Substitute: Barry Sharkey (0-1)
Dowdallshill finished-off a most disappointing campaign in the Louth Division 3 Football League on Sunday night, with a 2-16 to 2-8 defeat at the hands of the Naomh Mairtin ‘B’ team in Monasterboice.
Given that their relegation had already been confirmed, credit to the ‘Hill players for fulfilling this fixture, even though there was just pride at stake.
A footnote to the game, was that it witnessed a first appearance of the season for former regular Fra Agnew at full-back.
Regrettably, Division 4 football awaits the Dundalk side next season, a difficult pill to swallow after so many years operating out of their current level.
Sundays team and scorers:
John Kerr, Emmet O’Brien, Fra Agnew (Stefan Mc Nulty), Luke O’Brien, Vincent Roe, Justin Halley, Paul Flynn, Ciaran Thornton, Conor Mc Geown, Dylan Mc Donnell (Cathal Mc Shane), Peter Hughes (0-1), Ridwan Bodunrin (Tommy Craig 0-1), Gerard Mc Shane (2-2), Paul Gill (0-2) and Conor Mc Gailey (0-2).
Naomh Fionnbarra 0-12(12) St. Brides 1-12(15)
Naomh Fionnbarra were beaten in Round 11 of the Division 2 League by St. Brides in a hard-fought game at John Markey Park, Ballygassan on Saturday evening. Both sides came into the game knowing that a win would gaurentee them promotion into Division 1 for 2018.
The Barrs made the best start with a long range William Woods free from over 45m and a good Conor Osborne point from play after a flowing move through the Brides defence. Then disaster struck as St. Brides scored a goal after a mix up in the Togher defence and Emmet Kirk goaled at the second attempt after Andy McCann initially made a good save. The Finbarrs levelled through an excellent long range score by Bernard Osborne but this was the last time that the sides were level in the game.
Bit by bit the Togher men were gaining the upper hand and some crucial momentum and 3 Woods points (1f) turned the screw. Appeals for a penalty after Darren McConnon was fouled in the box were waved away by the referee during this period. At the other end a superb block by Hugh McGrane and some good pressure by Andy McCann on the Brides attacked kept the ball out of the goal. Full time score: Naomh Fionnbarra 0-12(12) St. Brides 1-12(15)
Naomh Fionnbarra: Andy McCann; Hugh McGrane, Kieran Lenehan, Patrick McGrane; Conor Lenehan, Oisín McGee, Pádraig Butterly; Hugh Osborne 0-1, Darren McConnon; Máirtìn Murphy, Conor Osborne 0-1, Jack Butterly 0-1; Nicholas Butterly,Bernard Osborne 0-2, William Woods 0-7(4fs). Subs: Michael McArdle for Patrick McGrane (inj), Chris McGlynn for Michael McArdle.
Division 2 League – Joes Made Fight all the Way
St. Josephs 2-17, St. Mochtas 2-9.
St. Josephs took the field in Cluskey Park this evening against near neighbours St. Mochtas knowing that a win would guarantee a play-off place. Nothing was taken granted as the Mochtas had defeated the League leaders last weekend and it was the Mochtas who hit the front within 30seconds when Declan Byrne put Stephen McCooey through and he rounded the keeper to shoot to the Joes net. The Joes responded immediately with Oisin McGuinness opening the scoring following an Adam O’Connor run. Further points from frees by Alan McKenna and Conal O’Hanlon had the Joes on level terms with just 6 minutes on the clock. The Joes edged ahead when Jack Mulligan hit the target with Shane McMahon responding with an excellent equaliser from distance. Declan Byrne put the Mochtas in front when he hit a superb side line kick from all of 35m.
On the quarter hour mark David Kieran broke up a Mochtas attack and Shane McQuillans well placed clearance found Craig Doherty, Doherty pass sent Adam O’Connor on a run that was quickly moved forward between Conall Smyth and Alan McKenna for Conal O’Hanlon to finish to the net. A barren spell followed before a foot block on Gerry Garland resulted in a penalty to the Mochtas, however Robert Sansom in the Joes goal was equal to Declan Byrnes strike as he dived full length to his right to divert the ball for a 45. Liam McGranaghan collected the resultant 45’ to point for the Mochtas to leave the sides level at 1-4 each after 21 mins. Conal O’Hanlon was on target from a free to give the Joes the lead before Philip English in the Mochtas goal excelled in denying Conall Smyth. Peter Brennan blasted a shot over the bar for another Joes point before Philip Englishby flashed a shot across the Joes goal. Alan McKenna finished the first scoring with a point from a 13m free to leave the half time score, St. Josephs 1-7, St. Mochtas 1-4.
Joes opened the second half strongly with points from a Conal O’Hanlon free and following a patient build up that saw Peter Brennan hit a superb point from 35m. The Mochtas upped the pressure on the Joes and again Robert Sansom came to the Joes rescue when he brilliantly denied Gerry Garland in a one on one. From the resultant 45, Brendan Duff found himself in space to split the posts for the Mochtas with Oisin McGuinness responding for the Joes. Despite the best efforts of the Joes defence with Stefan Pots leading the rear guard action it was the Mochtas who went on a scoring spree. Mochtas responded with four successive points including a Declan Byrne free and two fine points from Darren McMahon to leave just two between the sides, St. Josephs 1-10, St. Mochtas 1-8 on 46mins.
The Joes lifted the siege and Oisin McGuinness pointed at the second attempt after Fergus English stopped his goal bound effort. Further Joes points from an Alan McKenna 45 and a Conal O’Hanlon 20m free had the Joes lead back to five points before the Gerry Garland opened up the Joes defence to setup the Mochtas second goal of the game and we were back to a 2 point game with the Joes leading 1-13 to 2-8 on 51mins. The sides traded points, the Joes with points from Conall O’Hanlon and Conall Smyth and Declan Byrne for the Mochtas. The outcome of the game was sealed on 56mins for the Joes when Peter Brennan knocked the kick out into the path of Craig Doherty who split the Mochtas defence with a searing run, his pass to Conal O’Hanlon was off loaded to Oisin McGuinness who finish along the ground to the corner of the Mochtas net. Further points from Jack Mulligan and Oisin McGuinness gave the Joes a rather flattering scoreline of St. Josephs 2-17, St. Mochtas 2-9. The Joes had come through a tough battle to take the points and win a play-off spot.
St. Josephs: Robert Sansom, Alan Lynch, Shane McQuillan, Stefan Pots, David Kieran, Bernard Mulligan, Daire Smyth, Adam O’Connor, Peter Brennan (0-2), Craig Doherty, Conal O’Hanlon (1-5,5f), Jack Mulligan (0-2), Conall Smyth(0-1), Oisin McGuinness (1-4), Alan McKenna (0-3,45,2f). Killian Staunton for Bernard Mulligan
St. Mochtas: Fergus English, Liam Lawlor, Andrew English, Nicolas Brown, Brendan Duff, Gary Connolly, Barry Mulholland, Gareth O’Reilly, Shane McMahon, Liam McGranaghan, Declan Byrne, Stephen McCooey, Gerry Garland, Philip Englishby, Darren McMahon. Sub. Eamonn O’Neill
Division 2 League, Round 11
Naomh Fionnbarra 0-12 St. Brides 1-12
Ref: Stephen Johnson
ST. BRIDES ARE PROMOTED TO SENIOR. (From St Brides)
St. Brides rejoined the top table of Louth football after a five year absense following this hard earned win in their exciting game with Naomh Fionnbarra at John Markey Park on Saturday night.
Aided with a strong downhill breeze the hosts got off the mark with a converted William Woods free in the second minute.
Conor Osborne extended this lead to two a minute later.
However St. Brides got the only goal of the game with their first attack on four minutes from Emmet Kirk when he made no mistake from close range when his first effort was parried back to him.
Conor’s namesake, Bernard, levelled matters on eight minutes when his long range effort from along the sideline disected the uprights.
But this was as close as the Barrs got to the Reds.
St. Brides moved up a gear after this with four unanswered points to leave them in the driving seat by sixteen minutes.
Two points from the Togher Talisman, Woods, one either side of an E. Kirk pointed effort left a goal between the sides with twenty two minutes played.
Aaron Hoey slotted over a freekick, just before midfielder, Darren Mc Connon got his side’s sixth point of the evening with the interval within sight.
Sean Brennan followed soon after when his effort was fired over after a surging run from midfield.
On the stroke of half time Jack Butterly concluded the scoring when he raised the white flag to leave the scoreline of 1-07 to 0-07 in favour of St. Brides.
Now aided with the wind St. Brides raced into a six point lead after the restart with three unanswered points coming from A. Hoey, E. Kirk and Sean Marry.
Another Woods converted free-kick and another well taken point by B. Osborne reduced the deficit to four. At the opposite end the two Seans, Brennan and Marry, responded in style with long range efforts to leave six in it again with thirteen minutes to play.
The trio of points by Woods in the final few minutes left a goal between the teams with full time fast approaching to leave the match and the league on a knife edge finish.
The men in green and gold needed a goal and a point to snatch a win and indeed the league title for promotion, but try and they may, staunch defending by the visitors repelled all the many late attacks on their goal.
St. Brides held out and the final whistle sounded amid jubilant scenes from players and supporters.
This win comes after the great disappointed St. Brides had were they were pipped at the post last year on the final day with the dreaded ‘head to head’ rule. This having topped the league for most of the season.
Also the recent unexpected defeat to the same opposition in the Championship must have motivated them to victory.
County Board Chairman, Des Halpenny assisted by Maria Mc Shane presented the Mc Shane Cup to St. Brides Captain, Patrick Reilly. The Louth star thanked all those who assisted during the year to enable the team to be promoted to Division 1 for 2018.
The Mc Shane Cup is the second cup to come to the village in less than a week following the hurlers senior league win on Thursday night.
St. Brides Team.
Darren Breen; Ronan Bailey, Cillian Kirk, Padraic Mackin; Michael Keane (0-1), Andrew Smyth, Conor Deane (0-1); Patrick Reilly, Alan Dunne; James Coatelloe, Aaron Hoey (0-3, 3f), Sean Brennan (0-2), Sean Marry (0-3), Emmet Kirk (1-2), Kevin Hearty.
Subs used: Ross Kehoe for K. Hearty, Mark Hoey for A. Hoey, Conaill Devin for E. Kirk, Laurence Steen for S. Marry.
Subs not used: Jason Callan, Gareth Hall, Richie Halpenny, Sean Mc Donnell, Paraic Marry, Stephen Kettle, David Kettle.
Naomh Fionnbarra Team.
Andrew Mc Cann; Hugh Mc Grane, Kieran Lenihan, Paddy Mc Grane; Conor Lenihan, Oisin Mc Gee, Padraic Butterly; Darren Mc Connon (0-1), Hugh Osborne; Mairtín Murphy, Conor Osborne (0-1), Jack Butterly (0-1); Nicholas Butterly, William Woods (0-7, 4f), Bernard Osborne (0-2).
Subs used: Michael Mc Ardle for P. Mc Grane, Chris Mc Glynn for M. Mc Ardle.
Division 2 League
Na Piarsaigh 1-16, O’Connells 5-13
O’Connells got another win in the last game of their division two campaign against Na Piarsaigh on the Rock Road on Saturday evening. The home side got an early lead with points from Damien McGeeney and Robert Murphy but on the visitors first attack Stuart Osborne found Jackie Agnew who played a one two with Niall Conlon and shot to the net. A point from Mark Larkin levelled the game but O’Connells got their second goal after a long ball to Robert Quigley and his cross field pass found Conlon who rounded his man and finished to the net. Goal number three came a minute later after a run by Agnew who passed to Quigley and he shot to the net to leave the score 3-0 to 0-3 after ten minutes. The home team got the next three points from Stephen McGuinness, Ronan McCartney and Murphy. The Bellingham side got their first points on the board from Conlon and Quigley. Larkin reduced the margin with a point but points from Dean Stanfield and braces for Conlon and Quigley left the score 0-7 to 3-7 at the break. The teams shared the first two points of the second half before the Naps got the next three from McGuinness and a brace from Larkin. Paul McKeever pointed for the visitors but again the home team got the next three from Murphy, McGeeney and an excellent 45 from Larkin to leave the score 0-14 to 3-9 going into the last ten minutes. Points from Stanfield and Conlon increased the margin to six and it was nine a couple of minutes later when Agnew played a one two with Conlon and then found Sean Cairns who shot to the net. There was then an injury to a Na Piarsaigh player and tempers flared for the next couple of minutes which resulted in a red card for Stephen McGuinness from the home side. A Larkin free was replied to with points from McKeever and Agnew but the home team to their credit kept going and substitute Mark O’Hare scored a cracking goal going into injury time. Robert Murphy pointed a free to leave six between the sides but the Bellingham side got their fifth goal after good work by McKeever and Sean Connolly left Cairns free to get his second goal of the game. So O’Connells finish eight in the table and Na Piarsaigh go into the playoffs to stay in the division two league.
Na Piarsaigh: Damien McCrink; Joe Woods, Gerard Smith, Stephen McGuinness 0-2; Ciaran Murphy, Conall Shields, Gary O’Hare; Michael Woods 0-1, Jarlath Lyons; Eamonn McAuley, Mark Larkin 0-6(2f,45), Robert Murphy 0-4(1f); Damien McGeeney 0-2, Ronan McCartney 0-1, David Boyle. Subs Adam Molloy for D. McCrink, Mark O’Hare 1-0 for G. Smith, Stephen Arrowsmith for C. Murphy.
O’Connells: Stuart Reynolds; Micheal Cairns, PJ Tuite, James Clerkin; Emmet Byrne, Keith Woods, Conor Culligan; Sean Cairns 2-0, Dean Stanfield 0-2; Jackie Agnew 1-1, Paul McKeever 0-2, Stuart Osborne; Niall Conlon 1-4, Conor McGill, Robert Quigley 1-4(2f). Subs Dean Corrigan for C. Culligan, Sean Connolly for C. McGill, Kyle Daniels for PJ. Tuite, Conor Kiernan for N. Conlon, Liam Kiernan for D. Stanfield.