Rostrevor claimed temporary ownership; at least, of top spot in the second division with their fifth successive victory at the expense of Carryduff at Pettit Park on Monday evening.
Shane Mulholland’s Reds have found momentum entering an important week in their season and Piaras Kane’s early goal helped them on their way against their North Down visitors. Unfortunately for Carryduff, their position seems rather tenuous at this stage with Mick McCartan’s side looking up from the bottom of the standings after a third of the season’s fixtures.
The Seasiders were able to produce an early flourish and scored their opening goal inside two minutes with Piaras Kane driving the ball to the net; below the outrushing Mark Hynes, following Caolan Mooney’s run and assist. Mooney extended the lead with a good point before Anthony Donnan’s free put the Reds into a five-point lead by the 7th minute. Paddy McConnell sent over a free to open Carryduff’s account, but further scores from John Fegan and Damian Magee; with James Rice involved, had Rostrevor well in control at the end of the opening quarter; 1-4 to 0-1.
Throughout the remainder of the opening half, both sides were guilty of missing chances and it led to a rather cagey phase of play. Neither side really dominated the minutes prior to half time and scores were traded. James Guinness rose above Jonathan Parr to fist over for the visitors with Anthony Donnan replying from a left-footed free.
The Knockbracken side were gallant in their efforts, but failed to gain dangerous possession close to Parr’s posts to threaten the Reds effectively on the scoreboard. Ronan Lawlor did fire over from range along with Joe McFlynn; either side of a punted effort from Rostrevor’s Joseph Morgan, as five points separated the teams at the break.
HALF TIME – ROSTREVOR 1-06 – 0-04 CARRYDUFF
Carryduff needed something to spark a revival of sorts in the second half, but they received a most unfortunate setback in the early stages of the half with Rostrevor snatching a fatal second goal in the 37th minute.
Sean McGonigle had narrowed the gap with this first score of the night; however, Anthony Donnan’s shot took a battery of deflections before nestling in the back of Mark Hynes’. McGonigle responded with a free, but Rostrevor pushed on with the next four points to effectively end the contest. Conall Gordon, Caolan Mooney, John Fegan and Joseph Morgan all raised white flags; sending the Reds into a 2-10 to 0-6 lead, as the game ambled towards its conclusion.
The nature of the final result was comprehensive in Rostrevor’s favour; but might have been very different, if Carryduff had taken one or more of the goal chances that they forged in the closing quarter of the game.
Sean Cooper had to clear an effort from Joe McFlynn from his goal line with Jonathan Parr saving well from James Guinness, as the North Down men came close on a couple of occasions. They also rallied; somewhat, with a brace of frees from Guinness and one from McGonigle putting a respectable edge on the scoreboard from their perspective. John Fegan’s free ensured that Rostrevor had the final say and they now prepare for a significant clash with fellow promotion contenders An Riocht on the Dunavil Road on Friday evening; a venue at which the Reds have returned with successive draws in their past three visits in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Carryduff host Liatroim at Pairc Aodha Dhuibh in the hope of climbing out of the relegation places.
ROSTREVOR 2-11 – 0-09 CARRYDUFF
By Kieran McNally