Sean McDermotts kept their chances of progression to the last eight of the Louth GAA Anglo Printers Junior Football Championship alive on Thursday evening as they comfortably saw off Wolfe Tones 2-11 to 0-06 in Stabannon.
Tony Kelly’s first half goal helped the men from Mid-Louth to a six point advantage at the break and as plucky as the youthful Wolfe Tones team were, ultimately they offered little in the realm of genuine resistance to the big Seans outfit. Kevin Carroll’s second half goal saw his side surge into an always unassailable lead.
The business of bouncing back after last week’s surprise defeat to John Mitchels was the chief concern for Brian Carroll and his side in Stabannon in the first game of this double header and from the off, they were keen to show just why many consider them to have an impact in the latter stages of this year’s Championship.
In last week’s defeat, where the Seans chased the entire game, Carroll made no substitutions in 60 minutes of play – perhaps highlighting the paucity of options available to him as he bids to improve performance mid-game.
He was boosted ahead of round two with the return of Patrick Osbourne after suspension. He linked up with brother Peter in midfield and there was no such need for any cavalry from the bench on Thursday night.
After a flurry of early misses from both teams – Jordan Duffy and Jamie McCormack hit wide for the Tones while Kelly smashed a shot off the bar two minutes in – arrived before the game’s first score, courtesy of Kelly. Emmett Duffy followed with another soon after.
He followed that up with another when he found himself in plenty of room, central and in front of the posts. The Tones were combative and decent in the tackle. Paddy Fanning especially stood in out in the full back line.
But they were unable to prevent the Seans opening goal on 14 minutes. Kevin McMahon took in a high ball and fed Kelly who evaded the challenge of Graham Fanning and goalkeeper Chris Eustace to fire in.
The Tones had possession but lacked the physical presence of the Seans. The Osbournes, Emmett Duffy and Tony Kelly exemplified that, while Leigh Ross and Lorcan Myles aren’t ones shirk a challenge either.
Their failure to take chances when they came their way was also proving their undoing, as it did last week in a promising performance in Tallanstown. That said, they did stay in the game.
Before the break, Danny Reilly and David O’Neill scored further points either side of Darren Weldon’s point, coming in off the line to fire over with his right foot. Gideon Lugoye’s free and Barry Reilly’s effort reduced the arrears further before Myles’ scored a fine point to get the Seans off the mark for the second half.
With the gap at five, the game fell foul to a number of stoppages. Myles and Peter Osbourne put seven points between the times with a couple of scored in 60 seconds – 1-08 to 0-04. Just after the midway point of the of the half, Carroll beat both Eustace and Kevin Collier to Duffy’s high ball. His fisted effort nestled in the net.
Sean McMahon, Tony Kelly, Jordan Duffy and Gideon Lugoye all traded further points in the latter stages, while Duffy stretched to put over in injury time. With a clash with the Westerns to come next week, it’s all to play for now in Group 4.
SEAN MCDERMOTTS: Mark McEneaney, Danny Reilly (0-01), Ciaran McMahon, Kevin McGahon, Sean McMahon (0-01), Leigh Ross, Danny Commins, Patrick Osbourne, Peter Osbourne (0-01), Emmett Duffy (0-02), Ian Corbally, David O’Neill (0-01), Lorcan Myles (0-02), Kevin McMahon, Tony Kelly (1-03).
Subs: Kevin Carroll (1-00) for Ian Corbally (31), BJ Matthews for David O’Neill (43), David Balfe for Kevin McGahon (49), Brendan McGahon for Kevin McMahon (51)
WOLFE TONES: Chris Eustace, Kevin Collier, Paddy Fanning, Adam Gartland, Sam Kelly, Eoghan O’Shea, Marc Lugoye, Jamie McCormack, Niall Smith, Gideon Lugoye, Darren Weldon, Barry Reilly, Jordan Duffy, Graham Fanning, Alan Fanning.
Subs: Andy Faulkner for Jamie McCormack (22), Chris Cudden for Graham Fanning (43)
REFEREE: Kevin Brady