It was a point apiece between Newry City and Crusaders at The Showgrounds as both teams spurned glorious opportunities to take all three in the dying stages of the match.
After Darren Murray’s goal had cancelled out Jordan Owens’ early strike, the Crues missed an 80th minute penalty and then Francis Murphy headed wide when it looked easier to score.
Livewire winger Stuart Dallas had a shot well saved by Newry keeper Nathan Morely-Hillen’s legs in the third minute but within 60 seconds, the visitors were in front.
Left-back Stephen McBride galloped down the wing and when his attempted pull back across the area was only partially blocked by Cullen Feeney, Jordan Owens poked the ball home from six yards.
Newry introduced Murray for Marty Havern at the break and the young striker looked lively from the outset.
Having fired a spectacular overhead kick straight at Keenan from the edge of the area on 54 minutes, he got the equaliser four minutes later.
Andy Graham held off Coates to get to the byline and cut the ball back to Murray who, despite pressure from Magowan, rammed the ball home from eight yards.
Newry should have taken the lead on 65 minutes but Alan Davidson’s free header from six yards went over the bar.
The Crues were awarded a penalty when Ger Rowe fouled Owens but although Chris Morrow sent Morley-Hillen the wrong way the ball hit the post
Still Newry should have won it with three minutes left when Murray’s perfect cross found Murphy unmarked at the back post but he missed the target with the goal at his mercy.
Newry City: Morley-Hillen, King, Black, Feeney, Convery, McDonnell, Murphy, Rowe, Hazley (Davidson 21), Havern (Murray 45), Graham. Subs not used: Downey, Devlin, McCoy
Crusaders: Keenan, Magee, McBride, Magowan, Coates, Watson, Doherty (Donnelly 66), Dallas, Morrow, Halliday (Arthurs 73), Owens. Subs not used: Bell, Faulkner, McMaster
Referee: Keith Halliday (Bangor)