NEFL Premier Division

Bellurgan hang on to defeat Ardee Celtic

Bellurgan United 3 Ardee Celtic 2

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Bellurgan hang on to defeat Ardee Celtic

Bellurgan United before last year's game with Muirhevnamor. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)

NEFL Premier Division

Bellurgan United 3 Ardee Celtic 2

Bellurgan took the three-points on offer against Ardee on Friday night, though there was no shortage of controversy at the finish.

The hosts argued that referee Andy Fulham had blown the match up three-minutes early and with the Deesiders chasing an equaliser.

Late goals from John Flanagan and Gareth Kane had brought Ardee back from the brink as they searched for an unlikely leveller.

This following a disasterous opening-half which saw them fall two goals behind through Bellurgan's Daragh Lafferty, on his senior debut, and John Smyth from the penalty spot after Declan Sharkey had been unceremoniously hacked down in the box.

It was 3-0 shortly after half-time when Sharkey got on the scoresheet. But the visitors fought back and they felt aggrieved not to have been given more time, especially after Kane's strike on 86 minutes.

Bellurgan United: Robert Arthur, Owen Traynor Daragh Lafferty, Pauiric Browne, John Smyth, Declan Sharkey, Keith Finnegan, Stephen Finnegan, Shane Finnegan, Barry Carr, Gavin Gaffey

Subs: Brian McCloskey, Jimmy Byrne

Ardee Celtic: Declan Butler, Pierce Hawkins, Colm Matthews, Fintan Clarke, Robbie Reynolds, Lorcan Myles, John Flanagan, Eddie Burke, Gareth Kane, Dean Gaynor, Darryn Gaynor

Subs: Shawni Dowdall, Bryan O'Connor