Moninne are in seventh heaven
Naomh Moninne 7-9 St Fechins 2-9
Naomh Moninne ended a 19 year wait to capture the Louth Minor Hurling Championship title when they brushed aside the challenge of holders St Fechins in the final played at a cold Darver Centre of Excellence on Friday evening.
The Dundalk side last captured the Minor title in 1998 when they defeated Drogheda outfit Wolfe Tones, a club lost from the game of hurling in Louth now for several years.
In capturing this title Moninne, under managers John Murphy and Charlie Geoghegan, were also denying the South Louth outfit a sixth title in a row. Top scorer on the night for the Dundalk outfit was centre half forward Darren Geoghegan, younger brother of Ronan Geoghegan, who was man of the match in this year's Senior Championship Final, completing a memorable double for the black and amber outfit in 2017.
Geoghegan finished this final with an impressive tally of 3-7 with all but three of his points coming from play in what was a terrific all round team performance, with others to the fore being full back Eoin Murphy, midfielders Padraic Fallon and Feidhelm Joyce along with Mattie Fee, Ciaran McGlynn and Ultan McEneaney.
On the night both Joyce and Fee were capturing their second Championship medals of the year having both featured on Brian Brady's senior team in the victory over St Fechins on September 24.
James Murphy opened the scoring for the eventual winners with a good point from the right wing and his side would go on to lead by 1-4 to 0-0 after ten minutes with Geoghegan netting the first of his three goals.
A foul on the hard working Padraic Fallon saw Geoghegan add to his tally with a pointed free and likewise from a free awarded for a foul on James Murphy he again displayed his accuracy to leave his side in front by 1-6 to 0-0 on 24 minutes.
The Fechins certainly had their opportunities during this period accounting for seven wides in total before grabbing their opening score on 25 minutes, when Ryan Walsh scored a point from a free.
This score stirred up a good response from the South Louth side as they also accounted for the next three points from Sean Kerrisk and two Walsh frees. In the time that remained to the break Moninne grabbed a second goal when Eoghan O Hora netted from close range to leave his side leading by 2-6 to 0-4 at half time.
The second half was only a minute old when Geoghegan fired home goal number three for the black and amber outfit from the right of the post.
The sides shared the next four points before O Hora netted his second goal of this final on 45 minutes when he kicked in a rebound having seen his initial effort saved by the Fechins keeper Eoin Hackett.
A mistake by Moninne keeper James Prendergast saw a Ryan Walsh effort from distance ending up in the net and when substitute Jay Hughes pointed from play the Fechins were now trailing by 4-7 to 1-6.
Substitute Morgan McCaughey was only briefly on the pitch when he grabbed the winners fifth goal from a tight angle on 48 minutes to which his sides opponents replied with a goal of their own from Cian Fitzpatrick.
Top scorers Geoghegan and Walsh then exchanged points from play before Moninne sealed their first minor title since 1998 with late goals from Ultan McEneaney and Darren Geoghegan.
Afterwards the cup was presented by the Louth Coiste Iomana Secretary Maurice Murphy to the Moninne captain Mattie Fee.
NAOMH MONINNE: James Prendergast; Padraig Hickey, Eoin Murphy, Sean Magill; Alan Carr, Mattie Fee, Tadhg Litchfield; Padraic Fallon, Feidhelm Joyce; Ciaran McGlynn, Darren Geoghegan (3-7, 0-3 frees), James Murphy (0-1); Eoghan Smith, Ultan McEneaney (1-1), Eoghan O Hora (2-0). Subs - Morgan McCaughey (1-0) for E Smith, Luke Murray for S Magill, Kyle Rafferty for C McGlynn, Craig Callan for A Carr.
ST FECHINS: Eoin Hackett; Evan Morgan, David Lally, Sean Gibney; Alan Connor, Danny Morgan (0-1), Jack Murray; Paul McEvoy, Dylan Tiernan; Ryan Walsh (1-6, 0-5 frees), Eoin Ryan, Conor Higgins; Stephen Beirth, Cian Fitzpatrick (1-0), Sean Kerrisk (0-1 free). Subs used - Jay Hughes (0-1), Zac Lennon, Thomas McCreesh, Ciaran Brennan, John O Connell.
REFEREE: Jim O Rourke (Monaghan).