Bellurgan United ended Muirhevnamor’s unbeaten record on Friday night as Ardee native Darryn Gaynor helped himself to a superb hat-trick to put Alex Bothwell’s side back on top of the Nivea For Men MDL Premier Division table.
Played in atrocious conditions which saw driving wind and rain batter the all weather surface at Muirhevnamor, the home side won the toss and opted to play with the elements in the first-half.
It was Bellurgan, though, who opened the scoring on 25 minutes. Ciaran Rogan delivered a free-kick into the Muirhevnamor penalty area and the ball was headed clear as far as Gavin Long who calmly rolled the ball to Gaynor and he picked his spot just inside the far post to make it 1-0.
Ten minutes later Bellurgan increased their lead with a terrifically worked goal that was started by Rogan and involved Shane Finnegan, Ciaran Sheelan and Owen Traynor; the latter swinging in a delivery for Gaynor to score with ease.
Muirhevnamor tried in vain to get a goal back before the break and they tried their luck from distance with a Sean Conlon effort but it was off target.
The peninsula side, playing with the advantage of the wind at their backs, added a third goal on the hour mark to all but secure the victory.
This time Rogan and Gavin Long were involved with Gaynor creating the opportunity for Sheelan to finish past the helpless Michael Cooney.
Gaynor completed his hat-trick as the game entered the final quarter when he latched onto a through ball from Traynor before skipping over a couple of tackles and guiding the ball to the bottom corner of Cooney’s net.
Bellurgan were reduced to ten men when Rogan picked up a second yellow card for an altercation with Muirhevnamor full-back Brian Begley.
The shell shocked home side managed to get on the scoreboard before the final whistle when Conlon played a free-kick to Jimmy Cooney and his strike took a wicked deflection to wrong foot Robert Arthur in the visitors goal.
It meant little in the end though as free scoring Bellurgan - who have scored 30 goals already this season - picked up their sixth, a victory that leaves them on 18 points, sitting ahead of 2nd placed Duleek on goal difference.
Muirhevnamor: Michael Cooney, Stefan McKevitt, Brian Begley, Jimmy Cooney, Adrian Rafferty, Thomas McShane (Thomas Gorman), Philip Duffy, Simon O’Shaughnessy (Conor Mulvenna), Sean Conlon, Ryan Dillon, Brendan Hughes (Anto Reilly). Unused subs: Conor Gorman, Conal Mulvenna.
Bellurgan United: Robert Arthur, Jonathan Winters, Ciaran Casey, Keith Finnegan, Damien Connor, Owen Traynor, Gavin Long (Jason Brennan), Ciaran Rogan, Shane Finnegan, Darryn Gaynor (Stephen Finnegan), Ciaran Sheelan. Unused subs: Derek Ruddy, Chris Lawson.
REFEREE: Conor Byrne.