Quay Celtic's Martin Smith and Ray Finnegan of Bellurgan United in action. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
NEFL Premier Division
Quay Celtic 1 Bellurgan United 2
Bellurgan United put a tough week behind them to record a convincing 2-1 victory over Quay Celtic at Clancy Park on Friday night.
With the league's decision to award Ardee Celtic a replay after the sides' controversial meeting last month, Bellurgan were out to impress here and they did so with the help of the returning Paddy Keenan, Ray Finnegan, Stephen Grimes and Danny O'Connor.
And it was Keenan who put them ahead after 10 minutes when heading John Smyth's free-kick past Fergal Sheekey.
Moving two-goals clear was all Wayne Conroy's men deserved and they did so when Owen Armstrong stabbed home from close range after good interplay between Barry Carr and O'Connor.
Armstrong and Carr had opportunities to further strengthen Bellurgan's position in the game before half-time, while Quay saw a few long-range efforts saved by Robbie Arthur.
The home side came into the game more in the second-half, especially when Declan Sharkey was sent-off for reacting to a decision made by the referee. His absence, alongside the injuries which forced off both Stephen Finnegan and Armstrong, allowed Quay to maintain possession around midfield with Bellurgan opting to drop off.
Substitute Vinny Smith was lively for the hosts and the winger hit the bar from a free-kick prior to Aaron Comerford halving Bellurgan's lead inside the final 10 minutes with a neat finish.
However, Bellurgan weren't to be denied as they held on for a crucial three-points.
Quay Celtic: Fergal Sheekey; Mickey Burke, Stefan McKevitt, Dean Sheil, Robbie Gavaghan, David Redmond; Drew Duffy, Cody Magill, Dennis Cholach; Martin Smith, Aaron Comerford
Subs: Vinny Smith, Seán Matthews, Shaun O'Connor
Bellurgan United: Robert Arthur; Owen Traynor, Ray Finnegan, Daragh Lafferty, John Smyth; Stephen Finnegan, Paddy Keenan, Keith Finnegan, Owen Armstrong; Barry Carr, Danny O Conner
Subs: Gavin Donnelly, Pauric Browne, Declan Sharkey, Stephen Grimes, Gavin Gaffey