Wee men shake off Red Hand
GAA Allianz Hurling League Division 3A: Louth 4-12 - Tyrone 0-20
Fourteen man Louth produced an heroic second half display in Darver on Sunday afternoon to edge past Tyrone in this thrilling division 3A clash. Louth went into the game as clear underdogs having lost heavily twice to Tyrone last season in the league but prevailed despite seeing Andrew McCrave sent off with twenty minutes of the match still remaining.
Louth manager Philip O'Brien gave debuts to Neil and Gerry Arthur who both hail from County Clare and it was the former who played a starring role as he racked up an impressive 2-9 to help see Tyrone off.
Louth got off to the best possible start scoring a goal in the opening minute thanks to a wonderfully instinctive finish from Shane Callan but as the half wore on Tyrone gradually got on top with Damien Casey in particular punishing some ill-discipline in the Louth defence. However, despite bossing large periods of the opening half Tyrone just couldn't shake Louth off and the home side kept in touch thanks to some excellent long range frees from Neil Arthur.
An exciting opening period ended with Damien Casey scoring his eighth point of the half to send Tyrone in at the break with a 0-13 to 1-8 lead.
Louth were level shortly after the restart thanks to a Gerard Smyth goal which came after an almighty scramble in the Tyrone box. Perhaps still reeling from the concession of that soft goal the Tyrone defence were caught napping again just two minutes later as the excellent Neil Arthur produced a clinical finish to put the Wee County in the driving seat. Paddy Lynch's pinpoint pass was collected by Arthur who bore down on the Tyrone goal before finding the corner of the net.
Louth were dealt a blow with twenty minutes remaining when referee Chris Mooney flashed a red card in Andrew McCrave's direction for a dangerous tackle on Pierse O'Kelly. At that stage Louth were just a point ahead and most in attendance felt that McCrave's sending off could prove very costly for Louth.
Louth, to their credit, defended heroically in the final quarter to keep Tyrone at bay as Matthew Lennon's Tyrone side grew visibly frustrated in the latter stages. With Tyrone pouring forward to find a score late on, Louth broke and sealed victory with a second Arthur goal to help rubber stamp an excellent five-point victory.
LOUTH: S Hackett, M Wallace, M Lyons, C Mathews, S Kettle, R Byrne, A McCrave, D Ryan, G Arthur, G Smyth 1-1, S Callan 1-0, S Connelly, P Mathews 0-1, N Arthur 2-9 (6f), P Lynch 0-1. Subs: Paddy McCormack for Gerard Smyth (48), John Crosbie for Paul Mathews (60), David Kettle for Paddy Lynch (60).
TYRONE: C McElhatton, D Begley 0-1, B Begley, T Morgan, P McHugh, S Donnelly, C Kearns, C McNally, R McKernan 0-1, D Casey 0-14 (9f), P O'Kelly, C Cross, B McGurk, A Kelly 0-3, L Armstrong 0-1. Subs: Peadar Daly for Chris Cross (ht), Ciaran Lagan for Liam Armstrong (59).
Referee: Chris Mooney (Dublin)