Jake stops U11 leaders in their tracks

Bellurgan United and league leaders Ardee Celtic served up a cracking game of football in the U11 Premier Division at Tom Flynn Park on a crisp and sunny Saturday morning.

Bellurgan United and league leaders Ardee Celtic served up a cracking game of football in the U11 Premier Division at Tom Flynn Park on a crisp and sunny Saturday morning.

Bellurgan started off brightly but it was Ardee who took the lead after 12 minutes when midfielder David Jabona struck a fine shot from outside the area that gave Bellurgan keeper Kean Long no chance.

Bellurgan had several chances to equalise with Andrew Cunningham having a close shot deflected wide for a corner. Dylan McGahon Malone almost set up a goal from the resulting corner, heading the ball back across the box with an Ardee defender just clearing the ball over his own crossbar.

Ardee kept the pressure on Bellurgan particularly through Harry Butterly, Conor McNally and midfielder David Doyle.

Bellurgan finally got their reward for their hard work after 20 minutes. A good break on the left and an excellent driven cross from Calum O’Hanlon was volleyed home at the back post by Jake Mulligan, to leave the score 1-1 at half-time.

The second-half continued much the same as the first half with both teams creating opportunities to score.

Ardee did have two clear chances but Long was in fine form making a great save at the feet of an onrushing forward and a fine stop from a strong shot on target.

Bellurgan’s best chance came from a corner from Paul Brennan which was met with a good header from Andrew Cunningham but the Ardee keeper Trevor Farrell was just in the right place to make a good save.

Good work from the hard working Evan Liu and Peter McCarthy sent Andrew Cunningham clear on the right wing but his excellent first time shot went narrowly wide of the Ardee goal.

Bellurgan Man of the Match went to Ronan Cotter for a very solid performance.