Dundrum 2-06 Belnaleck 2-13.

“I’ve had worse days,” was the understated response of Gerry Flanagan, Belnaleck manager, when reflecting on his side’s stunning seven-point win over Down champions Dundrum in the first round of the Ulster Club Junior Championship.
The Art MacMurroughs were quite simply scintillating, especially in the first half, as they put themselves one step closer to a provincial final. 
At the break they were eight points to the good, restricting Dundrum to just a single point while shooting nine in return.
“It was an excellent performance. Maybe not the very best that we have played all year but it would be close to it,” the Belnaleck boss stated after the game. There is perhaps an element of trying to keep feet on the ground in Flanagan’s response as his side could scarcely have produced a better standard of play.
With the exception of a brief spell after the break that saw Dundrum shoot 1-01 without reply Belnaleck were on top all over the pitch. 
The Cullen twins in defence and Dermot Lewsley in the middle of the field were all in dominant form while in attack Darragh McGurn, Bryan Owens and the brilliant Ciaran McBrien were simply too hot to handle for the Down men.
McBrien set the tone for the entire afternoon with a point from play in the opening minute to give his side a lead they would never relinquish. 
McBrien doubled his side’s and his own tally moments later before Joey Heavey slotted over to open up a three-point advantage in as many minutes.
Dundrum was to respond with their only score of the opening half with Kieran Walsh slotting over a free kick. The Down men were to lose Sean Willoughby to a black card and their afternoon was to get even worse as the visitors completely took over for the remainder of the first half. 
Six points in total were scored in the remaining 21 minutes.
McBrien, who was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch clipped over two further points from play with Bryan Owens also getting in on the act with Dermot Lewsley with a well struck 45’ and Darragh McGurn completing the scoring.
Kyle Glavin hit a point for Dundrum immediately upon the restart and this was followed up by a three-pointer with Eamon King rattling the net to raise the hopes of the home support. The eight-point half time lead had suddenly been halved and there was all to play for as the Down men had the momentum.
This wasn’t to last for long however as Peter Monaghan was on hand to raise a green flag at the far end to once again put the Fermanagh champions in the driving seat. They kept the foot on the pedal and hit two further scores that knocked the stuffing out of their opponents with Owens from play and Heavey from a free the men on target.
By the three-quarter mark, things had got even better for Belnaleck with McBrien adding two further points from play in what was a truly sensational individual performance. Dundrum responded with two scores of their own but the game was all but over as the clock ticked down to full time.
There was still time for two late foals however with Darragh McGurn first shooting to the net for the visitors followed by a consolation effort from the Down men.
In the end, seven points separated the sides and in truth, it didn’t flatter the Art MacMurroughs in any way and there is no doubt that they have a team well capable of an assault on an Ulster title;
“There has been a massive effort put in since the county final. Everyone has put their shoulder to the wheel and really rowed in behind the cause and you can see the result on the pitch,” Flanagan stated before turning his attention to the Derry champions Doire Trasna, who were 4-09 to 0-10 winners over Armagh champions Ballyhegan in the Athletic Grounds over the weekend.
“We don’t know anything about them at the minute but we will get our homework done and be ready for them. Sunday was bonus territory and this is more bonus territory, but we are going to enjoy and do everything we can to keep things going,” commented Flanagan.