Saints march on as Clarke stars
ST MARY'S maintained their 100% record against a battling St Mochta's side, primarily due to the accurate place kicking of Darren Clarke. The Louth hitman scored eight points including one from play as the Mary's fought back from a one-point deficit at half time.
St Mochtas have endured a poor campaign thus far recording just a single victory, but they looked in determined mood early on as they raced into a four point lead.
A couple of Darren Clarke frees reduced the deficit, but the Mochtas were in fine form up front and they once again raced clear thanks in part to a couple more Ciaran Byrne scores to lead 0-9 to 0-4.
However the whole complexion of the match changed in the closing stages of the half as Mark Fay was quickest to react to Ronan Carroll's saved shot to score a goal for the Ardee side. They followed up immediately with a point from Carroll to leave the half time scoreline reading 0-9 to 1-5 in favour of St Mochtas.
Mary's flew out of the traps in the second half with three Clarke points and another from Mark Fay giving them their first lead.
However, St Mochta's grabbed a a lifeline when full forward Eamonn O'Neill raced clear of the Mary's defence to net his side's goal.
A fourth Ciaran Byrne point midway through the second half levelled the scores and it looked like the watching supporters were in for a tense finale.
However, it was the Ardee side who finished the stronger and they eventually eased to a four point victory thanks to Darren Clarke's seventh and eighth points of the game and a couple from Shane McCoy.
ST MARYS: Duane Crosbie; Barry Faulkner, Paul Malone, John Bingham; Eamonn Callaghan, RJ Callaghan, Shane McCoy 0-2; Ronan Carroll 0-1, Robert Keenan; Fergal Diamond, Robert Leavy, Dean Matthews; Mark Fay 1-2, Paudy Clarke 0-1, Darren Clarke 0-8. Subs: Jamie Rooney for Fergal Diamond, Alan Kirk for Paudy Clark, Marty Duffy for Mark Fay, Niall Carroll for Barry Faulkner.
ST MOCHTAS: Fergus English; Paul Marron, Gary Connolly, Barry Cassidy; Liam Lawlor, Darren Gernon, Andrew English 0-1; Declan Byrne 0-1, Gareth O'Reilly 0-1; Phillip Englishby, Ciaran Byrne 0-4, Martin McGahon 0-1; Danny Kindlon, Eamonn O'Neill 1-1, Nigel Farrell.