Golden day for Mattock Rangers
Mattock Rangers ... 2-11 St Bride's ... 1-11Following four disappointments, including defeat in last year's final, Mattock Rangers celebrated their golden anniversary by winning the Joe Ward Cup in Ardee yesterday.
St Bride's trailed at half-time (1-5 to 0-6) despite playing the better football of the opening 30 minutes.
They had a terrific goal chance after 17 minutes, but Colin McNally's low drive was blocked by the feet of goalkeeper Michael Englishby.
Mattock's first goal by Shane Grimes came right on the stroke of half-time.
St Bride's were led superbly in attack by Louth full back Aaron Hoey, who scored 10 points and created their only goal.
Ultimately, however, St Bride's paid a heavy price for their reliance on Hoey, with Mattock's scorers more evenly distributed throughout the side.
The game was finely balanced from the three-quarter mark when Mark Brennan latched onto a defensive error to give his side a five-point lead (2-7 to 0-8).
St Bride's fought back and, just when hope was fading, Pearse Murphy punched a goal to leave just two points between the sides.
However, St Bride's could not add to their tally in the final five minutes, and a point each from David Reid and substitute John Hanratty assured Mattock of a famous victory.
MATTOCK RANGERS: M Englishby; E Roche, R Sherlock, I Sherlock (0-1); D Brennan, D Geraghty, F Feeley; G Hanratty, C Grimes (0-4, three frees); N Callan, M Brennan (1-0), A Finnegan; R Brennan, D Reid (0-5, three frees), S Grimes (1-0). Subs: J Hanratty for S Grimes (59 mins).
ST BRIDE'S: B Corcoran; M Brannigan, R Kelly, A Comiskey; P Prendergast, R Kelly (0-1), E Sherry; P Kirk, D Dunne; C McNally, P Murphy (1-0), P Mackin; A Hoey (0-10, five frees), T Hilliard, A Kelly. Subs: D McNally for A Kelly (39 mins). P Devin for M Brannigan (47 mins).
Referee: G McKenny (St Mary's).