Round four of the Louth GAA League took place on Saturday evening and a third of the way into the campaign, Ardee St Marys and Hunterstown Rovers find themselves sitting pretty at the top of Division’s 1 and 2 respectively.
The Marys suffered an opening day defeat away to Cooley Kickhams but three wins on the bounce since sees them join Naomh Mairtin at the Division 1 summit, the latest win a 0-10 to 0-08 win over Clan na Gael in Dundalk yesterday evening. Four point Daire McConnon and penalty save hero Peter Duffy proved the Marys matchwinners at Pairc Clan na Gael.
The Blues burst out of the traps quickly, establishing a four point lead inside ten minutes courtesy of Mark Fay, McConnon, Ronan Carroll and Darren Clarke. Without John Bingham in the full back line with the Championship kick off a week away, the Marys took control early on as the Clans failed to take advantage of the wind blowing in their favour.
It was a tight enough first half though and just after the Clans got off the mark, Alan Kirk got himself on the scoresheet with his first and only point of the game. Coming after just 13 minutes, it was the Marys final score of the first half. Three unanswered points from the Dundalk men made it 0-05 to 0-04 at the break.
On the resumption, Hugh Durrigan’s side got the first score of the second half with Clarke putting over. The two sides swapped scores early in the second half with two home efforts cancelled out twice by McConnon, the second a move in which he beat three men en route to slotting over to make it 0-08 to 0-06.
Never a dull moment ? pic.twitter.com/2VInFQs6Mh
— Darren Clarke (@clarkie2015) May 13, 2017
Kian Moran added another from long range before again McConnon responded to a Clans score with one of his own with 15 minutes remaining. That was it as far as the Marys scoring went. After the home side pulled another back, they had a chance to win the game however, but when referee Tommy Mc Enteggart gave the Clans a penalty in injury time, Duffy stood tall to save and preserve the Marys two point lead – and put two more points on the board. A win is welcomed but the loss of the experienced Clarke with a serious looking injury in the second half (above) wasn’t.
ARDEE ST MARYS: Peter Duffy, Eamon Callaghan, Niall Carroll, David Carroll, Brendan Matthews, Eimhin Keenan, Wayne Matthews, Ronan Carroll (0-01), Robbie Leavy, Jamie Rooney, Darren Clarke (0-02), Alan Kirk (0-01), Mark Fay (0-01), Kian Moran (0-01), Daire McConnon (0-04).
Subs: Shane Carroll for Jamie Rooney, Dean Matthews for Darren Clarke, Mark Gorman for Wayne Matthews.
In our main featured game this weekend, we were in Hunterstown as Jim Mathews’ Hunterstown Rovers continued their 100% start to the campaign with a 3-07 to 0-09 win over St Fechins. On a wet and windy evening, this proved to be Rovers’ toughest test yet as like them, the Termonfeckin men came into the game with three wins from three in the league.
Wasteful in front of the posts, St Fechins failed to build up a lead of any substance in the opening period and Hunterstown took full advantage with goals from Padraig Mathews and Paul Carrie, the second an incredibly fortuitous finish via some calmitous defending on the goalline.
Mathews bagged his second goal of the game late on as Hunterstown wrapped things up with Alan Landy, Brendan Lennon, David Finn and Glen Mathews all putting over. You can read the full match report from Pairc Baile Fiach here.
HUNTERSTOWN ROVERS: Niall Carrie, Richard Cunningham, Brian Mathews, Martin Lennon, Keith Brennan, Paul Carrie (1-0), Patrick Taaffe, Tony McKenna, David Finn (0-01), Paddy Mooney (0-01), Padraig Mathews (2-01), Brendan Lennon (0-01), Alan Landy (0-02), Muiris O’Suillebhain, Glen Mathews (0-01).
As ever there was lots of local interest in Division 3, with the big game in the area being the derby clash between Sean McDermotts and Westerns GFC. Last week, the men from Reaghstown emerged victorious in the Division 6 clash that acted as a taster for this main event between the sides. On Saturday evening, it was the Seans that ran out comprehensive 2-13 to 2-04 winners.
In truth, there only ever looked like one team in this one. The Seans missed a hatful of chances in front of posts and goal in the opening 30 minutes and could have been out of sight. As it was they lead 1-07 to 1-00 at the interval with the Westerns goal coming with the last kick of the half.
Tony Kelly and Kevin McMahon were in rampant form in the forward line whilst Danny Commins and Emmett Duffy were among those impressing further back. Despite a closer second half, the Seans had enough firepower to extend their lead further, Kelly and Patrick Osbourne hitting the back of the net for them.
At the fourth attempt, it’s a first league win for Brian Carroll’s side. The Westerns – without star man Tommy Durnin – lose for the second straight round and outside of their walkover award against a St Brides team that couldn’t field, they’re without a league ‘victory’.
SEAN MCDERMOTTS: Mark McEneaney, David Balfe, Ciaran McMahon, Kevin McGahon, Danny Reilly, Sean McMahon, Danny Commins, Emmett Duffy, Patrick Osbourne, Ian Corbally, Kevin Carroll, David O’Neill (0-03), Kevin McMahon (0-05), Tony Kelly (1-04), Peter Osbourne (1-01).
Subs: Lorcan Myles, Ronan Curran, Lee Ross, Alan O’Neill, BJ Matthews, Phelim Myles, Aaron Myles, Brian Melia, Lorcan Ludden.
Out in Ballybailie, Glyde Rangers enjoyed an even bigger margin of victory as they saw off the challenge of John Mitchels by a score of 1-14 to 0-06, a win that keeps the Tallanstown men and Roche Emmets battling it out for supremacy at the top of the division.
Brian Duffy was the main man for Glyde, scoring eight points while Dion Conlon bagged their goal in the second half. Despite Gareth Kane’s early opening score, Rangers soon took command with six unanswered points. Duffy had five points for hmself by the break with Alan Brennan, Trevor O’Brien and Conlon weighing in to give their side a 0-09 to 0-02 lead at the break.
It could have been much, much worse for Mitchels had they not the excellent David Anderson to call upon in between the sticks. He saved from brothers Brian and Gavin Duffy and Aaron Devlin too to keep the score down.
The Mitchels moved Stephen Coyle from midfield to full forward in a bid to start totting up some scores but it was no use, with Cein Sheridan and Mark O’Brien performing well in the full back line for the visitors. The game’s only goal came when Dion Conlon’s point effort fell short. With Devlin attempting to flick in, the ball managed to slip by both and Anderson before nestling in the goal.
Whilst the floodgates never quite opened for Rangers, further points from the brothers Duffy sealed the win with late scores from Emmett Farrell and Coyle coming for the Mitchels.
JOHN MITCHELS: David Anderson, Anthony Coyle, Alan Mackin, Gareth Finnegan, Ryan Carroll, Aaron Kane, Sam Bingham, Steven Coyle (0-01), Aaron Keely, Rory Durnin, James Clarke, Mitchell Keenan, Gareth Kane (0-01), Mikey Nulty, Ben O’Brien (0-03).
Subs: Brendan McMahon, Kevin Gallagher, Emmett Farrell (0-01).
GLYDE RANGERS: David Brennan, Fiachra Sheridan, Cein Sheridan, Gerard Farrell, Conor McCullough, Mark O’Brien, Peter Duffy, Dion Conlon (1-00), Ciaran Sheridan (0-01), Aaron Devlin, Conor Sheridan, Alan Brennan (0-01), Trevor O’Brien (0-02), Brian Duffy (0-08), Gavin Duffy (0-01).
Subs: Barry Brennan, JP Boyle, Niall Sharkey.