Duleek and Kells end all square

April 24, 2005
It was a clash of two of the intermediate grade titans as Duleek and Gaeil Colmcille squared up to each other in this eagerly awaited tie with the spoils being shared. Duleek 1-5 Gaeil Colmcille 0-8 Last years beaten finalists and the team relegated from the senior ranks locked horns at Walterstown on Saturday evening, and at the final whistle nothing could separate the sides. Both sides have undoubted desire to be involved come September, bidding to regain senior status and this was evident here, as they fought tooth and nail for every ball that came their way. It had many characteristics of a senior encounter; with its hard-hitting nature but in truth the game was never really allowed to flow. Kells opened the scoring as early as the 4th minute but were pegged back instantaneously by Duleek's Peter Curran. Again Kells edged in front and should have been further in front only for Duleek's goalkeeper Ricky Nolan catching a ball, which appeared to be going over the crossbar! Curran caught a superb Gordon Hynes free kick and left his marker for dead, equalising again for Duleek. Kells then upped the tempo, perfect balls were floated into their two man full forward line and although putting up a strong resistance, Kevin Smith and Mark Cudden could not stop their respective men both adding points and opening up a 2 point lead, as big a difference as their was to be between the sides for the entire game. Kenny McDonnell reduced the deficit and the tireless work of both Duleek midfielders, Tony Cunningham and Karl McDonnell paid off when they fed Curran to again level proceedings. Kells added another free before to leave the minimum between the sides at half time, Duleek 0-4 to Kells' 0-5. Kells obviously were hurt by losing their senior status and want to go straight back up; they again opened up a two point lead at the beginning of the second half. Curran responded from a free for Duleek but he seemed to be the only scoring threat from the Duleek forwards, which contained, a fit again, Conall McGinley and Meath minor panellist Chris Carney. Tony Andrews was always working frantically to win back possession for Duleek but their poor choice of passes and handling errors were far too numerous. Bryan Cudden was introduced for Carney as a Kells free stretched their lead further and that substitution was to pay instant dividend for Duleek. Davy Crosby broke up a Kells attack and found Cudden in space on the halfway line, his fresh legs were obviously too much for his marker as he sped by him with consummate ease, he had options both left and right as he bared down on goal, but he chose to shoot. His shot was blocked down but only went as far as Colin Duignan, who picked his spot out and finished to the back of the Kells net. This gave Duleek the lead for the first time but unfortunately it was to be their last score of the game. Kells equalised with a questionable free and both sides proceeded to miss guilt edge chances to gain victory. Hynes pummelled forward and somehow hit a post with a point looking a certainty. The usually reliable right boot of Curran missed two difficult but kickable frees. Cudden and McGinley then missed great chances to win the game for Duleek but in the end a draw seemed a fair result for both sides, as they remain unbeaten. Best for Duleek were Ricky Nolan, Tony Cunningham, Karl McDonnell and Tony Andrews. Duleek - R. Nolan, D. Teelan, K. Smith, M. Cudden, D. Crosby, P. Martin, G. Hynes, Karl McDonnell, T. Cunningham, C. Carney, Kenneth McDonnell (0:1), C. McGinley, T. Andrews, C. Duignan (1:0), P. Curran (0:4,1f)

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