Louth SFC Final: Newtown Blues complete three in a row
Louth SFC Final
NEWTOWN BLUES 2-9 NAOMH MAIRTIN 1-9
By Dan Bannon at the Gaelic Grounds, Drogheda
A whirlwind start from the Newtown Blues saw them claim three Louth senior titles on the trot over Naomh Mairtin.
The reigning champions opened up a match defining 2-5 to no reply lead in a blistering opening quarter.
Man of the match Alan Connor ghosted up from the back to find the back of the net in the fifth minute after Rob Carr settled the Drogheda side into proceedings. As little as seven minutes later other corner back Emmet Carolan buried an impressive taken penalty.
The penalty came as a double sting for shellshocked Mairtin’s as they lost Stephen Campbell to a black card. The wing forward was one of the few Monasterboice players that had started brightly.
Brimming with confidence after the perfect start, the Blues gladly expressed themselves from that point on, with Ross Nally illustrating the comfort by landing an excellent score.
Such was the grip the Blues had on the game at that stage, they could afford not to score for 22 minutes after a mammoth Andy McDonnell free pushed their tally to 2-5.
Naomh Mairtin were eventually knocked out of their slumber by Eoghan Callaghan after 18 minutes to fire over their first score. Wayne Campbell and Sam Mulroy free made it 2-5 to 0-3 at the turn.
The second half became an intriguing affair as the Mairtin’s did not relent. The side known locally as the Jocks pushed and pressed to try and get the scoreline down. Lacking a little composure Sam Mulroy missed vital free’s in that period of dominance.
The champions on the other hand, showed supreme composure from Rob Carr and Ciaran Downey notching frees and Andy McDonnell scoring a pressure point to keep the scoreboard ticking.
When the onslaught duly came, black card replacement Conor Whelan got his third point and Sam Mulroy punched to the net, the Blues had enough of a cushion to hold on for their 23rd Joe Ward.
Scorers for Newtown Blues: Alan Connor 1-1 Rob Carr 0-3 (1f), Emmet Carolan 1-0 (1-0pen), Andy McDonnell 0-2 (1f) Ciaran Downey 0-1 (1f) Conor Branigan 0-1, Ross Nally 0-1.
Scorers for Naomh Mairtin: Sam Mulroy 1-3 (2fs ,145’ )Conor Whelan 0-3 (1f) Wayne Campbell 0-1, Eoghan Callaghan 0-1, John Clutterbuck 0-1.
NEWTOWN BLUES: Jay Lowney; Alan Connor, Kevin Carr, Emmet Carolan; Johnny Connolly, Paul Moore, Fergal Donohoe; John Kermode, Andy McDonnell; Conor Branigan, Ciaran Downey, Rob Carr; Colm Judge, Ross Nally, Conor Moore .
Subs: Daire Nally for C Moore (34), Ian Connor for P Moore (45) Hugh McGinn for C Branigan (48), Jamie Kelly for R Nally (56), Thomas Costello for C Judge (56) Alan Connor Black (64).
NAOMH MAIRTIN: Craig Lynch; Paul Berrill, Mick Fanning, Mark Whelan; Thom Sullivan, Conor Morgan, John Clutterbuck; Gavan Mooney, Wayne Campbell; Stephen Campbell, Bryan McQuillian, Conor Healy; Eoghan Callaghan, JP Rooney, Sam Mulroy.
Subs: Conor Whelan for S Campbell Black (13), Val Leddy for T Sullivan (42), Graeme McQuillian for C Healy (46), Fra McCullough for W Campbell (59).
REFEREE: Kevin Brady (Dundalk Gaels).