Ardee St Marys returned to winning ways on Tuesday evening by spanking bottom side Kilkerley Emmets by 4-17 to 1-08 in Dundalk – with Ryan Rooney marking his return to senior action by bagging all four goals.
The Marys viewed the game against basement boys Kilkerley as the perfect opportunity to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Newtown Blues and thus it proved. It’s especially key ahead of the visit of Collon’s Mattock Rangers to Ardee on Saturday.
The win puts the Blues back within touching distance of the top of the division ahead of attentions turning to Championship matters in July. After last night’s round, just one point separates the top five teams in the league – Dreadnots and Naomh Mairtin both have 10 points, with the Marys, Clan na Gael and Sean O’Mahony’s in hot pursuit.
Making his first senior start back having returned from college in the Albany in the United States, Rooney stole the limelight in the 18 point victory by hitting the back of the net four times. The youngster will likely prove pivotal in the early stages of the Championship – and the finish to the league before returning to college and soccer action in America.
He scored all four goals in the second as the Marys easily saw off the challenge of Kilkerley. Such a big winning margin seemed unlikely at half time, as a late goal from the hosts reduced the half-time deficit to just one point – 1-05 to 0-09. The second half was no mirror of what had gone before.
Within seven minutes of the restart, that lead had been extended to seven, courtesy of three points and Rooney’s opener. Ronan Carroll and Mark Fay contributed 0-04 each while Alan Kirk and Dean Matthews scored 0-03 each from the full forward line.
The Marys cruised to the win despite the loss of inter-county man John Bingham for a black card offence. The game was also notable for the return of Darren Clarke. The veteran was a substitute, marking his first appearance since suffering an arm injury against Clan na Gael in May.
ARDEE ST MARYS: Peter Duffy, Niall Carroll. John Bingham, Conor Keenan (0-01), Kian Moran (0-01), Eamon Callaghan, Wayne Matthews, Ronan Carroll (0-04), Robbie Leavy, Daire McConnon, Ryan Rooney (4-00), Mary Fay (0-04), Alan Kirk (0-03), Jamie Rooney (0-01), Dean Matthews (0-03).
Subs: Barry McCoy for John Bingham, Darren Clarke for Wayne Matthews, Cian Commins for Alan Kirk, Shane Carroll for Jamie Rooney, Robert Clarke for Ronan Carroll.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Hunterstown Rovers suffered their first league defeat of the season as they went down 0-13 to 1-11 against St Josephs. Hunterstown had to play a large chunk of the second half with 14 men after Padraig Matthews was dismissed for two bookable offences in quick succession.
In a dominant display, Rovers were guilty of failing to put the Joes to bed early on in Dromiskin. Without Ryan Burns, their failure to capitalise fully on free kick opportunities was there for all to see. Glen Mathews and Alan Landy were among those who kicked wide when given presentable opportunities.
Jim Mathews’ side were in front when Matthews was sent off but weren’t totally derailed by their reduction in personnel. There’s no doubt they will feel unlucky to fail to take anything from the game.
In Division Three, John Mitchels were the big winners on the night. They beat Naomh Malachi 2-13 to 1-8 in Ballybailie to put some daylight between them and bottom side Dowdallshill.
Robbie Coyle and Conor Reilly notched 1-03 each along the way as the Mitchels won comfortably in the end, courtesy of a strong late show. David Anderson was beaten by a penalty early in the second half that kept things close but Hugh Diamond and Gerry Gallagher’s men picked up their second win of the season.
The victory will surely be a fillip for the Mitchels ahead of making the short hop to Stabannon on Saturday.
JOHN MITCHELS: David Anderson, Ryan Carroll, Emmett Farrell, Aaron Kane, Mitchell Anderson, Anthony Coyle, James Clarke, Aaron Keely (0-01), Kevin Gallagher (0-01), Conor Reilly (1-03), Robbie Coyle (1-03), Alan Mackin, Barry Kirk (0-01), Steven Coyle (0-01), Brendan McDonnell (0-02).
Subs: Neil Reilly (0-01) for Aaron Kane
There was a big local derby on Tuesday night – one in which Glyde Rangers beat Sean McDermotts by 0-15 to 2-04. The Tallanstown men have remained level on points with Roche Emmets atop of Division 3, with Trevor O’Brien and Brian Duffy scoring 0-05 and 0-04 respectively to edge Glyde towards the win.
The first half was fruitful for the Seans, where they notched their two goals but after the break, Glyde were comfortable in a game lacking in quality, in truth. Kevin McMahon scored the Seans first goal and then was dragged to the ground by Fiachra Sheridan. John Murphy pointed to the spot and Tony Kelly duly obliged.
With three wins and a draw from seven outings, the Seans remain comfortable in mid-table.
GLYDE RANGERS: David Brennan, Fiachra Sheridan, Cein Sheridan, Gerard Farrell, Niall Sharkey (0-1), Mark O’Brien, Conor McCullough, Ciaran Sheridan, Dion Conlon, Barry Sharkey (0-3), Conor Sheridan, Alan Brennan (0-1), Trevor O’Brien (0-5), Brian Duffy (0-4), Gavin Duffy (0-1)
Subs: Kevin Kane, JP Boyle, Barry Brennan, Niall Bird.
TUESDAY NIGHT’S LOUTH GAA LEAGUE RESULTS
- DIV 1 – Kilkerley Emmets 1-08 Ardee St Marys 4-17
- DIV 2 – St Josephs 1-11 Hunterstown Rovers 0-13
- DIV 3 – John Mitchels 2-13 Naomh Malachi 1-08
- DIV 3 – Westerns GFC 2-14 Roche Emmets 2-17
- DIV 3 – Glyde Rangers 0-15 Sean McDermotts 2-04