Louth will face Wicklow in the Gerry Reilly Under 16 Shield Finla on Saturday in Oldcastle after a number of Ardee St Marys players helped them overcome Longford in a thriller on Saturday afternoon.
Midfielder James McGillick (pictured above in between the sticks for the Marys) scored a second half goal as Louth edged ahead against their opponents from the Midlands. The teenager was the only Ardee-based player in Louth’s starting XV but Jonathan Commins came on to score a point and Darragh McCoy also saw action as Louth persevered at Millbrook.
McGillick’s goal arrived shortly after the resumption for the second half. The two teams were tied at the break but Patrick Johnston’s point and the Marys man’s goal – a long range effort from all of 40 yards which sailed over the Longford goalkeeeper – put them four up.
The match ebbed and flowed after that. Longford hit five unanswered points but Johnston’s goal and a score from Cathal Fleming edged Louth back ahead. After the Midlanders responded with two scores of their own, it looked like Commin’s fine effort might prove the difference.
As it was, Ryan Walsh and Conor Quigley tagged on points late in the day to give Louth the 2-14 to 1-14 win. McCoy was a late introduction from the bench for his first competition apearance of the year to shore things up in the back line.
Longford only required a draw to qualify for Saturday’s final, but their goal didn’t arrive.
Louth have never won the Gerry Reilly Cup since it’s inception in 1989 now have they triumphed in either the Plate or the Shield competitions since they began in 2013.
Meanwhile, it’s been confirmed that the All Ireland Minor Football Championship Quarter Final between Louth and Kerry has been fixed for O’Moore Park Portlaoise on Saturday August 5th at 1.15pm