Ardee St Marys junior side’ sealed their place into the playoffs for a promotion to Division 3 on Tuesday night in the most comfortable fashion imaginable, with a 5-17 to 0-04 point win over Cuchulainn Gaels at Pairc Muire.
The Blues needed to take a minimum of a point in their final game of Division 4 to guarantee their place in the playoffs but they managed much more than that, putting their opponents to the sword in an exhibition that demonstrated the club’s strength in depth for all to see.
The home side hit five first half goals to go into the break with a 23 point lead. To say it was unassailable would hardly do it justice. After Ross Gaynor’s opening point inside 16 seconds, Fergal Diamond hit the back of the net with less than two minutes on the clock. It came after good work from Cian Commins. Diamond was denied at first but not second time around.
Gaynor had the easiest of tasks to score another goal minutes later. Martin Duffy got in on the act soon after. The full forward was out through by Diamond and netted after two points in quick succession.
After Commins first score of the game, Duffy beat the Gaels goalkeeper with a left foot penalty. The stopper did deny Commins a goal but could do nothing about the Marys’ fifth goal. A poor clearance led to Commins teeing up Diamond who smashed his effort in.
Commins, Duffy, Robbie Clarke and Shane McCoy chipped in to leave it 5-10 to 0-02 at the interval. The visitors simply couldn’t live with the Marys. The forwards weren’t showing, the defence split too easily and throughout the pitch, the Marys had a physical superiority that was obvious.
After half time, points came from Diamond, Commins, Johnny McMahon, Brian McCoy and Craig Keenan. It was a romp. The Marys end the Division Four campaign on a high and after Cooley’s final match was called off, the only thing left to decide is whether the Marys or Kickhams have home advantage in the playoff semi-final. That’s 11 goals and 33 points in two junior home games for the Blues.
ARDEE ST MARYS: Paric Malone, David Woods, Barry McCoy, Niall Carroll, David Carroll, Shane McCoy (0-01), Robbie Clarke (0-01), Johnny McMahon (0-01), Gavin Douglas, Shane Carroll, Fergal Diamond (2-01), Ross Gaynor (1-01), Cian Commins (0-06), Martin Duffy (2-04), Craig Keenan (0-01).
Subs: Pearce Callan for Barry McCoy, Brian McCoy (0-01) for Ross Gaynor, Peter Clarke for David Carroll, Taylor Diamond for Martin Duffy, Jamie Rooney for Shane Carroll, Brendan Matthews for David Woods, Eamon Callaghan for Robbie Clarke, John Finlay for Johnny McMahon.
REFEREE: Kevin Carroll