BELLURGAN United suffered a shock defeat at home on Sunday to make their exit from the Tully Bookmakers Cup at the hands of a side lying fourth from bottom of the division two grades below them.
The Peninsula outfit appeared to suffer a dose of the post-Christmas blues after a good run of form before the break had made their position more comfortable at the bottom end of the table.
Much as they would have liked a run in the Challenge Cup - and they were certainly expected to dispense with lower-division opposition on Sunday - there was a silver lining as Carrick, who lie below them, one place off the bottom, lost to leaders Rock Celtic.
That will make their fight to steer clear of relegation that little bit easier and it will now become their main focus.
It looked as if it might be different when John Smith gave them the lead after 15 minutes when he was put through on goal by partner Daniel Kerr.
However, Kingscourt drew level within five minutes and slack defending that allowed one of their players a free header from a corner kick resulted in what turned out to be the decisive score two minutes from the interval.
Bellurgan created a number of clearcut chances after that, but their finishing wasn't up to the mark and despite forcing a dozen corners they couldn't manage an equaliser. BELLURGAN UNITED Robert Arthur, Barry McKenna, Alexis Zamboglou (Owen Traynor), Stephen Malone, Diarmuid Murphy, Darren Gaynor, Ciaran Casey, Johnny Winters, Jason Brennan, John Smith (Shane Finnegan), Daniel Kerr.