had been symbolised by their tireless running with Ryan Mallon and Ryan Boyle being ably assisted by Sean Gallagher and Donach McAleenan among others, but for the remainder of the opening half, Rostrevor were completely on top. Jonathan Parr’s 45-yard free narrowed the gap before a good point from Richard Reynolds brought the sides level in the 17th minute; 2-1 to 1-4. Conor Fegan was vital to Rostrevor throughout the hour and he fired over from range to give his side the lead with a well-taken brace from Conor Doyle; and further score from Richard Reynolds placing the Reds into a four-point lead by the 28th minute. Ryan Boyle surged up-field to score the Point’s first point in sixteen minutes on the cusp of injury time, but it was Doyle’s free that closed the scoring at the end of an enthralling opening half of action.


Rostrevor’s lead had been richly earned and their growing dominance had been very evident. That was all to change with an unfortunate black card to the influential Shaun Parr in the opening stages of the second half. It was clear as to the incident that caused Parr’s dismissal, but perhaps slightly unlucky given the pace at which the game was moving and other infractions during hour.

Despite this, Conall Gordon’s introduction onto the senior scene for Rostrevor; in place of Parr, was very promising indeed, as well as that of James Rice who also made an impression. It did take time though for the Reds to recover from the black card and the initial period after that moment really brought the Blues into the game and forced the eventual draw; one would feel. Donach McAleenan pointed from a free to close the gap to three points before a quick-fire link of four more unanswered points from the hosts; taken in the most clinical manner, saw Warrenpoint burst back into the lead by the 42nd minute. Ryan Magee and Ryan Mallon brought the deficit down to one with Donach McAleenan’s second point being immediately followed by Niall McGovern’s fisted effort, as the Blues took a 2-7 to 1-9 lead.

The momentum at that stage was with the hosts and the manner in which they brought the game to Rostrevor was most impressive. The introduction of John Boyle was key to their revival, as his strength in the midfield area was among the factors that ensured a mountain of possession for Warrenpoint in the third quarter.

The Reds were in desperate need of a settling score and it eventually arrived on 46 minutes with another of Rostrevor’s purposeful substitutions on the night; Jordan Fegan, squeezing an equalising effort between the posts under immense pressure. The stage was set for a grandstand finish and it was all of that in an end-to-end, and at times, ferocious finale. Conor Fegan’s free placed Rostrevor back into the lead in the 51st minute and he saw a potential match winner drop off the upright minutes later, before Caolan McLaughlin levelled from close range.

The pattern of play was rather fragmented in the closing stages with both sides being guilty of fouls and indiscretions out of danger, but it was certainly frantic. Vital interceptions at both ends of the park and pressured wides followed before Aaron Magee manoeuvred space to send over an excellent point in stoppage time to push the ‘Point onto the verge of victory.

It seemed to be slipping away from the visitors until Liam Fegan sent Rostrevor on a last-ditch counter-attack from deep resulting in Jordan Fegan being pulled to ground. His brother, Conor, curled over the resulting free to leave the neighbours on level-terms with Ciarán Branagan’s whistle greeting the kick-out.

CPN SCORERS; Niall McGovern (1-1), Jamie Grant (1-0), Donach McAleenan (0-2), Aaron Magee (0-2), Caolan McLaughlin, Ryan Boyle, Ryan Mallon and Ryan Magee (0-1 each).

ROSTREVOR SCORERS; Conor Fegan (1-3), Conor Doyle (0-5), Richard Reynolds (0-2), Jordan Fegan and Jonathan Parr (0-1 each).