Muirhevna Mor's Micky O'Kane and Niall Sharkey of Ardee Celtic. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
NEFL Premier Division
Muirhevna Mor 1-1 Ardee Celtic
Ardee Celtic picked up an unlikely point on Friday night as they put an end to Muirhevna Mor’s blazing, 100% start to the NEFL Premier Division season.
And it could even have been better for the Deesiders, who took the lead midway through the second half, only for Philip Duffy to draw the hosts level in the closing quarter.
Ardee, who were looking to get back on track after successive defeats, to Boyne Harps and Bellurgan United respectively, began the brighter and had Blues ‘keeper Michael Cooney under pressure. Shawni Dowdall and Darren Gaynor both had efforts on goal.
The ‘Mor were restricted to longer range efforts for much of the contest, though strikers Martin and Vinny Smith looked dangerous when supply was forthcoming.
Ardee broke the deadlock on 66 minutes when Bryan O’Connor’s lofted pass was buried brilliantly beyond Cooney by Dowdall.
A shock was firmly on the cards at that stage. However, Paudi Hearty was able to introduce the likes of Tiarnan Mulvenna and Micky O’Kane into the fold as the Blues upped their game.
And with 12 minutes to go, Duffy shot through a mass of bodies, his effort somehow finding its way to the net.
A point which will please Ardee manager John Flanagan, but it could have been three.
Muirhevna Mor: Michael Cooney; Brian Begley, Robbie Gavaghan, Niall Hearty, Jimmy Cooney; Gary Clarke, Philip Duffy, Thomas McShane, Brendan Hughes; Vinny Smith, Martin Smith
Subs: Cody Magill, Tiarnan Mulvenna, Micky O’Kane, Colin Finan, Adrian Rafferty
Ardee Celtic: Stuart Reynolds; Ken Thornton, John Flanagan, Ross Gaynor, Aaron Roche; Shawni Dowdall, Lorcan Malone, Niall Sharkey; Tristan Knowles, Darryn Gaynor, Bryan O’Connor
Sub: Robbie Reynolds