Laois champs prove a 'Bridge too far
MOUNTMELLICK eased their way past Louth runners-up Knockbridge in the Leinster Special junior semi-final in Mountmellick on Sunday morning.
The Louth men simply had no answer in a one-sided affair, with the Laois champions never in any danger of losing out.
Mountmellick stalwart Aidan Challoner opened the scoring with a thirty yard strike in the third minute, his half forward colleague Redmond McEvoy doubled the home side's advantage two minutes later. Knockbridge got on the score board through a Sean Byrne free in the sixth minute, but it was Mountmellick who were dominant in the early stages.
Donnacha Hartnett was in the right place in the twenty third minute to take advantage of some poor defensive play by the Louth men, the ball ricocheting off the number thirteen in the confusion into the back of the net, the scoreboard now reading 1-4 to 0-1. Although the Louth men registered the final two scores of the first period they still went to the break trailing by five on a scoreline of 1-5 to 0-3.
Mountmellick picked up where they left off in the early stages of the second half, Ray O' Connor pointing after good work from James Hilliard. Mountmellick then hit four points in a row between the fortieth and fifty fifth minute, the pick of these an excellent sideline fifty yard turn and strike from the industrious James Hilliard.
Knockbridge to their credit competed until the final whistle and managed to raise a green flag of their own with the final action of proceedings. A well-directed free from Ronan Byrne found its way into the back of the Mountmellick net, putting some respectability to the final scoreline.
Mountmellick: Eoghan Quigley; Darren Young, Keith Dunphy, Laurence Kenny; John McEvoy, Bernard Rochford, Chris Hartnett; Seamus Stapelton, Mick Bermingham 0-2; James Hillard 0-1, Aidan Challoner 0-5 (0-3f), Redmound McEvoy 0-1; Donnacha Hartnett 1-1, Ray O'Connor 0-2, Ian Fennelly. Subs: Eddie Melia for R.McEvoy (27 mins), Ian Moore for D.Hartnett (52 mins), Tom Gormley for R.O'Connor (55mins), David Allen for D.Young (58 mins)
Knockbridge: Paul Dunne; Conor Kerrigan, Diarmuid Duffy, Ricky McKeown; Mark Wallace, Ronan Byrne 1-0f, Stephen Kettle; Brian Dunne, Gerard McKeown; Sean Byrne 0-4f, Shane Darcy, David Kettle; Michael Lundon, James Costello, Colm Teefy. Subs: Stephen Hoey for M.Laundon (40), Shane Murphy for S.Darcy (49), Brendan McNally for C.Teefy (49).