Tommy Durnin’s three goal salvo helped Westerns GFC seal their place in the quarter finals of the Junior Football Championship, but the men from Reaghstown were pushed all the way by Wolfe Tones.
The Louth senior player’s hat-trick of majors proved the difference between the sides but just as the did when the two sides met at this stage last year, the Drogheda outfit underlined their progression by going close only be to denied by a late Westerns salvo.
Durnin’s treble was added to by goals from Ciaran Campbell and an injury time effort from Conor Kerr, while Chris Cudden twice exploiting weakness at the other end in the first half.
The high scoring encounter was undoubtedly entertaining for those who spent a bright Friday evening at the Gaelic Grounds but both teams had trouble in controlling the game in any meaningful way.
The Tones – who will now fight it out with Cuchulainn Gaels for the chance to progress – were valiant in the efforts, with Dean Haggins in midfield offering an impressive display. However, the Westerns’ firepower proved just too much.
WESTERNS: Damien Boylan, Andrew Murray, Michael Martin, Stephen Boylan, Colin Martin, Dylan Ogle, Sean McGuinness, Tommy Durnin (3-01), Anthony Durnin (0-01), Jack Ogle (0-03), Trevor Baylon (0-03), Johnny Lynch, Patrick Kerley, Conor Kerr (1-00), Ciaran Campbell (1-01).
Subs: Liam Hoey for Kerley (28), James Ward for Baylon (48) (Blood), Baylon for McGuinness (53)
WOLFE TONES: Chris Eustace, Adam Gartland, Graham Fanning, Alan Fanning, Eoghan O’Shea (0-01), Mark Healy (0-01), Marc Lugoye (0-01), Dean Haggins (0-01), John Kelly, Sam Kelly (0-02), Niall Smith (0-03), Darren Weldon, Jamie McCormack (0-02), Michael Rafferty, Chris Cudden (2-01).
Subs: Reese Owens for Alan Fanning (36), Garrett Cooney (0-01) for Michael Rafferty (54), Patrick Fanning for Gartland (56)
REFEREE: Paul Kneel