Hunterstown Rovers and John Mitchels were the big winners locally over the weekend as they secured semi-final spots in thir respective Shield and Plate competitions – plundering eight goals between in doing so.
After a truncated start, the 2017 Louth GAA club season is finally getting into full swing – and with the league kick-off coming next weekend, local clubs contested their respective Paddy Sheelan Cup & Shield and Kevin Mullen Shield & Plate knockout fixtures over the weekend just past.
As reported on ThisIsArdee.ie on Sunday, Ardee St Marys’ defence of their 2016 Paddy Sheelan Cup ended on Sunday afternoon as Mattock Rangers made the short journey from Collon and came away with a 1-10 to 0-09 win over the Ardee men.
Without Ronan Carroll, John Bingham and others the Marys never really hit any kind of a rthymn against Rangers and scored just two first half points through Alan Kirk and Robbie Leavy. After the interval, braces from Daire McConnon, Darren Clarke and Paudy Clarke helped keep the Blues in the game but Mattock Rangers always kept their noses in front.
The Marys pushed for a goal late on, but Rangers resisted. Kian Moran scored the home side’s other point.
In the Paddy Sheelan Shield, Hunterstown Rovers’ senior team picked up their first win of 2017 with a comprehensive 3-17 to 1-07 win over Na Piarsigh at Pairc Baile Fiach. The Dundalk men had no answer to Rovers’ attacking thrust and trailed by 10 points at the break.
Corner forward Alan Landy hit 1-07 of Hunterstown’s total, including 0-05 in a blistering first half performance. Brendan Lennon’s goal helped Jim Mathews’ side establish big lead in the opening 30 minutes. Landy’s second half goal was added to by Wally McKenna who also hit the net.
Lennon, McKenna, David Finn, Ryan Ward, Glen Mathews (0-04), Alex Marrinan and Muiris O’Suilleabhain got the other points – but the game was marred by an ankle injury to key midfielder Ward, which left manager Mathews bemoaning the home pitch.
Like Hunterstown, John Mitchels GFC began 2017 in inauspicious circumstances – failing to take any points from their Kevin Mullen Shield group games. Of the two they played, they suffered narrow defeats. And on Sunday in Dowdallshill, they showed they might be capable of competing towards the middle of the Division 3 table when the league campaign gets underway next weekend.
A comfortable 5-05 to 0-12 win over Dowdallshill in the Kevin Mullen Plate quarter final points to that. It was only a late splurge from the hosts that narrowed that gap to an eight point deficit. The goals came from the full forward line. Conor Reilly scored 2-01 and Barry Kirk got two goals of his own while Steven Coyle also netted for Ballybailie men.
Robbie Coyle contributed three points and Ben O’Brien also split the posts on a good day for the Mitchels. Also competing in the Shield, the Westerns quarter-final clash with Cuchulainn Gaels has been postponed and will be played at a later date.
The Sean McDermotts qualified for the last eight of the Kevin Mullen Shield by virtue of a win over Lann Leire in the group stage but their match with Naomh Malachi scheduled for Sunday was postponed after Seans player TJ Duffy was critically injured in an assualt in Carrickmacross on Saturday morning.
Also on Sunday, Glyde Rangers and St Kevins qualified for the last four of the Kevin Mullen Shield courtesy of wins over Lann Leire and Stabannon Parnells.
Under 16s on Tour
The Louth GAA Development Squad travelled to Kerry this weekend to play a host of friendly matches againt county and club teams. Darragh McCoy, Jay Crawley, Nathan Buckley, Jonathon Commins, James McGillick, (all Ardee St Marys), Bobby Butterly (Stabannon Parnells) and Cathal Fleming (Mattock Rangers) were the locally based players involved.
Playing four matches, the squad played twice on Saturday – losing 2-09 to 4-13 against Kerry and then 2-10 to 4-07 against Laune Rangers Under 18s. On Sunday, they went down 4-12 to 3-18 against a West Kerry selection before completing the trip in Rathkeale on Monday, beating Limerick 2-14 to 1-11.