Muirhevnamor made the short journey to Tom Flynn Park on Sunday morning and it was the newly promoted side who came out on top, ending Bellurgan United’s unbeaten start to the season with a 4-3 win.
After a cagey opening period the home side opened the scoring on 20 minutes when Ciaran Rogan delivered a long pass behind the visitors defence and Declan Sharkey was onto it like a flash to calmly guide the ball pass David Cooney.
Bellurgan almost doubled their advantage inside two minutes but Cooney was excellent to deny Jonathan Winters from deep inside the penalty area.
At the other end, Sean Dixon’s men were beginning to stir and Anto Reilly was narrowly off target from a Philip Duffy cut back.
With the first-half drawing to a close, United should have went in 2-0 up as Winters’ incisive pass put Diarmuid Murphy thorough one on one with Cooney but, having done the hard work and rounded the goalkeeper, Murphy somehow blazed the ball over the crossbar with an open goal gaping.
Bellurgan were made to pay as within a minute of the restart Muirhevnamor drew level.
Jimmy Cooney swung in an excellent delivery that caused panic in the Bellurgan penalty area and Brendan Hughes managed to get a touch to the ball and make it 1-1.
The game was completely turned on its head and midway through the half Muirhevnamor took the lead with a blistering angled drive from Sean Conlon.
And the Blues then went 3-1 up. Bellurgan goalkeeper Robert Arthur looked to have Adrian Raffferty’s long clearance under control but Reilly charged down Arthur’s attempted clearance and the ball looped into the unguarded net.
The visitors were on top now and they made it 4-1 when Philip Duffy’s deft header from Conlon’s in swinger deceived Arthur to nestle in the bottom corner. Bellurgan showed their character and they reduced the arrears when Ciaran Casey headed a Sharkey corner kick against the crossbar and Gavin Long followed up to fire home the rebound.
Spurred on by the goal, Alex Bothwell’s side mounted a period of sustained pressure and his side made it 4-3 when Ciaran Rogan set up substitute Stephen Finnegan to pick his spot with a clinical finish to make it 4-3 but the Mor held out for a fine win that moves them to second in the table.
BELLURGAN UNITED: Robert Arthur, Jason Brennan, Damien Connor, Ciaran Casey, Owen Traynor, Diarmuid Murphy (Ryan Duffy), Gavin Long, Jonathan Winters, Declan Sharkey (Kevin Rogan), Shane Finnegan (Stephen Finnegan), Ciaran Rogan. Unused sub: Chris Lawson.
MUIRHEVNAMOR FC: David Cooney, Brian Begley, Conal Mulvenna (Liam McKenny), Adrian Rafferty, Shane O’Callaghan, Philip Duffy, Sean Conlon (Padraig Smith), Thomas McShane, Anto Reilly (Ryan Dillon), Brendan Hughes.