Louth book final exam against DCU
LOUTH booked a shot at some early-season silverware with an impressive win over Longford in the curtain-raiser at Pearse Park on Saturday afternoon.
Paul McCormack’s side led from virtually start to finish to clock up their second win in the competition and will face St Patrick’s DCU, the team they beat in the opening round, in the final on Sunday.
Darren Geoghegan again led the charge for the winners bagging two frees, a ‘65’ and two points from play in another encouraging display from the youngster and he was ably assisted by Gerard McKeown who chipped in with four fine points from open play.
Louth kept their noses in front throughout a tight firsthalf, with McKeown and David kettle firing over two particularly good points midway through the half.
Longford kept in touch and proved difficult to shake off, but Geoghegan, James Costello and Andrew Smith also found their range during the opening half as Louth retired with a hard-earned 0-7 to 0-5 interval lead.
Longford closed the gap to the minimum early in the second period, but a Donal Ryan point triggered another good spell from the visitors as they kicked on to open a 0-11 to 0-7 lead.
Three points was as close as Longford got thereafter as Louth continued to control the game and slowly but surely quell any hope of a home comeback.
The win sets up another clash with DCU St Patrick’s Campus on Sunday with silverware up for grabs.
LOUTH: Donal Connolly; Ricky McKeown, Mike Lyons, Andrew McCrave; Stephen Kettle, Gerard Smyth, Andrew Smyth 0-2; Jamie McDonnell 0-2, James Costelloe 0-1; Darren Geoghegan 0-5 (2f, 1‘65’), David Kettle 0-1, Peter Brennan; Gerry McKeown 0-4, David Stephenson, Robert Wallace. Subs: Matthew Fee, Conor Deane 0-2, Darren O’Hanrahan, Liam Molloy 0-1, Stephen Hoey.
LONGFORD: Conor Gallagher; Johnny Casey, Gerard Moore, Paddy Corcoran; Paul Leonard, Karl Murray, Bart Hanley 0-1; Cathal Mullane 0-6f, David Buckley; Cian Kavanagh, Michael Devlin, Paul Barden 0-1; Reuben Murray 0-2, Daniel Connell 0-1, John Mulhern 0-2. Subs: Shane O’Brien 0-1, Michael Farrell, Maitiu O’Donohue.
REFEREE: Shane Guinan (Offaly)
New Louth boss Paul McCormack watches the action at Pearse Park, while inset, referee Shane Guinan lines up with team captains John Mulhern and David Kettle.
Louth goalkeeper Donal Connolly pucks out.