Newtown Blues leave it late to steal Louth SFC title
First-time finalists Naomh Mairtin came within minutes of causing an upset
Reigning Louth champions Newtown Blues broke Naomh Mairtin hearts with a brilliant late comeback in Drogheda. Photo: Inpho
Newtown Blues 1-11 Naomh Mairtin 1-10
Reigning Louth champions Newtown Blues broke Naomh Mairtin hearts with a brilliant late comeback in Drogheda.
Bidding for back-to-back titles for the first time since 2001, the occasion seemed to be getting to Louth’s most successful club as they failed to register from play in the opening half.
They trailed by 1-6 to 0-3 at the break as first-time finalists Naomh Mairtin started in determined fashion.
The Jocks led by 0-4 to 0-2 as half-time approached, but corner back Paul Berrill put real daylight between the sides when he beat Dean Martin at the second attempt to net the opening goal of the game.
The Blues were better after the re-start, but their opponents appeared to be holding them at arm’s length until Ciaran Downey and Conor Branigan cut the deficit to three points with just eight minutes left on the clock.
Man-of-the-match Branigan played a big part in the all-important equalising goal, pick-pocketing Jock’s goalscorer Berrill before sending Ross Nally clear to finish past Darren Morgan, who had earlier replaced county goalkeeper Craig Lynch following a black card.
Sam Mulroy managed to edge the Mairtins back in front as the clock ticked into injury-time, but Downey levelled it with a free, and that man Branigan popped up with a brilliant winner to get the Blues out of jail.
NEWTOWN BLUES: D Martin; F Donohoe, E Carolan, P Moore; K Carr, C Reynolds, J Connolly; J Kermode, S Moonan; A McDonnell, C Moore, C Branigan (0-2); C Downey (0-6, 0-5 frees), R Nally (1-0), C Judge (0-1 free).
Subs: R Carr (0-2) for C Moore (26), I Connor for J Connolly (35), J Kelly. For K Carr (49), Alan Connor for C Judge (58).
NAOMH MAIRTIN: C Lynch; P Berrill (1-0), M Fanning, Shane Campbell; T Sullivan, E Callaghan, J Clutterbuck; W Campbell, C Morgan; Stephen Campbell, B McQuillan (0-1), C Healy; C Whelan (0-3, 0-1 free), S Mulroy (0-5, 0-4 freeS), P McDonagh.
Subs: JP Rooney (0-1) for P McDonagh (17), D Morgan for C Lynch (black card 45), E Wright for B McQuillan (60+1).
Referee: Jonathan Conlon.