NEFL | Handbags at the death as ‘Enya’ snatches a late point for the Quay
NEFL Premier Division | Duleek 2–2 Quay Celtic
There was a feisty ending to Sunday’s NEFL Premier Division clash between Quay Celtic and Duleek at the Tollstone as Eanna McArdle’s late equaliser rescued the Point Road side a share of the spoils.
Played on a very difficult surface which made things extremely scrappy, both sides were evenly matched in the opening 25 minutes with Quay defending well against the elements.
That all changed when a needless lunge by centre-back Dean Sheil resulted in Duleek being awarded a penalty and former junior international Barry Kavanagh made no mistake, beating John Rogers from the spot.
Despite the setback, Quay started to really motor after that and player-manager Martin Smith was unlucky to lose his footing just as he was about to tap home an equaliser at the back post.
Wing-back Dave Redmond then went on a mazy run that saw him beat a couple of Duleek defenders and take him into the home side’s penalty area.
Despite being clipped, Redmond stayed on his feet and picked out Shaun O’Connor at the back post but he couldn’t divert his effort on target.
The pressure eventually told in the 40th minute as Quay restored parity with a fine goal. Cody Magill’s clipped pass over the top was controlled by Aaron Comerford with his first touch and the striker rifled home with his second from a narrow angle.
The second-half saw the Dundalk side in the ascendancy again but, not for the first time this season, they were caught on the counter attack with Rogers beaten by Caelan Duff’s finish.
The hosts were incensed when Cormac McGroggon had a goal disallowed after the referee failed to play an advantage and their mood darkened as Quay went in search of another equaliser.
Conall McArdle looked like he was the one to get it in the 86th minute but after taking a touch and setting himself, his well-struck drive across the face of goal crashed back off the inside of the post.
Quay, however, refused to throw in the towel and they got their just rewards in the fifth minute of stoppage time after Vinny Smith’s volley was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar.
A scramble ensued from the resulting corner and with Rogers causing mischief in the Duleek penalty area, man of the match Denis Cholach showed great composure to head the ball across the face of goal for Eanna McArdle to stab home from close range.
The Quay celebrations didn’t sit well with the home side, resulting in a bout of handbags at the end, but although it might have been a case of two points dropped, the manner in which they secured a draw meant the trip home was a happy one for the Clancy Park outfit.
Quay remain in third place, four points behind league leaders Boyne Harps who they entertain at Clancy Park this Friday night at 8pm.
QUAY CELTIC: John Rogers; Denis Cholach, Dean Sheil, Stefan McKevitt; Shaun O’Connor, Cody Magill, Eanna McArdle, Conall McArdle (Niall McLaughlin 75), Dave Redmond (Sean Mathews 70); Aaron Comerford, Martin Smith (Vinny Smith 60). Sub not used: Drew Duffy.
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