ARDEE CS reached their first ever Lennon Cup decider last week -- and on the evidence of this impressive semi-final victory and their performances in the group games they have every chance of taking home the trophy for the first time.
This was a comprehensive victory and the foundations were laid in the first half when, windassisted, they built up a big 3-7 to 1-3 lead.
Centre half Emmet Duffy got their first score and it was followed by their first goal from Ryan Rooney. Terry Donegan and Rooney hit fine points and when Ryan Burns rounded the keeper and planted the ball in the net they were nine points clear with St Joseph's yet to score.
Josh Cormican was on target from a free for St Joseph's and Newtown Blues club player John Connolly got their other two points of the first half, but at the other end there were two more points for Ryan Burns and Jake Stewart and Kevin Traynor also scored.
A third goal from Ryan Rooney ensured that Ardee had a big lead that Joes were going to find it hard to haul back.
Ardee were very solid at the back too. David Carroll and Emmet Duffy defended well in front of a solid Niall Carrie in goals, Neil Reilly and Kevin Traynor dominated mid field and Terry Donegan and Martin Duffy were strong in attack, and this created opportunities for Rooney and Burns which they were more than happy to grab.
St Joseph's did much better when aided by the wind in the second half and Michael Flanagan (four points), Adam Brodigan (1-1) and Andrew McCann (two points) did their best to close the gap.
However, a goal from Burns early in the half was a big setback and Ardee continued to add points to maintain their margin, with Martin Duffy grabbing three and Burns a brace.
Leigh Synnott, Andrew McCann, Daire Fanning and Conor Matthews did their best in defence for St Joseph's and Michael Flanagan, Adam Brodigan, Josh Cormican and John Connolly tried hard against a tight defence.