Harps hold off a late Rostrevor rally

Ronan Murtagh put Ballyholland in the driving seat against Rostrevor on Monday night  
Seán Mahoney

Down SFC: Ballyholland 0-10 Rostrevor 1-5

BALLYHOLLAND survived a late rally from Rostrevor last night to set up a semi-final showdown with Castlewellan in the Down Senior Football Championship, while the other semi-final sees a mouthwatering clash between Kilcoo and Mayobridge.

Played in Pairc Esler, Rostrevor led Harps 1-3 to 0-5 at the break. It was Ballyholland who got off to a bright start with Patrick Quinn swiftly striking a point with less than a minute played although Rostrevor replied immediately with a Jordan Fegan point.

Rostrevor’s Declan Magee should have done better but blasted wide with only Liam Coulter in the Ballyholland goal to beat. Conor Magee levelled the scores but two Quinn frees to Conor Doyle’s conversion kept Harps’ nose in front before Fegan’s left footed goal gave Rostrevor a deserved two-point lead. Tommy Kane’s point left only a point between the sides at half-time but the sides were level shortly after the restart with Kealan Haughey finding the target from a tight angle.

Even with only 35 minutes played the game was on a knife edge as Jordan Fegan tipped the balance in Rostrevor’s favour before Paddy McAteer squared things up and then Paddy Quinn edged Harps ahead.

Two further points from Paddy McAteer and Ronan Murtagh put Ballyholland in the driving seat with 10 minutes remaining and Shaun Parr’s harsh red card gave Rostrevor a mountain to climb, even with the introduction of Caolan Mooney.

John Fegan gave the Reds a glimmer of hope with a point on 59 minutes but Mooney missed a close-range free and with it any chance of victory, as Ballyholland held on.


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