Rock Celtic travelled to play fellow title challengers Duleek on Sunday and, after dominating the game, the Seasiders recorded an excellent 2-1 win that flattered the home side.
The Meath side missed a glorious chance to open the scoring inside the 1st minute from a strike that grazed the Rock crossbar.
It was David Hoey’s side that called the shots after that but they failed to capitalise with Derek Delany, David Ward and Gerard McSorley all spurning clear cut opportunities to open the scoring.
On 30 minutes, and very much against the run of play, Duleek broke the deadlock when in a rare attack they opened the scoring to go a goal up.
The visitors were enraged five minutes later when what appeared to be a clear handball by the home side’s centre-back went unpunished thus ensuring that Duleek’s 1-0 lead at half-time was secure.
Ten minutes into the second-half lady luck eventually smiled on the Seasiders. Delany’s delivery from the right hand side fell kindly to Cormac McArdle and his blistering drive took a deflection off a Duleek defender, wrong footing the home side’s goalkeeper, and nestling into the net; a score that Hoey’s side richly deserved given their dominance.
Rock continued to push forward and should have added to their score with Ward, McSorley and Delany the guilty parties again as chance after chance went a begging.
However the constant pressure on the Duleek defence told with 15 minutes left to play when a route one ball over the top from centre-back Aidan Sheekey was picked up by Delany.
His first touch was sublime, allowing him to outpace the advancing Duleek goalkeeper to calmly guide the ball inside the far post.
With ten minutes left to play Duleek were reduced to ten men following a second yellow card offence and despite a last ditch effort to get something from the game in the final minutes the Sandy Lane side comfortably held out for a thoroughly deserved win.
Rock Celtic: John Rogers, Mark McGeown, Aidan Sheekey, Paddy Reilly, David McGeough, Cormac McArdle (David Asare), Paul Gore, Kevin McArdle, Gerard McSorley, Derek Delany, David Ward.