Duleek-Bellewstown posted their first points of the hoganstand.com SFC Group A with a narrow round two win over Rathkenny at Simonstown on Sunday afternoon.
Graham Geraghty's charges absorbed a lot of Rathkenny pressure in damp conditions in the final quarter to fend off a Duleek-Bellewstown rally.
Duleek-Bellewstown were never headed while the scores were twice level during an hour of mediocre fare.
Rathkenny hopes of extracting something from this fixture were underminded by five final quarter wides and total of 13. Duleek-Bellewstown were marginally more economical with 10 wides.
Playing with the elements in the final quarter, Duleek-Bellewstown seemed content to allow Rathkenny come onto them before catching them on the counter attack.
A Sean Mongey free got Rathkenny to within two points of the east county side with time almost up before John Flood closed the scoring with assistance from Mark Collins.
In the 59th minute Thomas Martin came close to netting for Rathkenny but his angled effort flashed across the goal at the racecourse end
The teams came into the game on the heavy round one defeats with Duleek-Bellewstown losing to Dunboyne and Rathkenny succumbing to Summerhill.
The first-half yielded more wides (11) than scores (nine). By the end 17 points were registered but 23 wides.
At the very least the outcome boosts Duleek-Bellewstown's bid to avoid being drawn into the relegation play-offs while leaving Rathkenny with a task to retain senior status.
Two early Conal McGinley pointed frees gave Duleek-Bellewstown the early advantage and when Padraig Howard posted the game's first score from play they were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after nine minutes.
Duleek-Bellewstown endured 21 scoreless minutes as Rathkenny gradually gained parity. That was achieved through Thomas Martin in the 29th minute.
The team in green responded through Michael Dowling to lead by 0-5 to 0-4 at the break.
Stephen Crosbie got Ratkenny back on terms in the 33rd minute. John Flood countered with a 36rd minute point that gave Duleek-Bellewstown a lead they maintained to the end.
Duleek-Bellewstown - Ricky Nolan; Shane Crosby, Michael Dowling (0-1), John McDonnell; John Flood (0-2 1f), Padraig Howard (0-1), Jason Brannigan; Kevin McCann, Mark Collins; Stephen Nolan, Conal McGinley (0-5 4fs), Stephen McArdle; Cianan Byrne (0-1), Eanna Byrne, David Moore. Subs - Shane Townley for E Byrne (40), James Murphy for Howard (47).
Rathkenny - Colin Curtis; Joe Gore, James Macken, Niall Brannigan; Stephen Crosbie (0-1), Donal Keogan (0-1), Thomas McGuinness; Brian Meade, Christopher Meade; Caolach Halligan (0-1), Brian Lenihan (0-2fs), Ivan Lenihan; Thomas Martin (0-1), Stephen McCabe, Keith Timmons. Subs - Robbie Garry for Halligan (27), Sean Mongey (0-1f) for Timmons (ht), Michael Macken for B Lenihan (43), Donal Curtis for C Meade (53).
Referee - Martin Griffin (Simonstown)Tweet