Louth SFC Final: Ardee St Mary’s earn silverware
Louth SFC Final
Ardee St.Marys 1-18 Newtown Blues 1-15
By Dan Bannon at St. Brigid’s Park, Dowdallshill
Sunday 16 October 2022
Ronan Carroll came off the bench to see his Ardee St. Mary’s side finally get over the line as Louth senior champions against an unrelenting Newtown Blues side. The winners had lost three finals since they last claimed the Joe Ward cup back in 1995.
In the intervening years Carroll has played in all those losses, most recently in 2020 and 2016 along with the first loss back in 2003 after a replay on the same Dowdallshill pitch.
Carroll kicked four scores in the absorbing contest after being introduced at half time. The replay copied the drawn game nearly play by play in the first half of riveting action.
Ardee opened again with a goal, this time county man Ciarán Keenan with the finish and just like last Sunday the Blues would come back to control proceedings to lead by a point 0-9 to 1-5 by the end of the first half.
Newfoundwell midfielder Andy McDonnell once more made things tick and Ciarán Downey landed three first half scores.
Despite trailing, Ardee were about to rise in the pivotal third quarter. Starting the half sharply has been a real characteristic of theirs and with Carroll now aligned at the edge of the square they outscored the Blues by six points at that juncture.
The hero the last day, Dáire McConnon landed three points as the scoring rate boomed for the Deesiders. Despite being outplayed Des Lane’s side showed why they are top of the roll of honours list.
Blues’ very own veteran Colm Judge, chipped away to keep things on honest and to play on Ardee’s nerves and that would be the case as Emmet Carolan would finish off a rebounded penalty and McDonnell found the target to make it a two point finale.
However Ronán Carroll would not be denied, catching a mark in the middle of the field he continued his run to point the last score of the final, his fourth, to see Ardee over the line for the first time in 27 years.
Scorers for Ardee St. Mary’s: Ronan Carroll 0-4, Ciarán Keenan 1-1, Carl Gillespie 0-3f, Shane Matthews and Dáire McConnon 0-3 each, Conor Gillespie, Dean Matthews, Tom Jackson, and Kian Moran 0-1 each.
Scorers for Newtown Blues: C Downey 0-4 (1f), Emmet Carolan 1-0, Colm Judge (1f) and Jaime Kelly 0-3 each, Dáire Nally 0-2 (1f, 145), Rob Carr, Andy McDonnell, and Fergal Donohoe 0-1 each.
Ardee St. Mary’s: James McGillick; Paraic McKenny, Donal McKenny, Conor Keenan; Kian Moran, Karl Faulkner, Carl Gillespie; RJ Callaghan, Liam Jackson; Jonathan Commins, Shane Matthews, Tom Jackson; Ciarán Keenan, Daire McConnon, Conor Gillespie.
Subs: Ronan Carroll for Commins (ht), Robert Leavy for Callaghan (48), Dean Matthews for S Matthews (50), Ryan Rooney for Conor Gillespie (56), Darren Clarke for Rooney (blood, 58).
Newtown Blues: Johnny McDonnell; Conor Ayson, Ciaran Cluskey Kelly, Emmet Carolan; Alan Connor, Johnny Connolly, Fergal Donohoe; Chris Reid, Andy McDonnell; Daire Nally, Colm Judge, Ciarán Downey; Jamie Kelly, John Kermode, Rob Carr.
Subs: Conor Branagan for Kermode (37), Conor Moore for Donohe (41), Ian Connor for Reid (56), Thomas Costello for Ayson (56).
Referee: Kevin Brady (Dundalk Gaels).
Photo Credit-Louth GAA