NEFL Division Three

Larkin's last-gasp goal nets Bay a priceless point in Division Three title race

Bay FC 2 Rathmullen Celtic 2

Sports Reporter

Reporter:

Sports Reporter

Email:

sport@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Larkin's last-gasp goal nets Bay a priceless point in Division Three title race

Mark Larkin celebrates equalising for Bay FC tonight. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)

NEFL Division Three

Bay FC 2 Rathmullen Celtic 2

Mark Larkin curled home a memorable 94th-minute equaliser  for Bay FC tonight as Damien Bellew's side kept their Division Three title hopes firmly on track with a draw against second-place Rathmullen Celtic.

It had looked as if the Dundalk side were going to lose a home match for the first time this season - and top spot along with it - as the game entered the closing stages with Rathmullen having come from behind to lead.

However, when Marcel Ekwueme was fouled 20-yards from goal, Larkin stepped up and fired home to send the Bay congregation into raptures. It's a goal that could well swing the title race in Bay's favour  come the season's conclusion.

The match itself was a cracker and could have gone either way with Bay taking an early lead courtesy of Paddy Connor. Good play by Larkin down the left saw him cut back for Connor who swept home left-footed from the edge of the area.

Former Drogheda United skipper Seán Thornton, who featured in a hard-fought midfield battle with Bay's Jimmy Byrne and Connor, levelled for Rathmullen after an initial stop by Bay 'keeper Kevin Mullen - who had an outstanding match. And the match was turned totally on its head as Rathmullen went to the break in front.

The second-half brought chances for Byrne and Gavin Toner, though Mullen had to be alert at the other end to ensure Bay remained in touch and how vital those stops proved as Larkin was on hand to rescue the hosts a deserved share of the spoils in the dying embers.

Bay FC: Kevin Mullen; Robbie Rafferty, Johnny Winters, Mario Kolak, Gavin Toner; Michael Burke, Jimmy Byrne, Paddy Connor, Alfonso Crespo; Mark Larkin, Marcel Ekwueme

Subs: Quadri Oluwu for Burke, Kevin Scollon, Aaron Kelly, Angelo Stanley, Ryan Dillon, Brendan Nash, Brian McCloskey