Westerns moved into mid-table in League Divison 3 on Saturday evening courtesy of a 1-19 to 1-09 win over Naomh Malachi as attentions now turn towards Friday night’s Junior Football Championship kick-off.
Tommy Durnin hit nine points – adding to his eight point haul in Tuesday evening’s defeat to Roche Emmets – as the Reaghstown men returning to winning ways and went level on points with local rivals Sean McDermotts in the comfort of mid-table.
Westerns were in command throughout in truth and never looked like relinquishing their early lead in Courtbane. Their four point lead at the break was added to after the interval, with Durnin once again showing his free taking prowess when handed the opportunity.
The Louth man is back in the fold with Championship affairs to begin on Friday evening. He missed last year’s campaign after spending the summer in the USA. Their reliance on his powerful presence in midfield is clear, but with eight different scorers on Saturday evening, the Westerns are keen to show there’s more to them than the talents of one man.
Early scores from Trevor Baylon and Anthony Durnin gave the visitors the lead before Naomh Malachi hit back. The North Louth side were guilty of squandering three early point chances before they got off the mark. Westerns took command after that and through scored from Baylon, Durnin, Johnnie Lynch and Conor Kerr extended their lead to six points.
The final two scores of the half came Naomh Malachi’s way to reduce the lead to four points and that was cut further as the home side struck seconds into the second period. When it seemed as if they might be pulling themselves back into the encounter, a further setback was around the corner. No sooner was Lynch guilty of two quickfire wides, Durnin struck from play and from a free to make it 0-09 to 0-04.
Malachi’s 38th minute goal did bring them back into the match but indiscipline at the back was their downfall. Durnin scored two more frees before substitute Andy Kerr netted to leave the score at 1-11 to 1-04. Terence Sweeney, Durnin and another replacement – Patrick Kerly – extended the lead.
Three points in two minutes at the midway point of the half gave the hosts a glimmer of hope but the Westerns had more than enough to see off the threat and run out comfortable 10 point victors. Having plundered a total of 61 points in their opening five league outings, the Reaghstown outfit have now managed 42 in just two games over the space of four days.
Wolfe Tones await in the opening round of the JFC on Friday, with the Westerns heavy favourites to win that one. It’s the matches against the Seans and John Mitchels which will determine their Championship fate.
WESTERNS: Ciaran Campbell, Mick Martin, Dylan Ogle, PJ Marron, Sean McGuinness, Stephen Boylan, Colin Martin, Tommy Durnin (0-09), Terence Sweeney (0-01), Ciaran Scriven, Trevor Baylon (0-03), Conor Kerr (0-01), Gerry Curtis, Anthony Durnin (0-02), Johnnie Lynch (0-01).
Subs: Shane Matthews for Stephen Boylan (31), Andy Kerr (1-00) for Ciaran Scriven (39), Patrick Kerley (0-02) for Gerry Curtis (44), Liam Hoey for Johnnie Lynch (57).
NAOMH MALACHI: Niall Bird, David Begley, David Rogers, Sean Gogarty, Peter McShane, Ronan Greene (0-02), Donal Begley, Ronan McElroy, Padraig Moley (0-02), Emmet Mullen (1-00), Collie Rooney (0-02), Ciaran Hughes, Jamie Kelly, Shane Rogers (0-01), Tiernan Gonnelly.
Subs: Pierce Caherty (0-02) for Tiernan Gonnelly.