Downpatrick grab vital win

Downpatrick grab vital win

3 August 2022

DOWNPATRICK RGU kept their survival hopes alive in a game of two halves against already relegated Rostrevor at Pairc Tomas Ruseil on Wednesday evening.

The hosts stormed into an early lead and blitzed their 

way to a nine-point advantage by the interval before taking their foot off the pedal and suffering the consequences after the restart. 

This was perhaps due to both a mixture of complacency and a renewed effort from the visitors which in turn made the contest a lot closer than it should have been.

With playing conditions ideal, Downpatrick took the lead in the opening minute after Jarlath Brannigan kicked over a neat score from range in what was a sign of things to come.

Soon after, Conor McCarron jinked his way past two Rostrevor defenders before he was brought down just a few short metres from the danger area, leaving team-mate Conor Doherty to easily convert the resulting free.

Brannigan and Doherty tagged on a further two points, the latter coming after some brilliant individual play from Hoops defender Peter Turley, and now Downpatrick were playing free-flowing football.

Piaras Kane momentarily stopped the bleeding for Rostrevor after he split the posts for his side’s opening score on ten minutes, although this was answered in rapid fashion with the point of the night from Downpatrick’s Conor McCarron.

The Hoops’ number six gathered the ball over 30 metres from goal and unleashed a terrific effort which initially looked as if it was going well wide before fantastically bending back inside the posts to the applause of the surrounding spectators.

Former county star Gerdie Collins was the next to add his name to the scoresheet for the Hoops after he notched a well-taken point and from here the game seemingly began to slip away from the St Bronagh’s side.

The high-scoring Doherty kicked over the black spot before taking the mark in the next stage of play to add another point to his personal tally.

Downpatrick’s Sean Bell piled on more pressure with a point of his own before Doherty yet again split the posts.

The eye-catching McCarron struck his second point of the night and with just a few minutes until the whistle, Doherty cleverly waited for sloppy Rostrevor contact before converting the resulting free.

Rostrevor did reply with two points of their own with Kane kicking over a free and goalkeeper Jonathan Parr striking over an impressive ‘45.

Half-time: Downpatrick RGU 0-12 Rostrevor 0-3.

To their credit, Rostrevor carried this small momentum into the second half and opened the scoring after the interval with a goal after Downpatrick ‘keeper Peter Telford’s clearance was sharply picked up then drilled high into the net by the dangerous Kane.

The visitors followed this up with two more points until Downpatrick replied with a brace of points from Oran Cunningham and Sean Bell.

Points were further exchanged between the sides, with Downpatrick’s Brannigan kicking over the last from a free, but in truth the quality of end product from both teams dipped as tired legs took over.

The match eventually fizzled out with Downpatrick making hard work of the task at end. 

The local side will be hoping to avoid such scares with just three mouth-watering games left - Carryduff, Loughinisland and Castlewellan - which will decide whether the Hoops will be competing in Division 1 next year.

Downpatrick RGU: P Telford; C Farrell, R Murphy, E Rooney; P Turley, C McCarron (0-2), S Bell (0-2); J Bell, A Doherty; O Cunningham (0-1), J Brannigan (0-3, 1f), N McShane; C Doherty (0-6, 2f, 1 mark), G Collins (0-1), M Fitzpatrick.

Subs used: T Smyth

Rostrevor: J Parr; M Boyle, T Gordan, E Murdock; J Morgan, T Mulholland, J Donaghy; C Murney, P Magee; C Gordan, J Rice, A McMahon; S Parr, P Kane, C Doyle.

Match official: Colm Gribben