Bellurgan United refuse to throw in the towel on the title following an excellent 4-1 win over a Duleek team who finished the game with nine men at Tom Flynn Park on Sunday morning.
The visitors opened the scoring after five minutes when ace striker Barry Kavanagh caught the Bellurgan defence off guard to score.
The home side battled back and on the half-hour mark drew level when Jonathan Winters and Owen Traynor played a superb one two for the latter to pick out Ciaran Sheelan who beat Duleek goalkeeper Keith Martin.
Bellurgan were calling the shots and Darryn Gaynor was inches away from diverting Shane Finnegan’s driven delivery into the Duleek net.
Chances continued to fall and with five minutes of the half to play Gaynor got a powerful header to Daniel O’Connors free-kick only for Martin to fingertip the ball over his crossbar.
The second-half opened with Duleek in the ascendency and Robert Arthur made a superb stop from John Kelledy’s piledriver before tipping over a Paul Mantondo strike from the edge of the area.
With Duleek piling on the pressure, Arthur had to be at his best and he made a host of special saves, denying Tony Grant and Kavanagh to keep the scores level.
Disaster struck for Duleek with 25 minutes to play when they had claims for a penalty kick waved away and when Brian Murphy carried on with his protests towards the referee, he was shown a red card.
Bellurgan almost went in front when a long clearance from Ciaran Casey left Gaynor clear with just Martin to beat but the goalkeeper came out on top.
Shortly afterwards, Kavanagh latched onto a parried save from Arthur but his effort was ruled out for offside.
With ten minutes left to play the home side grabbed the crucial second goal. A great ball from Michael Murphy picked out Sheelan in the penalty area and he calmly guided the ball inside the far post.
Duleek threw men forward to try and rescue something from the game and they were punished following a lightning quick break that saw Sheelan play in Gaynor to pick his spot and make it 3-1.
The Meath men were clearly rattled and it was no surprise when Gaynor put the icing on the cake in the final minute with a clinical finish.
Duleek’s day was summed up when they had another player sent-off just before the final whistle.
Bellurgan United: Robert Arthur, Jason Brennan, Jonathan Winters, Ciaran Casey (Stephen Malone), Keith Finnegan, Ray Finnegan, Owen Traynor (Paul Savage), Daniel O’Connor, Ciaran Sheelan, Darryn Gaynor, Shane Finnegan (Damien Connor).