James Kielt hits 1-9 as Derry find form against Louth
Star forward helps Ulster side bounce back from Tyrone capitulation
Derry’s Conor McAtamney gives Louth’s James Califf the slip during the All-Ireland SFC Round 1A Qualifier at Owenbeg. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye
Derry 1-18 Louth 2-10
Derry bounced back from the nadir of their Ulster championship capitulation at the hands of Tyrone defeating Louth by five points in their opening qualifier fixture.
James Kielt top-scored for the home side, hitting 1-9 as Derry battled back from a point down at half-time, with Kielt’s second-half penalty confirming Derry’s safe passage to the next round.
A monster point from the outside of Kielt’s left foot was the last kick of the first half but the score still left Derry a point down, trailing 1-5 to 0-7 at the break. In truth the opening 35 minutes was a ragged, disjointed affair with both sides struggling for any real fluency and confidence after recent defeats.
Level at 0-2 apiece at 12 minutes, Louth drew first blood when Jim McEneaney drilled home a penalty to hand the ‘Wee County’ the early initiative. Derry responded, and three points in a row from Mark Lynch, Emmett McGuckin and Christopher Bradley brought them level at 0-5 to 1-2 after 23 minutes.
Colin Kelly’s side stretched that lead shortly after the restart, but after that Derry gradually took a grip of events.
Kielt was at the heart of seven consecutive scores midway through the second half as Derry produced some of their best football of the season. A goal and a point from Declan Byrne gave Louth some hope, but after that Derry accelerated for home. Kilrea man Kielt despatched a 65th-minute penalty which wrapped up the Derry win, with a straight red for Byrne in injury time confounding Louth’s misery.
DERRY: Michael Conlan; Gareth McKinless, Ciaran Mullan, Karl McKaigue; Neil Forester, Brendan Rogers, Liam McGoldrick; Conor McAtamney, Niall Holly; Danny Heavron, Christopher Bradley (0-3, one free), Eoghan Brown; James Kielt (1-9, 1-0 penalty, six frees), Emmett McGuckin (0-2), Mark Lynch (0-2, frees).
Subs: Kevin Johnston for L McGoldrick (41 mins), Niall Loughlin for E Brown (41 mins), Niall Toner (0-1) for M Lynch (49 mins), Emmett Bradley (0-1) for N Holly (51 mins), Oisin Duffy for C Mullan (63 mins), Shane Heavron for E McGuckin (69 mins).
LOUTH: Craig Lynch; Pádraig Rath, Patrick Reilly, John Bingham; Derek Maguire, Darren McMahon, Anthony Williams; James Stewart, James Califf (0-4, four frees); Declan Byrne (1-3), Jim McEneaney (1-1), Ruairi Moore; Eoghan Lafferty, Conor Grimes (0-1), Ryan Burns (0-1, free).
Subs: Gerard McSorley for J McEneaney (41 mins), Adrian Reid for R Moore (46 mins), Bevan Duffy for J Stewart (51 mins), Jim McEneaney for R Burns (64 mins).
Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)