Lumpers seal League title
Last Sunday week Carlingford travelled to Ravensdale to take on league leaders Lumpers, with Lumpers needing victory to win the North Louth Winter League title in what was their final league game of the season.
In front of a large crowd and excellent playing conditions, both teams started very edgy with very few chances in the opening period. The first real chance of the game came on 20 minutes when Gary Connolly split the Carlingford defence with an inch perfect through ball to Declan Sharkey who was left one on one with goalkeeper Stephen Kelly but his shot went narrowly wide.
Then after a succession of sustained Lumpers pressure they eventually opened the scoring on the half hour mark with an attack starting down the left wing. Possession was picked up by Eddie Duffy who rolled it across the 18 yard box where Gary Connolly was on hand to side foot his side into a deserved lead.
Five minutes later Lumpers almost increased their lead from a Connor Connolly corner which was swung into the back post where Thomas Dullaghan rose highest but his header caught the outside of the post and went wide. Carlingford however ended the first half strongest forcing Lumpers to concede quick fire corners which were all eventually cleared.
At the start of the second half Carlingford again set about where they left off pushing the Lumpers deeper into their own half who were determined to hold on to their narrow lead. Carlingford eventually got back on level terms after an hour when they won a free kick just inside the Lumpers' half.
James McShane floated a high cross into the Lumpers' penalty area which had to be tipped onto the bar by keeper Vincent Holmes, afterwards a scramble in the box followed until the ball was finally forced over the line by Carlingford winger Stephen McComish to give them justified parity.
Lumpers captain Conall Lavery stepped up and curled an effort towards the top right hand corner with goalkeeper Kelly getting a hand to it but was unable to prevent it crossing the line and putting the Lumpers back in front with 10 minutes remaining.
In the final stages of the game Carlingford increased the pressure on their opponents winning several corners and free kicks in the final third but the Lumpers' defence stood firm with Man of the Match right back Gerard Goss in particular the stand out performer.
The final whistle blew with a 2-1 victory securing the league title for the Lumpers to the delight of Manager Cecil Mahon and Assistant Dom Gallagher's team, in what has been regarded as the toughest and most evenly contested season in recent times with a whole host of teams in contention for the title right up to the final few weeks of the league season.
Next up is the Fitzpatrick Cup with the Lumpers now looking to complete a remarkable treble of Summer League, Winter League & Fitzpatrick Cup. Best for the Lumpers were: Gerard Goss, Eddie Duffy and Conall Lavery. For Carlingford: Stephen McComish, James McShane and Andrew Boyle played well.
The Lumpers Team: Vincent Holmes, Gerard Goss, Thomas Dullaghan, Fintan Goss, Alan Sharkey, Gary Connolly, Eddie Duffy, Conall Lavery, Connor Connolly, Shane Hynes, Declan Sharkey. Subs: Chris Dullaghan for Connor Connolly, Mickey Loughran for Shane Hynes, Alan Dullaghan for Gerard Goss, Shane Murphy for Alan Sharkey. Niall Donohoe, Jamie O'Hare, Conor Sharkey, Eugene Toner.