Allianz FL D2: Derry edge out Louth
Allianz Football League Division Two
Derry 2-11 Louth 1-11
By Dan Bannon at DEFY Páirc Mhuire, Ardee
Derry are yet to be beaten this season and they edged a win in DEFY Páirc Mhuire at Ardee with a resilient win against a brave Louth side who put it right up to the Ulster Champions.
While the Oak Leafers were somewhat off colour Rory Gallagher’s look course on a promotion tilt yet again while Louth will look to the break with renewed vigour despite another loss.
Lavey’s Niall Toner swung the game for the off-coloured Derry men. Against the run of play, Toner was quickest to react to the palmed high ball from debutant goalkeeper Peter McStravick to collect and bury to the net.
The winning goal came in the 58th minute and with momentum behind Derry they collectively turned the screw with three of the last four points of the even affair. Match winner Toner with one them along with substitute Oisín McWilliams and Padraig McGrogan's second of the even contest.
Right from the off Louth put the agonising Clare defeat behind them to put it up to the fancied Derry. Paul Cassidy excelled and despite Shane McGuigan’s 10th minute penalty he won and took himself, Mickey Harte’s men never wavered.
On his home turf, Ardee star Liam Jackson found the net to get the home support going and the hosts looked to be ahead at the turn only for McGuigan’s class to shine.
The Slaughtneil dual star man it 1-6 a piece and perfectly poised for a rollocking second half.
Sam Mulroy introduced himself to the scoresheet with his first score of the game as he duelled with McGuigan at the other end.
Three points in a row looked to have given Louth the impetus to push on for victory. Tom Jackson and replacement Craig Lennon both finished off wonderful counter attacks to make 1-10 to 1-8.
Toner however, with a little over ten minutes left to play, had other ideas, clinching the even affair beyond Louth’s reach with a ruthless finish.
Scorers for Derry: Shane McGuigan 1-5 (1-0pen, 3fs), Niall Toner 1-1, Paul Cassidy 0-2, Padraig McGrogan 0-2, O McWilliams 0-1.
Scorers for Louth: Daire McConnon 0-3 (2f), Sam Mulroy 0-3 (1m ,1f), Liam Jackson 1-0, Tom Jackson 0-2, Craig Lennon 0-1, Conor Grimes 0-1, Niall Sharkey 0-1.
Derry: Odhran Lynch; Chrissy McKaigue, Eoin McEvoy, Conor McCluskey; Padraig McGrogan , Conor Doherty, Paul Cassidy ; Brendan Rogers, Conor Glass; Niall Toner, Shane McGuigan, Ethan Doherty; Benny Heron, Lachlan Murray, Niall Loughlin.
Subs: Oisín McWilliams for E Doherty (46), Padraig Cassidy for McEvoy (49), Ben McCarron for Loughlin (59), Matthew Downey for Murray (66), Shea Downey for Heron (69).
Louth: Peter McStravick; Dan Corcoran, Dermot Campbell, Donal McKenny; Leonard Grey, Niall Sharkey, Conall McKeever; Conor Early, Ciaran Murphy; Liam Jackson, Sam Mulroy, Tom Jackson; Ciarán Downey; Conor Grimes, Daire McConnon.
Subs: Craig Lennon for L Jackson (51), Peter Lynch for McKenny (64), Tommy Durning for Murphy (64), Jay Hughes for McConnon (64), Bevan Duffy for Sharkey (75).
Referee: Paul Faloon (Down).