Busi­ness as usual for bril­liant Blues

Mid Louth Independent - - SPORT -

NEW­TOWN Blues opened the de­fence of their ti­tle with a clin­i­cal dis­play to brush aside the chal­lenge of Naomh Mairtin and in the process send a clear mes­sage to their ri­vals about their in­ten­tions to keep hold of the Joe Ward Cup.

Fac­ing one of their main ri­vals for the com­pe­ti­tion, the Blues showed no signs of com­pla­cency and in a highly or­gan­ised and pro­fes­sional per­for­mance, topped off with an ar­ray of ex­cel­lent points from the likes of Andy McDon­nell, Ross Nally, Colm Judge and Ciaran Downey, they had this came un­der their con­trol from vir­tu­ally the throw-in.

The game was just 15 sec­onds old when McDon­nell tapped over the first point and that set the stan­dard for the re­main­der of the game.

The Mairtins sug­gested briefly that they would un­der­line their cre­den­tials as ti­tle con­tenders when Conor Whe­lan and Eoghan Cal­laghan pointed to give them a brief ad­van­tage on four min­utes.

How­ever, that was as good as it got for a Mairtins side who were very flat for much of the hour and were never able to find their best form.

Af­ter Conor Brani­gan lev­elled on five min­utes, the Blues be­gan to flex their mus­cle and build­ing from a solid de­fence broke at speed to cre­ate a se­ries of chances, many of which were splen­didly fin­ished off with an econ­omy of ef­fort that will put fear into their ri­vals.

Ross Nally kicked ex­cel­lent points off ei­ther foot be­fore McDon­nell added an equally im­pres­sive ef­fort to make it 0-5 to 0-2 at the end of the first quar­ter.

Nally then tapped over a free from 45m and from the restart an ex­cel­lent tackle from John Ker­mode re­sulted in Conor Moore set­ting up Nally for the sim­plest of goals.

The Blues were in to­tal con­trol and the Mairtins’ only re­sponse came from a Sam Mul­roy free as the scores from McDon­nell and Ciaran Downey stretched the lead to 1-8 to 0-3 atthe­break.

The Blues looked to be in com­plete con­trol at that stage but credit to the Mairtins who came out fight­ing and gave them­selves hope when a Sam Mul­roy goal from a penalty fol­low­ing a trip on JP Rooney was fol­lowed by points from John Clut­ter­buck and Stephen Camp­bell to cut the gap to 1-8 to 1-5.

How­ever, just when it seemed that the game might burst into life, the Blues moved quickly to snuff out any hope and three qual­ity points in as many min­utes from Colm Judge, Downey and Nally had them back in con­trol af­ter 42 min­utes.

The game then drifted to­wards its in­evitable con­clu­sion as the Blues cruised to a nine­point vic­tory with the help of two late points from sub­sti­tute Jamie Kelly.

New­town Blues men De­clan McNa­mara and Em­mett Carolan can’t pre­vent Eoghan Cal­laghan of Naomh Mairtin get­ting his pass away dur­ing Sun­day’s SFC match in Dun­leer. Pic­tures: Paul Connor

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