Quay Celtic and OMP United, the bottom two in the MDL Nivea For Men Premier Division, served up a six-goal thriller at Clancy Park on Thursday night with the home side denied a precious three points by a late equaliser.
The visitors opened the scoring on five minutes when an in-swinging delivery from the right wing caught out the Quay defence and the ball was knocked home by Niall McMahon at the back post.
The home side drew level minutes later when Robbie Gavigan rounded his marker before setting up Niall Donnelly for a crisp finish.
The game was ebbing and flowing now and the OMP goalkeeper made a fantastic save from Ross Mulpeter’s volley to keep the scores level.
OMP were awarded a free-kick in their next attack that saw their centre-forward Andy Kearney break the offside trap and Quay goalkeeper Seamus Quigley was left helpless as the ball was hammered to the roof of the net.
The home side continued to serve up a flowing brand of football and when the tireless Donnelly floated in a cross that the OMP goalkeeper fumbled, the alert Robbie Farrell pounced to tap in the loose ball.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half saw the home side in total control with Paul Hoey and Robbie Gavigan lording it in midfield.
A string of shots rained down on the OMP goal with efforts from Farrell, Donnelly and Barry Walsh either saved or going just off target as the OMP goal led a charmed life.
On 65 minutes a rash challenge by Quay substitute Gareth Papworth resulted in a penalty been awarded to OMP but his blushes were spared when the spot kick was blazed over Quigley’s crossbar.
With 15 minutes left on the clock Quay went in front when a rampaging run by full back Barry McKenna resulted in him carving open the OMP defence to set up Farrell whose first touch was exquisite before he calmly placed the ball wide of the goalkeeper’s left hand.
With the Quay supporters on edge and a first win of the league campaign within their grasp goalkeeper Quigley flapped at a corner kick and the ball fell kindly for OMP left winger Andy Rogers and he gleefully blasted the ball through a crowded penalty area to earn his side a share of the points.
What was a hugely entertaining and sporting match ended on a sour note for both teams.
OMP had a player sent off with Quay Celtic seeing two players dismissed, each in a separate incident, which was no reflection of the spirit in which the game was played.
Quay Celtic: Seamus Quigley, Barry McKenna, Eanna McArdle, Oisin McGee, Sean McErlean (Gareth Papworth), Robbie Gavigan, Niall Donnelly, Paul Hoey, Barry Walsh (John Boland), Robbie Farrell (Shane Coleman), Ross Mulpeter.
On Sunday Quay Celtic played Duleek away at the Tollstone and were on the verge of an outstanding draw thanks to a Niall Donnelly strike only for the home side to scramble the winner from a corner-kick in the final minute.