Bellurgan United moved back to the top of the Nivea For Men MDL Premier Division thanks to an excellent 5-3 win over the league champions Rock Celtic under the Sandy Lane floodlights on Friday night.
The visitors raced into a 3-0 lead before the break, opening the scoring in the 25th minutes when Dean Gaynor set up his brother Darren who beat John Rogers with a sweet finish.
Within ten minutes Bellurgan doubled their lead when Gavin Long delivered a ball over the top that allowed Ciaran Sheelan to race into the penalty area and squeeze home the ball from the tightest of angles.
The home side were reeling at this stage and it got worse when Rogers allowed a strike from Sheelan to escape his grasp after Ciaran Rogan had acted as provider for the goalscorer.
The second-half opened with the home side in determined mood and, as the game approached the hour mark, they hit three goals in the space of just five minutes to get back on level terms.
A David Ward header started the recovery, followed immediately with goals from Ger McSorley and a superb finish from Kevin McArdle.
Alex Bothwell’s Bellurgan looked stunned but they regathers their composure and, having got their breath back, they went back in front.
A corner ping ponged around the Rock six-yard box and Gavin Long managed to get a touch on the ball to force it over the goal line to put United 4-3 ahead.
With the clock ticking down the home side threw everything bar the kitchen sink at the Bellurgan defence in search of an equaliser but Keith Finnegan - back from a spell with Woodview -and Stephen Malone were rock solid in defence.
And in time added on, from a Rock corner kick, Dean Gaynor sent Sheelan clear and he confidently broke at pace before completing his hat-trick in style.
Rock Celtic: John Rogers, Mark McGeown (Conor McDonnell), Paddy Reilly, Aidan Sheehy, Ciaran Clarke (Cormac McArdle), Paul Gore, Kevin McArdle, Ger McSorley, Michael Osobe (Seanie Crosbie), Paddy Quinn, David Ward.
Bellurgan United: Robert Arthur, Jonathan Winters, Damien Connor, Keith Finnegan, Stephen Malone, Dean Gaynor, Daniel O’Connor, Gavin Long, Ciaran Rogan, Darren Gaynor (Daniel Kerr), Ciaran Sheelan. Unused subs: Chris Lawson, Daniel Ruddy.