GAA Football

Ryan Brady wins it at the death for Mayobridge

Sean Mahoney at Pairc Esler

MAYOBRIDGE survived a scare from rivals Rostrevor and needed an injury-time winner from Ryan Brady to secure their place in the second round of the Down Senior Football Championship.

Mayobridge boss Frank Dawson gave youth a chance as he was missing a number of key personnel including talisman Benny Coulter, who sat out the game with a hand injury, while Conleth O’Hare, Conor Garvey, Corey Quinn were also absent through suspension.

However, in a late change, Kevin O’Rourke made his first start in six weeks for the Sky Blues. It was an entertaining contest despite both teams playing with a sweeper and both sides were keen on going for the jugular.

Rostrevor got off to flying start as they surged into and early lead with three points in as many minutes from Michael Mackin, John Fegan (free) and Conor Mackin. A bullish Rory Hughes got the Sky Blues off the mark before points from Shane O’Hare and the nippy Caolan Gallagher had the sides level with only eight minutes played.

With six points in eight minutes the action tailed off as the game became a little cagey but only briefly as Cathal Magee’s converted free put Mayobridge in front for the first time. Magee tagged on another point following a brilliant block from Michael Lively but the sides were level again as Conor Mackin raced through the ’Bridge defence and attempted an audacious lob but the ball went over instead of under the bar. Anthony Donnan quickly added another point to tie the game.

Then game the game-changer as Shane McNamee kicked long and on top of the lively Ryan Brady who grabbed possession and struck a simple goal but effective goal. Declan and Damien Magee and Piras Kane traded scores with Mayobridge’s O’Rourke and Gallagher before the half-time whistle, which came with the scores Mayobridge 1-9 Rostrevor 0-8

The second-half was exciting but both sides left their shooting boots in the changing rooms with Kevin O’Rourke, Cathal Magee and Brady adding to Mayobridge’s tally before the 50th minute, while Rostrevor only added two points in the same period with Damien Magee converting two frees.

But on 51 minutes, the sides where level for a third time when goalkeeper Jonathan Parr tucked home a penalty after Micheal Lively pulled back Rostrevor substitute Arghal McMahon who was through on goal.

However, Mayobridge used their championship experience and Brady coolly fisted over the winning point, before Parr’s last-gasp 45-metre free drifted narrowly wide.

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