Wednesday 16 January 2019

Louth GAA chiefs close to Kierans appointment

John Savage

Louth GAA chiefs are edging closer to appointing a new senior football manager with Wayne Kierans still very much the front-runner to take over from his former boss Pete McGrath.

The O'Connell's clubman has been the hot favourite to land the job for some weeks now, but it's believed that the make-up of his backroom team slowed the process somewhat.

However, with Monday night's scheduled county board meeting postponed until 8th October, it's expected that the selection committee, which includes former player Darren Clarke, will put Kierans's name forward to the county committee for ratification on the night.

Kierans is believed to have already offered his former minor and U-20 selector Liam Kelleher a position as a selector and his former O'Connell's sidekick Wayne McKeever was also being touted as a potential right-hand man following Dreadnots departure from the Senior Championship on Sunday night.

Former Down All-Ireland winner Cathal Murray was also being linked to a position on the backroom team last week. Kierans has been spotted at plenty of championship games over the last few weeks and he would have been impressed by the performances of Newtown Blues and Naomh Mairtin last weekend as they booked an Anchor Tours SFC final showdown on October 21st.

The Blues powered past McKeever's Dreadnots side on Sunday evening in Drogheda, with the 2012 and 2014 finalists barely landing a glove on the reigning champions.

With their county quintet of Ciaran Downey, Ross Nally, Andy McDonnell, Emmet Carolan and Fergal Donohoe all to the fore, the Blues raced into 0-11 to 0-2 half-time lead, before slipping into cruise control and ambling through what was a pedestrian second-half. They will be bidding for a first two-in-a-row since the 2000-01 seasons when they face first-time finalists Naomh Mairtin in just under three weeks time.

The Jocks were hugely impressive as they brushed aside St Patrick's in Ardee on Saturday evening. Jim Farrell's men only trailed the former Louth kingpins for a short period before half-time, but goals from wingers Conor Healy and Stephen Campbell saw them adjourn with a 2-4 to 1-5 half-time lead. They turned the screw after the break and Conor Whelan added a third goal late on to add some gloss to the final scoreline.

The senior decider is a repeat of the O'Donnell Cup final three weeks ago.

The Blues prevailed that night, but certainly didn't have things all their own way. This weekend the attention switches to the Junior grade as Dundalk Young Ireland and Glyde rangers clash in Dowdallshill at 3.30.

The Argus