Ardee St Marys suffered their second defeat in six days on the opening night of the Louth GAA league season on Saturday – going down to a 3-14 to 3-10 defeat to Cooley Kickhams in Division 1.
Goals early and late in the first half handed meant that the Marys trailed 2-05 to 0-07 at the interval and despite best efforts when the match resumed, Hugh Durrigan’s side were unable to turn the tide – going down to a four point defeat.
Robbie Leavy, Darren Clarke and Alan Kirk scored the Blues goals in the second half in North Louth, with Clarke especially rolling back the years with a tally of 1-05, including three frees. Kirk ended in 1-03 while Paudy Clarke and Kian Moran added points of their own.
ARDEE ST MARYS: Peter Duffy, Eamon Callaghan, Karl Faulkner, Niall Carroll, Conor Keenan, Eimhin Keenan, Brendan Matthews, Ronan Carroll, Robbie Leavy (1-00), Daire McConnon, Darren Clarke (1-05), Kian Moran (0-01), Alan Kirk (1-03), Paudy Clarke (0-01), John Bingham. Sub: Mark Fay for Niall Carroll.
In Division 2, Hunterstown Rovers got off to an absolute flyer in the league by travelling to the Gaelic Grounds and beating O’Raghallaighs 2-13 to 0-07 on Saturday evening. Ryan Burns, the Louth star more than familiar with the county ground surrounds, scored 1-04 while Alan Landy also hit the net en route to scoring 1-03.
Rovers have endured a difficult start to 2017 by losing all three Paddy Sheelan Cup group games but they beat Na Piarsaigh last week and have followed it up with a rousing victory over the Drogheda outfit who started well but offered less and less resistance as the game wore on.
Jim Mathews – who himself was in charge of O’Raghallaighs for the last three years – is back at the helm of Rovers and will hope this result is a sign of things to come as Rovers look to make a charge towards the top of the division.
HUNTERSTOWN ROVERS: Niall Carrie, Keith Brennan, Brian Mathews, Richie Cunningham, Muiris O Suilleabhain, Paul Carrie, Patrick Taaffe, Tony McKenna, David Finn, Brendan Lennon (0-03), Padraig Mathews (0-02), Paddy Mooney, Alan Landy (1-03), Ryan Burns (1-04), Glen Matthews (0-01). Sub: Patrick Matthews for Padraig Mathews.
There was lots of local interest down in Division 3. Sean McDermotts ended a very difficult week for the club by taking to the field for their league opener against Naomh Malachi in Mountrush. Before throw-in, Seans observed a minute silence for club legend John Doran who passed away on Wednesday.
They trailed by two points at the break and were level late on before a late NM score condemed Brian Carroll’s men to the narrowest of defeats 1-09 t0 0-11 in favour of the side from Hackballscross. Tony Kelly top scored for the Seans with 0-05.
SEAN MCDERMOTTS: Alan O’Neill, David Balfe, Sean McMahon, Kevin McGahon, Lorcan Ludden, Kevin Carroll, Danny Reilly, Patrick Osborne, Kevin McMahon (0-02), Ian Corbally, Ronan Curran (0-01), Lee Ross (0-01), David O’Neill (0-02), Tony Kelly (0-05), BJ Matthews. Subs: Peter Osborne for BJ Matthews, Mark McEneaney for David Balfe.
The Mitchels didn’t have too far to travel on the opening night – heading for Philipstown to face St Kevins. Whilst the journey was a short one, the task was set to a considerable one given they were coming up against the reigning JFC winners.
After matching their hosts in the first 15 minutes, the Kevins soon surged away and struck their opeing goal soon after. The Ballybailie men trailed 1-11 to 0-06 points at half time and that lead was only extended in the second half. St Kevins won 3-19 to 1-13 in the end. Mikey Nulty got the Mitchels goal while Robbie Coyle and Conor Reilly were amongst the points.
JOHN MITCHELS: David Anderson, Connell Keenan, Alan Mackin (0-01), Gareth Finnegan, Anto Coyle, Kevin Gallagher, Sam Bingham, Steven Coyle, Aaron Keely (0-01), Ben O’Brien (0-01), Robbie Coyle, Mikey Nulty (1-02) Gareth Kane (0-01), Conor Reilly (0-04), Ryan Nulty. Subs: Cathal Bradley for Alan Mackin, Emmet Ward for Anthony Coyle, James Clarke, Mitchel Keenan.
The Westerns made the trip to north to Dowdallshill and took home a point to kick start their league campaign. The men from Reaghstown were without Tommy Durnin and came away having played out a 0-13 to 1-10 draw. That was despite scoring four unanswered points late on to go ahead. Next up for them is the visit of St Brides B on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Glyde Rangers played out a thrilling 4-07 to 3-10 draw with Roche Emmets in Tallanstown while Stabannon Parnells will travel to Dunleer to take on Lann Leire on Tuesday evening.
Round Two Fixtures
- DIV 1- Ardee St Marys vs Geraldines (Sunday, 3pm)
- DIV 2 – Hunterstow Rovers vs Dundalk Young Irelands (Sunday, 3pm)
- DIV 3 – Roche Emmets vs Sean McDermotts (Sunday, 3pm)
- DIV 3 – John Mitchels vs Dowdallshill (Sunday, 3pm)
- DIV 3 – Westerns GFC vs St Brides B (Saturday, 7pm)