Naomh Mairtin claim first ever Louth county title
Defeats to Newtown Blues in the last two finals stood to the men from Monasterboice
Naomh Mairtin players celebrates after the game with the Joe Ward trophy. Photograph: Inpho
Naomh Mairtin 1-13 Ardee St Mary’s 1-9
Craig Lynch and Sam Murloy inspired Naomh Mairtin to a first ever Louth county title as the ‘Jocks’ made it third time lucky in Darver.
Crushing defeats to Newtown Blues in the last two finals stood to the men from Monasterboice, as they denied Ardee St Mary’s their first title in 25 years.
Lynch kept them in the game in the opening half making three crucial saves before the interval, including a penalty stop to deny Kian Moran.
Lynch’s heroics paved the way for fellow county star Sam Mulroy to steer the Mairtins to victory with some flawless free-taking, including three from well outside the ‘45’.
The Mairtin’s led by 0-6 to 0-3 at half-time, despite St Mary’s being dominant in the opening period, but they improved after the break and a well-worked and superbly finished goal from Conor Whelan made it 1-8 to 0-4 on 40 minutes.
St Mary’s didn’t throw in the towel though and chipped away at the deficit before winning a second penalty, this one converted by Liam Jackson to reduce the gap to two, 1-11 to 1-9.
Mulroy steadied the ship however with two more late points to send the Monasterboice crowd into raptures.
NAOMH MAIRTIN: C Lynch; T Sullivan, M Fanning, M Whelan; C Healy, C Morgan, J Clutterbuck; V Leddy (0-1), E Whelan; S Campbell, E Callaghan (0-1),P Berrill; C Whelan (1-1), S Mulroy (0-9, eight frees), T Gray (0-1). Subs: S Healy for M Fanning (24 mins), JP Rooney for T Gray (49 mins), G Mooney for V Leddy (55 mins), E Wright for T Sullivan (58 mins), B McQuillan for P Berrill (65 mins).
ARDEE ST MARY’S: A McGauley; D McKenny, K Faulkner, C Keenan; L Jackson (1-0 pen), T Jackson (0-2), E Keenan; RJ Callaghan, R Leavy; Conor Gillespie (0-1 free), C Keenan, K Moran (0-1); D McConnon (0-1), R Carroll (0-1), D Clarke. Subs: J Crawley for R Leavy (37 mins), P Clarke (0-2 mins) for D Clarke (37 mins), Carl Gillespie for RJ Callaghan (42 mins), M Fay (0-1) for Conor Gillespie (60 mins), N Eccles for K Moran (60 mins).
Referee: P Kneel