Louth SFC Final: Lively encounter finishes level
Louth SFC Final
Ardee St.Marys 1-12 Newtown Blues 1-12
By Dan Bannon at Clan Na Gael Park
Ardee and county star Dáire McConnon is having the season of his career. Not only establishing himself as one of the top forwards in Louth but he added to his case further when kicking the equalising point in the SFC final against Newtown Blues in Clan Na Gael Park.
The woeful conditions did not stop the two sides putting on an entertaining show if anything the rain and slippy ball added to the drama as neither side could get away from each other and that proved to be the case in the whirlwind finish.
Right from the get-go the final exploded into an all action affair. McConnon was quickest to react to a fumble in the Blues full back line and finish to the net. On the back of that goal Ardee added three more scores to open up a substantial lead against the wind.
However, the 2019 champions showed their mettle to not only draw level but lead by half time. John Kermode punched home a long ball by cornerback Emmet Carolan.
With the wind advantage, Ciaran Downey landed three points in a run of five unanswered scores for the Newfoundwell men to lead 1-8 to 1-5 at the break. A sensational show of defiance.
In search of their first Joe Ward since 1995, Ardee rattled off five unanswered scores also to begin the second half. Johnathan Commins with a stunning 45’ in the middle of the sequence.
The thriller would crescendo into an exciting few minutes of normal time the lead changed twice but the build up to each score was dearly fought for and executed at the highest level of skill.
Ronan Carroll came on to score a mark but Rob Carr looked to have won the game for the Drogheda side only for McConnon’s emerging brilliance at the death.
Scorers for Ardee St. Mary’s: Daire McConnon 1-2; Tom Jackson 0-3; Carl Gillespie 0-2 (2f), Ronan Carroll (m), Kian Moran, Shane Matthews, Jonathan Commins 45’) and Liam Jackson 0-1 each.
Scorers for Newtown Blues: Ciarán Downey 0-5 (1f); John Kermode 1-0; Rob Carr 0-2; Andy McDonnell, Colm Judge, Alan Connor, Fergal Donohoe and Jamie Kelly 0-1 each.
*Ardee St. Mary’s: *James McGillick; Conor Keenan, Donal McKenny, Paraic McKenny;
Kian Moran, Karl Faulkner, Carl Gillespie; RJ Callaghan, Liam Jackson; Jonathan Commins, Shane Matthews, Tom Jackson; Ciarán Keenan, Daire McConnon, Ryan Rooney.
Subs: Ronan Carroll for Rooney (ht), Robert Leavy for Callaghan (42), Dean Matthews for Commins (50), Conor Gillespie for S Matthews (54), Darren Clarke for T Jackson (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 (0-2).
Subs: Conor Moore for Ayson (40), Conor Branagan for Kermode (47), Ian Connor for Reid (57), Declan McNamara for Kelly (60).
Referee: Ultan McElroy (Kilkerley Emmets)
Photo Credit-Louth GAA