SEVEN points from in-form county star Shane Lennon ensured Kilkerley Emmets got their league campaign off to a winning start against Newtown Blues on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides struggled initially to cope with the strong winds but it was Kilkerley who took the lead with Lennon finishing off a well worked point from play to give his side the lead.
His Louth colleague Andy McDonnell then took centre stage for the Blues and his three quick points in succession put the Blues ahead. Cathal Bellew put Kilkerley in front late in the half with his side's fifth point of the afternoon but the sides went in level at the break thanks to McDonnell's fifth point of the half.
It was the Blues who made the early breakthrough in the second period with McDonnell again in the thick of the action scoring a goal from the penalty spot to give his team a three point advantage. Shane Lennon was the catalyst for a Kilkerley comeback as he scored four points in a ten minute spell to put the Emmets ahead once more.
Lennon's seventh point of the day gave Kilkerley a crucial two-point cushion with just a minute to go and despite McDonnell's point late on the Emmets hung on for a well earned victory.
KILKERLEY EMMETS: Cillian Quigley; Emmet Hughes, Niall Mulholland, Ronan Lennon; Ciaran Bellew, Fintan Clarke, Alan McGeough; Ciaran Quigley, Cathal Bellew 0-2; Donal McElroy, Sean Hand, Sean McElroy 0-1; Ciaran Clarke, Shane Lennon, Niall Lennon. Subs: David McGeough for Sean McElroy, David McKeown for Ciaran Clarke, Conall McGeough 0-1 for Ciaran Quigley.
NEWTOWN BLUES: Conor Barton; Aiden O'Brien, Thomas Costello, Niall Costello; Paul O'Morda, Eoghan Judge, Andrew Tinley; Brian Kermode 0-1, Bernard Cullen; Andy McDonnell 1-6, Keith Lynch, Jimmy Murray; Cormac McQuillan, Barry Sharkey, Robert Carr.