NAOMH Mairtin Under-14s achieved a historic victory as they became Louth U-14 Football champions for the first time ever in Haggardstown last Friday week.
It was the club's first ever Championship Grade 1 win at any underage level and it came at the hands of Dundalk Gaels.
It was a very hard fought and determined victory as the game was in the balance from start to finish. The Jocks started well and went two points up in the first six minutes but the Gaels responded and came into ascendancy as the first half progressed. However, tigerish defending from Naomh Mairtin's backs Andrew Dorian, Mark Whelan, Colm Egan and Evan Whelan along with some great interceptions from Jack Murphy and Ross Donnelly meant that they were still in the game throughout.
The midfield pairing of Eoghan Callaghan and Eoghan Gaynor worked tirelessly and paved the way for some excellent forward play from John Holdcroft, Conor Morgan Lee Neilon and Eoghan Winters. In addition, Thomas Byrne, who was unerring from placed balls, and Paul Kindlon consistantly caused trouble for the Gaels' defence.
However, two opportunistic goals from the Gaels, left Naomh Mairtin trailing by 0-3 points at half time.
As has been their trait all year, these young men from Monasterboice did not throw in the towel and as the second half began started to win the 50-50 tussles. Their work rate at this stage increased significantly and gradually they began to wear down a very resolute Gaels side.
There were wild celebrations after the final whistle from the 25 strong panel, all of whom individually played their part in a memorable year for the Monasterboice club.
Declan Byrne, Chairperson of the Minor Board presented the cup afterwards to team captain Eoghan Callaghan. Luke Mitchell picked up the Man of the Match award for his excellent goalkeeping display.
NAOMH MAIRTIN: Luke Mitchell, Colm Egan, Andrew Dorian, Evan Whelan, Ross Donnelly, Mark Whelan, Jack Murphy, Eoghan Gaynor, Eoghan Callaghan(1-1), Thomas Byrne(1-8), John Holdcroft, Lee Neilon, Eoghan Winters, Conor Morgan(0-1), Paul Kindlon(1-1). Subs: Darren Morgan, David O'Brien(for Lee Neilon), James Conroy, Ryan Sands, Neil Holdcroft, Ciaran Faulkner, Luke Byrne(for Colm Egan), Adam Booth, Thomas Clarke, Thomas Rooney.