Premier Division Rock Celtic suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to mid-table Second Division Kingscourt Harps at Oriel Park on Sunday afternoon.
Played in excellent conditions before a large crowd the Seasiders went into this game as red hot favourites and they should have opened the scoring on ten minutes when David Ward was put through on a one to one with Kingscourt goalkeeper Darren McKenna who made an excellent stop.
Within five minutes the Seasiders went in front, Gerard McSorley outmuscled his marker down the right wing before unleashing a piledriver that McKenna parried.
However Derek Delaney followed up to calmly slot the ball to the net.
Kingscourt, cheered on by their tremendous travelling support that created an excellent atmosphere, bounced back and made it 1-1 with a clever finish to leave the score at the break level after an evenly balanced first half.
The second half opened at a high tempo and five minutes in Rock substitute Ciaran Clarke was given a clear sight of goal from a Delaney pass, however from 18 yards he blazed his effort over the bar.
While at the other end James Hand bustled his way through the Rock defence, but his effort from the edge of the area was narrowly wide.
On 55 minutes the Cavan side went in front; a storming run down the left wing saw Mark McGovern whip in a cross and Tommy Cunningham got in between two defenders to deftly glance a headed ball past John Rogers.
Midway through the half Ward weaved his way past a number of defenders however he saw his powerful strike brilliantly saved by McKenna at the near post and Paul Gore saw a tremendous drive rattle the crossbar.
Rock began to control the game and following a hand ball close to the penalty area McSorley curled a 25 yard beauty to the top corner that had goal written all over it, however somehow McKenna at full stretch clawed the effort from under the crossbar to safety.
Kingscourt were now being forced to defend in numbers as wave after wave of Rock attacks tested their defensive resolve and the Kingscourt defenders literally put their bodies on the line in aid of the cause and somehow they defiantly managed to hold onto their precious one goal lead.
Try as they might Rock, with efforts from John Sharkey Paddy Quinn and Mark Mc Geown they could not breach the Kingscourt defence.
A defence which was brilliantly marshalled by their inspirational goalkeeper McKenna, who deservedly earned the Man of the Match award and left Shane Reddish’s side wondering how they failed to win a game that they dominated everywhere except were it counts; on the scoreboard.
Rock Celtic: John Rogers, Conor Mc Donnell (John Sharkey), Cormac Mc Ardle (Ciaran Clarke),Paul Gore, Ross Quigley, Paddy Reilly, Gerard Mc Sorley, Paddy Quinn, Derek Delaney, David Ward, Kevin McArdle, Mark McGeown, David McGeough.