Tuesday 18 June 2019

Free-scoring Duleek in hunt for knockouts

Duleek-Bellewstown 1-21 Donaghmore/Ashbourne 0-10

Sean Wall

There were plenty of reasons for Duleek-Bellewstown to be satisfied with this display as they brushed aside the challenge of previously unbeaten Donaghmore/Ashbourne in the IFC at Donore last Sunday.

The east Meath side played a refreshing brand of football as they ran up 22 scores over the hour to put themselves firmly in contention for a knockout spot in this very competitive Group C.

This was an excellent performance of open attacking play from the winners throughout, culminating in some delightful scores. John Flood and John McDonnell were in unstoppable form in attack and contributed 13 points between them.

Not far behind them was Jamie Crosby who scored three points and was unfortunate not to find the net twice in the closing stages, being denied by fine saves from Ashbourne keeper Danny McShane.

Duleek-Bellewstown hit the ground running, picking off six successive points in the opening 11 minutes. Three of those came from Flood frees, while Steven Nolan, Crosby and Shane Townley were also on target.

Luke Wilson accounted for Ashbourne's opening score on 12 minutes, but by half-time Duleek-Bellewstown enjoyed a 1-12 to 0-4 cushion.

The goal arrived on 23 minutes following lovely combination play between Jamie and Shane Crosby, with the latter blasting to the net to leave it 1-10 to 0-2.

There was little let-up in the Duleek-Bellewstown scoring rate in the second half, with Jamie Crosby, Flood and keeper Anthony Dowling, from a '45, chalking up the opening three scores of the half.

The Ashbourne men, who lost a number of their team to the seniors the previous evening, struggled to stay with their opponents, though they did manage four points in the third quarter, including three from Faolan Smyth frees.

Smyth eventually took his tally of points to six, but most of the action was at the other end of the pitch as Flood and McDonnell in particular continued their exhibition of scoring.

Next up for Duleek-Bellewstown is Ballinlough who shocked Oldcastle in what was a north Meath derby on Sunday evening.

DULEEK-BELLEWSTOWN: Anthony Dowling 0-1 '45; Des Teeling, David Moore, Kevin McCann; Shane Crosby 1-0, Brian Moore, Jamie Flaherty; Micheál Dowling 0-1, Robin Clarke; John Flood 0-7 (3f), Shane Townley 0-1, Jamie Crosby 0-3; John McDonnell 0-6, Steven Nolan 0-2, Padraig McGroggan. Subs: Darren Heeney for McGroggan (h-t), James Murphy for Teeling (51), Jack Roche for Townley (51), Gary Reddy for Flaherty (52), Gary Reilly for Flood (56), Ciaran Flynn for McDonnell (57).

DONAGHMORE/ASHBOURNE: Danny McShane; Gareth Deery, Tadhg Kelly, Ryan Bannon; Dylan Cassidy, Alan Murtagh, Ciaran Ellis; Rory O'Connor, Chris Brady; Kevin Fenton 0-3, Eric Callaghan, Shane Rae; Faolan Smyth 0-6 (5f), Luke Wilson 0-1, Stephen Fenton. Subs: John Broderick for S Fenton (h-t), Liam Finn for Ellis (48).

REF: Brendan O'Brien (St Mary's)

Drogheda Independent