Ardee Celtic's Ross Gaynor. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
NEFL Premier Division
Duleek 1-2 Ardee Celtic
Ardee Celtic got their Premier Division campaign off to a flying start with a 2-1 win away to Duleek on Sunday afternoon.
Bryan O'Connor and Darryn Gaynor got the goals for the mid-Louth side.
On 29 minutes, O’Connor broke the deadlock as Darryn Gaynor’s touch from Tristan Knowles' delivery fell nicely into the striker’s path.
Duleek levelled 10 minutes before the break. James Burke’s shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Declan Butler and while Seán Kennedy knew little about it, the ball hit off the Meathman and crossed the goal-line.
Ardee enjoyed the better of the second half, going close through captain Ross Gaynor and O’Connor as the youthful visitors continued to turn the screw.
The winner eventually came when Darryn Gaynor controlled Shane Hickey’s pass and found the roof of the net.
It was a 'backs to the wall' job for John Flanagan’s team from there to the finish, but they held firm to secure a valuable opening round victory.
Ardee Celtic: Declan Butler; Aaron Roche, Ken Thornton, Ross Gaynor, Lorcan Myles; Lorcan Malone, Dean Gaynor, Tristan Knowles; Bryan O'Connor, Darryn Gaynor, Shane Hickey
Subs: Niall Sharkey, Brendan Matthews, Shawni Dowdall