For the second time in three weeks, the Colts came up short against league champions Mourne Rovers despite pushing them all the way.
Even though they led 1- 0 at half time, the visitors started to time waste five minutes into the second half which was a sign of the pressure they were coming under and it was a source of frustration for Carryduff that the referee let them get away with it and then added only two minutes at the end.
Colts started off very brightly and dominated most of the first half, and the back three of Rory McDonnell, Paul Maguire and Kealan Devlin, who had a fine full debut, kept Rovers well away from 16 year old goalkeeper Tim Larmour, who had a superb first game at senior level.
Colts problem was in carving open the well drilled Rovers defence although with Joe Sweeney and Paul Murphy pushing on from the wide areas and Owen McCabe was proving to be a handful up top, continually winning headers, they weren’t able to find a way to goal.
Rovers took the lead against the run of play when a long ball over the top saw their star striker Harrison race on to it and he outpaced the Colts defence and slotted the ball home for the lead – the joyous response from the Mourne players was as much about relief.
Fergus McBride and Chris Curran in particular rallied the troops and drove Colts on but Rovers goalkeeper was proving to be a difficult barrier. Adam Shilliday had one great run and fired over a dangerous cross but the ball was eventually cleared.
As Colts pushed on again at the beginning of the second half they were hit by a sickener on the hour mark when a very soft free kick was given on the edge of the box and the left back crashed a superb shot into the top corner. Shilliday had a long range effort saved by the keeper while goalkeeper Larmour made a great save at the feet of Harrison who proceeded to lash out at the keeper without any action being taken.
Colts brought on Paddy McEvoy and Danny Toal and while both added zest to the team the wind was taken out of the sails when the game was sewn up with the addition of a third 15 minutes from time.
To their credit, Colts didn’t give up and they pulled one back when McCabe was fouled in the box and Michael Deeny stepped up to coolly fire in an excellent penalty despite the goalkeeper going the right way.
Colts pressed hard for the remaining minutes but were continually frustrated by time wasting tactics which went unpunished. However, again, this young team can take great pride in their performance and with a number of players on way back from injury it can only get better.
Colts: Larmour, Sweeney, Murphy, McDonnell, Maguire, Devlin (Toal), McBride, Deeny, Curran, McCabe, Shilliday (McEvoy)