independent

Monday 27 February 2017

Defeat plunges Duleek into trouble

Duleek will have to make good use of games in hand on their fellow strugglers to avoid a battle for relegation after dropping to the bottom of the Premier Division for the first time over the weekend.

Bellurgan United 2 Duleek 0

Rock's victory over Boyne Harps on Friday night saw them leapfrog the Meath club and Duleek subsequently went down to Bellurgan at Flynn Park on Sunday morning.

With these sides due to meet in two separate cup competitions in the coming weeks, the Peninsula outfit also fired a statement of intent across the bows of their visitors, who rarely threatened to upset the odds.

The sides have been drawn against each other in the next round of the Tully Bookmakers Challenge Cup and they will also meet in the semi-final of the Kilmessan Shield.

After a cagey opening, Bellurgan were full value for the points on Sunday. Perhaps with the cup battles on their minds, it took a quarter of an hour for either side to carve out a meaningful chance, but on 25 minutes Bellurgan did break the deadlock and former Louth star Brian White was in the thick of the action, threading a through-ball to Ciaran Sheelan, who rounded the keeper and slotted home.

Bellurgan were well on top at that stage and they went close to doubling their lead when Cormac Renaghan beat his man on the left and pulled a cross back to White at the edge of the area. The former Louth GAA star got his technique spot-on, refling a volley to towards the top corner, but the Duleek keeper somehow produced an equally impressive finger-tip save.

The away side didn't create a chance of note in the opening half, but they should have squared it up shortly after the break. You can normally put your house on former junior international Barry Kavanagh in a one-on-one situation, but after Robbie Arthur had pulled off a superb save, the striker somehow clattered an upright with the rebound.

Five minutes later the game had slipped away from Duleek. Left full John Smith set Cormac Renaghan racing down the left again and this time Ciaran Sheelan ensured the winger's endeavour was rewarded with an unstoppable volley from close range.

Drogheda Independent

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