Crusaders and Donegal Celtic shared a meaningless point in the final Group C game of the CIS Cup at Seaview last night.
With Crusaders having already qualified for the quarter-finals along with group winners Cliftonville, the unimportance of this affair was best displayed by both teams who struggled to create a single highlight between them in 90 minutes.
It was no surprise that both sides ended up scoreless at the interval - and again at full-time - given the fare on show, though Donegal Celtic did more probing in front of goal than the hosts.
Crusaders' Chris Morrow was unlucky not to have given his side a 19th minute lead when he beat advancing goalkeeper Declan Brown to the ball, but saw his flicked header float just over the Celtic crossbar.
The second period continued in the same vain with both teams having ample usage of the ball but doing little with it. A surprising feature giving the corresponding fixture at Celtic Park produced seven goals, four in favour of last night's hosts.
Eight minutes before the end Celtic survived an anxious moment when Brown could only deflect Eamon McAllister's cross across the face of his goal and with substitute David Rainey lurking, the Hoops were fortunate to clear the ball.
Young forward CJ McGourty had strong first-half claims for a penalty turned down my referee Stephen Weatherall.
No doubt Celtic boss Paddy Kelly will be happy though as this was the first occasion his side had not suffered defeat to the Crues in senior football.
CRUSADERS: Hogg, Spence, McBride, Doherty, Smyth, Murray, Morrow, McAllister, Coulter, Reilly, Emerson. Subs: Rainey, Bond, Lenaghan, Magowan, Dempster.
DONEGAL CELTIC: Brown, Bonner, Donaghy, Cardwell, Gargan, McAlorum, Munster, McGourty, Armstrong, Bradley, McVeigh. Subs: Lavery, McDonald, Harbinson, Crawford, Heaney.
Referee: Stephen Weatherall (N'breda)