On Wednesday evening Duleek/Bellewstown traveled to take on Blackhall Gaels in the third round of the Corn na Boinne tournament.
In a game that won’t live long in the memory of anybody who attended, they carved out a hard fought victory in Kilcloone on a damp evening, which made it hard for both teams to play free flowing football.
Duleek/Bellewstown came flying out of the traps with an early point from Cianan Byrne which was cancelled out a minute later from a free from the Blackhall Gaels full forward.
It would be 12 minutes before Blackhall would score again as Duleek/Bellewstown took control, with points from play from Shane Crosby, Jamie Flaherty and Mark Collins.
With three wides and one dropped into the goalkeepers hands, it could’ve been much worse for the home side at the water break.
Blackhall’s first point from play arrived 16 minutes as they struggled to get up to the pace set by the visitors.
In the 20th minute a superb ‘45 kicked over from the impressive James McWeeney, gave the away side a lift, as Flaherty again and Johnnie McDonnell pointed from play, in between frees from John Flood and McWeeney, to leave it Blackhall Gaels 0-4 to Duleek/Bellewstown 0-9 at half time.
Duleek/Bellewstown probably feel they could have been further ahead at the break as they were the much better side in the first half.
Blackhall emerged in the second half a much more competitive team, unfortunately they couldn’t convert their chances, kicking 2 wides and dropping 2 short into the goalkeepers hands before John Flood settled the nerves with a point from play. He struck again from a free, before Blackhall registered their first score in the 11th minute of the second half!
Tempers flared soon after which resulted in referee Stephen Dawson issuing yellow cards to goalkeeper Anthony Dowling and Blackhalls full forward.
Both teams added a point from play before a black card in the 18th minute for Duleek/Bellewstown midfielder Shane Crosby gave Blackhall hope of reeling them in in the last 12 minutes.
They kicked the next 3 scores from frees, but with Duleek/Bellewstown defending well, they never looked like getting a goal, which they probably would have needed to put real pressure on the away side.
Both teams registered another point each from frees, before the end to leave the final score Blackhall Gaels 0-10 Duleek/Bellewstown 0-13
Anthony Dowling, Stephen Mc Ardle, Kevin Mc Cann, Chris Woods, Sam O Leary, David Moore, Cianan Byrne, Shane Crosby, Cian Ryan, John Flood, Jamie Flaherty, John Mc Donnell, Mark Collins, James McWeeney, Eoghan Heeney.
Substitutes: Jason Brannigan for Stephen McArdle, Oisin Miland for Eoghan Heeney, Kyle Callaghan for Cianan Byrne.
James McWeeney 0-3
John Flood 0-3
John McDonnell 0-2
Jamie Flaherty 0-2
Cianán Byrne 0-1
Shane Crosby 0-1
Mark Collins 0-1