Ardee Community School are Flood Cup 2017 winners – after a sensational comeback saw the boys from Ardee overturn a nine point second half deficit to beat cup holders De La Salle Dundalk 3-16 to 2-13 at the Louth GAA Centre of Excellence in Darver.
Jonathon Commins last gasp point completed the remarkable turn of the tide in the match to level the scores at 1-10 to 0-13 at the end of normal time. In extra time, the Flood-gates opened. Three goals – two from Ciaran Keenan and one from Cathal Fleming – helped Ardee St Cillians to ease past the challenge from the Dundalk school and win the Under 16 cup with a six point cushion.
Mentored by teacher and Westerns GFC man Anthony Durnin, Ardee CS made the Flood Cup final after overcoming Colaiste Ris and St Olivers in the group stage before they saw off St Josephs of Drogheda in the semi-final last month by a scoreline of 1-17 to 1-10.
@louthgaa Congrats Ardee CS ??
— Darren Clarke (@clarkie2015) April 25, 2017
After a slow start, Ardee found themselves 0-06 to 0-00 down and they couldn’t eat into that deficit by the time the half time whistle arrived, scoring just two points to De La Salle’s 1-05. Playing against the wind in the opening half, the Ardee boys knew it would be blowing in their favour in the second half – and there’s little doubt it was a contributing factor in their 0-11 point second half haul to level the game.
Ardee, who were without injured Ardee St Marys man Jay Crawley, kicked four points in two minutes through Carl Gillespie, Keenan and a brace from Trevor Matthews to kick start the comeback that ended in Commins’ last gasp equalising point.
The boys in blue scored 3-03 in the period of extra time – almost as much as they had managed in the entirety of normal time – to put their Dundalk counterparts to the sword and get their hands on the trophy. Ardee CS captain and John Mitchels GFC clubman Matthews was on hand to pick up the cup (above) at the end of a end-to-end game played in extreme conditions. Ardee ended with the wind in their sails and that was enough to seal victory.
It’s been a big few days for several members of the Ardee CS panel. On Saturday, Jackon and Keenan had lined out for Louth’s minors in their championship win over Laois at O’Moore Park while Bobby Butterly was among those involved as Louth Under 16s were also winning in Portlaoise.
After the game, teacher Mr Durnin could not speak highly enough of the winning team – lauding the players for their efforts both on and off the pitch and expressing his deight that a Mid-Louth team emerged victorious in the county-wide competition.
ARDEE CS: Craig Englishby (Mattock Rangers), Ben Quaile (Mattock Rangers), Cathal Duff (Syddan), Caolan McCabe (Hunterstown Rovers), Gavin Kirk (Ardee St Marys), Donal McKenny (Marys), Sean Sweeney (John Mitchels), Liam Jackson 0-01 (Marys), Trevor Matthews 0-02 (Mitchels), Jonathon Commins 0-05 (Marys), Ciaran Keenan 2-05 (Marys), Bobby Butterly (Stabannon Parnells), Dean Burns (Hunterstown), Cathal Fleming 1-01 (Mattock Rangers), Neill Kerr (Westerns).
Subs: Evan Malone 0-01 (Marys) for Dean Burns, Carl Gillespie 0-01 (Marys) for Cathal Duff, Tiernan Corrigan (Marys) for Bobby Butterly, Caolan O’Callaghan (Marys) for Cathal Fleming, Evan McKenna (Marys) for Sean Sweeney.
Panel: Jordan Smith, Andrew Rogers, Aaron Keenan, Dylan White, Paul Doherty, Jay Crawley (all Ardee St Marys), Aaron Hanratty (Mattock Rangers), Cathal Reynolds (Stabannon), Niall Farrell and Connor O’Brien (both Hunterstown).
Hard luck to DLS in the Flood Cul Final,after Extra-Time, congratulations to Ardee Community School!
— DLS Dundalk (@DLSDundalk) April 25, 2017
Main Photos: @LouthGAA