Hunterstown Rovers maintained their push towards the top of the top of Louth GAA Division 2 on Wednesday night as they edged a tight encounter with St Mochtas 1-11 to 0-11 at Pairc Baile Fiach, with Padraig Mathews late goal proving the difference.
The win means Hunterstown have now won seven of their nine league outings in 2017 but they remain one tantalising point behind leaders St Brides who enjoyed a comforable win over Oliver Plunketts. On a night when a full round of fixtures was played, there was also a win for third place Naomh Fionnbarra but Rovers maintain a four point gap over fifth placed O’Raghallaighs with just two games remaining. A playoff place is all but assured.
Just 11 days passed since Hunterstown and the Mochtas met in the Intermediate Football Championships, with Rovers emerging victorious in Dunleer to book their place in the last eight. Alan Landy scored the Hunterstown goal that day and he started in the full forward line again at Pairc Baile Fiach. In fact, Jim Mathews could all upon all of the players involved that day again.
Since then, the Mochtas secured their progress in the Championship with a win over St Fechins. The Louth Village side have been a model of inconsistency in 2017 and with the Division 2 summit in their sights, Rovers came into the game knowing they could end it on top – other results notwithstanding.
That wasn’t to be with the Brides victory but Rovers again proved they are a team to fear as the season reaches the business end. They were behind at the break in Hunterstown but were deserving of their three point win by the end. Glen Mathews’ two points were added to by Landy, Paul Carrie and David Finn in the opening 30 minutes but the visitors went in 0-06 to 0-05 in front.
The torrential downpour that fell onto the pitch an hour before throw-in was the last of the rain for the evening but on a bitterly cold night, Hunterstown came good. Carrie notched the first and last points of the half while Finn, Paddy Mooney, Richard Taaffe and Ryan Ward added more points. Padraig Mathews was the man who the ball in with six minutes remaining for the crucial score.
HUNTERSTOWN ROVERS: Niall Carrie, Paul Taaffe, Brian Mathews, Martin Lennon, Patrick Taaffe, Paul Carrie (0-03), Richard Taaffe (0-01), Tony McKenna, David Finn (0-012), Ryan Ward (0-01), Brendan Lennon, Paddy Mooney (0-01), Alan Landy (0-01), Padaig Mathews (1-00), Glen Mathews (0-02).
Subs: Keith Brennan for Brendan Lennon (49)
In Division 3, Wednesday night was one to forgot for local sides. Fresh from securing their progress to the last eight of the Championhsip last weekend, the Sean McDermotts were back in action on home soil but went down 0-13 to 3-08 against St Kevins.
The Seans were well in the game throughout and even went in level at half time with the scores at 0-08 to 1-05 but ultimately fell to last year’s Junior Football Champions as star man Cian Callan shone, scoring a remarkable 3-04 of his team’s 3-08. The Seans remain comfortably in midtable with nine points from nine games played but last night’s results ended any faint hopes of a top finish.
SEAN MCDERMOTTS: Alan O’Neill, Danny Reilly, Ciaran McMahon, Kevin McGahon, Lorcan Ludden, Emmett Duffy, Sean McMahon, Patrick Osbourne (0-01), Peter Osbourne, Lorcan Myles (0-01), Tony Kelly (0-03), David O’Neill (0-02), Kevin McMahon (0-04), Brendan McGahon (0-01), BJ Matthews (0-01).
Subs: Danny McEneaney, Danny Commins, Lee Ross, Aaron Myles, Stephen Carrie.
Also on Wednesday, John Mitchels went down to a disappointing 1-18 to 1-03 defeat to a strong Roche Emmets outfit. The Ballybailie men are having a difficult 2017 but they put it right up their opponents from the north of the county. Points from Robbie Coyle, Mikey Nulty and Barry Kirk added to Coyle’s goal as they trailed 1-07 to 1-03 at the break.
However, Roche stepped it up in the second half and the Mitchels had little answer as the league leaders surged ahead. The Mitchels now sit 11th in the 12 team division but remain three points above Dowdallshill who prop up the league with a solitary point.
There was one game in Division Three on Tuesday evening and it was disappointment for the Westerns as they went suffered a narrow 3-13 to 1-17 reverse in an entertaining affair against Naomh Mairtin.
All four of the goals were scored in the first half with Tommy Durnin’s opener cancelled out by two Mairtins goals in the space of 90 seconds just a matter of minutes later. The home side had the net bulging less than 10 minutes but despite their clinical performance in front of goal, the Reaghstown side stayed in the game. 1-03 from Durnin was added to by points from Anthony Durnin, Dermot Caraher, Trevor Baylon and Terence Sweeney. It was 1-07 to 3-05 at half time.
Anthony Durnin scored three more points after the break while Sean McGuinness got forward to split the posts but Naomh always maintained a healthy advantage with scores throughout the second half. The biggest run of points the Westerns could put together was three – never enough to dent their opponents lead.
There were no fewer than six yellow cards in the match, with two of them going the way of Trevor Baylon who departed with 14 minutes of the second half remaining. At the stage, Naomh Mairtin led by three – and whilst the Westerns did narrow the gap, they couldn’t haul the men from Monasterboice back to take something from the game.
WESTERNS GFC: Peter Shiels, Mick Martin, James Ward, Shane Matthews, PJ Marron, Sean McGuinness (0-01), Andy Murray, Tommy Durnin (1-05), Anthony Durnin (0-04), Terence Sweeney (0-03), Patrick Kerley, Trevor Baylon (0-01), Johnnie Lynch, Dylan Ogle, Dermot Caraher (0-03).
Subs: Liam Hoey for Patrick Kerley, Lorcan Donnelly for Dermot Caraher
Midweek Louth GAA League Results
- DIV 1 – Ardee St Marys 3-18 Naomh Mairtin 2-15
- DIV 2 – Hunterstown Rovers 1-11 St Mochtas
- DIV 3 – Sean McDermotts 0-13 St Kevins 3-08
- DIV 3 – Naomh Mairtin 3-13 Westerns GFC 1-17
- DIV 3 – Roche Emmets 1-18 John Mitchels 1-03
- DIV 3 – Lann Leire 0-07 Glyde Rangers 2-09
- DIV 3 – Stabannon Parnells 0-18 St Brides 1-07