19 SEP 2018
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Rainy day Blues have to go again

12 September 2018

CPN and Loughinisland will have to do it all over again, hopefully in better conditions, as their Quarter-final on a stormy Monday night finished in a draw.

The second of the double headers at Kilcoo was never going to be a high scoring game given the high winds and driving rain and so it proved to be. There were more wides than scores with the strong wind playing its part, but this was a cagey game and the teams were inseparable in the end.

Warrenpoint got off to the brighter start with Donagh McAleenan, who had taken over free taking duties from sidelined Ross McGarry in the first half, putting one over the bar in the fifth minute. Less than 30 seconds later Ryan Magee doubled the scoring with a point from play. 

Loughinisland began to gain more possession after that however, and Paddy McKenny took a good score with Conor Megoran following up with a converted free to make it two points apiece.

CPN fell into a pattern of kicking short balls into the Loughinisland keeper Christopher Turley’s arms and when the next scoring chance came their way Aaron Joe Magee hesitated too long in front of goal and took the wrong option in the end, kicking to the opposition in Conor O’Toole who cleared the danger. John Boyle put the Point in front again in the eighteenth minute but short balls from Jamie Grant and Frank Aiken and a wide from a McAleenan free kept the score at 0-3 to 0-2. 

That was when Loughinisland upped their game. They used the width of the field to create spaces and after a good move from the back between three players, John McCarthy pointed to level the match and another good move from the back seconds later saw McKenny put them in front for the first time. A brace from Stefan Mason gave Loughinisland a three-point lead of 0-6 to 0-3 on 30 minutes and despite Ryan Mallon coming close to narrowing the gap right at the whistle, it remined thus at the interval.

Rory Mason increased the lead with a converted free after the break but McGarry replaced Aiken in the second half and moments after that, CPN won a free and their talisman converted from a difficult angle into the swirling wind to make it 0-7 to 0-4. CPN kept plugging away however and they made it a two-point game with a score from Alan Davidson but McKenny responded to keep the margin intact with 38 minutes played.

There was no shaking the Blues however as another super free from McGarry and a great point from play from Aaron Joe Magee narrowed the gap to a point at 0-8 to 0-7. CPN then levelled proceedings at eight apiece through a McGarry free and the response was completed to tremendous applause from the brave rain-drenched spectators, when John Boyle gave them a 0-9 to 0-8 lead at the start of the four minutes additional time.

Four wides in a row followed for Loughinisland as Warrenpoint got every man behind the ball and battened down the hatches. They manged to keep the opposition at bay for two of those minutes until Rory Deegan found a way through for the equalising point and it stayed that way until the final whistle signalled a replay on Saturday with the semi-final draw suspended until then.

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