O'CONNELL'S got their league campaign off to a winning start at a very windy Grove field on Sunday. Playing with the wind at their backs in the first half the home side raced into a four point lead, three of which came from the boot of Niall Conlon and the other from Conor McGill.
Derek Crilly got the Gaels on the scoreboard after 16 minutes from a free, but that was to be their only score of the half.
O'Connell's looked set to move further ahead when Robert Quigley was fouled by Gael's keeper Stephen Murphy and the referee pointed to the spot.
Howveer, Jackie Agnew fired the spot kick against the post and O'Connell's had to settle for a point as Conlon sent the rebound over the bar.
The Bellingham side were in full control and added another four points before the half time whistle, two of them from Conlon and Quigley and the others from Emmet Byrne and Paul McKeever. At half time O'Connells were 0-9 to 0-1 in front.
The home side started the second half better than their opponents and got the first two points, the first a brilliant long range free against the wind from Stuart Reynolds and the second from the same player also a free. The sides swapped the next two points another from Conlon a free for the home side and a well taken long-distance point from Crilly.
The Gaels got the next two points a free from Sean McCann and the other from David Maloney, but three minutes later McCann received his second yellow card and the Dundalk team were down to 14 men for the last few minutes.
O'CONNELLS: Sean Connolly; Keith Woods, Conor Byrne, Micheal Cairns; Salem Rifaie, David Doyle, Andrew Sharkey; Sean Cairns, Stuart Reynolds 0-3; Jackie Agnew, Paul McKeever 0-1, Emmet Byrne 0-1; Conor McGill 0-1, Niall Conlon 0-6f, Robert Quigley 0-1. Subs Mark Stanfield for E. Byrne, David Hoey for M.Cairns.
DUNDALK GAELS: Stephen Murphy; Eammon Kenny, Jamie Faulkner, Peter McGinnity; James Lynch, David Maloney 0-2, David McComish; Sean McCann 0-1, Stephen Coleman; Andrew Coleman, Gerard Fee, Niall Hearty; Anthony McSorley, Derek Crilly 0-2, Gary Shevlin. Subs Nathan Murphy for Shevlin, James Stewart for Coleman.