Bellurgan’s Ciarán Sheelan and OMP goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
NEFL Premier Division
Bellurgan United 1 OMP United 3
A poor second-half showing cost Bellurgan United victory on Sunday morning as OMP United left Flynn Park with the spoils.
Wayne Conroy's men were ahead at the break with Ciarán Sheelan's opportunist play forcing them in front, however, a bad start to the second-half saw OMP turn the tables by scoring twice in the first eight-minutes.
And United were rocked by a third concession as full-time approached, an incident where they also lost centre-half Daragh Lafferty to injury. The young defender will be in something of a fitness race ahead of Friday night's mouthwatering derby clash with Muirhevna Mor in Dundalk.
Bellurgan ought to have been three-goals to the good at the break considering their strong showing prior to half-time. Paddy Keenan sliced wide from the edge of the area before Sheelan put them in front. A long ball forward took a bounce in front of OMP 'keeper Conor Gilsenan, a twist which allowed the Bellurgan striker to nip in ahead of him and head to the net.
It really should have been made 2-0 by Owen Amstrong before half-time when a Gilsenan fumble presented the forward with a clear opening, however, his powerful shot rose over the top.
And their missed opportunities were punished when David Bowens tied OMP level with a neat finish behind the Bellurgan cover before the Meath side took the lead from the penalty spot. John Smyth challenged Bowens from behind with the referee left with little option but to point to the spot, from which Jamie Blake scored past Seamus Quigley despite the Bellurgan 'keeper getting a glove on it.
The home side's attacking prowess in second-half was limited. Subs Seán McEvoy and Declan Sharkey put across dangerous deliveries, though, with nobody there to convert, Bellurgan were hit hard at the other end as Bowens raced clear to end the match as a contest.
Bellurgan United: Seamus Quigley; Aoghan McGuinness, Daragh Finnegan, Ray Finnegan, John Smyth; Stephen Finnegan, Brian White, Paddy Keenan, Shane Finnegan; Owen Armstrong, Ciarán Sheelan
Subs: Declan Sharkey, Seán McEvoy, Daniel McDonald, Gavin Donnelly