Wee tonic for Louth football
AN injury-time time goal from Conor Whelan sealed victory for Louth over Meath in the Gerry Reilly U-16 Football Tournament second-round Group B match in Millbrook on Thursday evening.
Whelan also opened the scoring, with a point, before Meath got off the mark with a goal from St Colmcille's James Conlon who finished a fine move to the net.
The hosts eventually went four points clear in that opening half despite playing against the breeze. However, they had to be satisfied with being level at the break, 1-3 to 0-6, after Louth dominated the second quarter.
During that spell Meath failed to score, while the Wee County notched four unanswered points from Whelan, Dion Conlon, Cian Callan and Emmet Hughes to leave the sides tied at the break.
Louth enjoyed a productive spell throughout the third quarter, during which they raced into a six-point lead. Dion Conlon and Frank O'Reilly exchanged points, before a Dion Conlon goal helped Louth move up a gear as they gained a stranglehold at midfield. They quickly added three successive points to move six clear.
Meath responded with a goal from Brian O'Reilly and two James Conlon points to leave the minimum between the sides, but singles by Whelan and Conlon (free) stretched Louth's lead again by the end of the third quarter.
Aaron Kennedy narrowed the gap with a point and this was followed by another Meath point from Brian O'Reilly, but Conlon bagged his second goal and a pointed free from Whelan left five between the sides with 10 minutes remaining.
The home side refused to give up the fight and were rewarded with a James Conlon goal in the 52nd minute. However, they were off target on three occasions, while Louth also squandered a number of scoring opportunities.
An Aaron Kennedy point left the minimum between the sides, ensuring a grandstand finish. Louth had a player red carded (two yellows) as Meath went in search of an equaliser. However, the Wee County struck on the break and Whelan was on hand to guarantee the win.
Overall it was a good display by Louth and a deserved victory and their half back Danny O'Brien received the Man of the Match award.
LOUTH: Aaron Roche (St Kevin's); Enda McKenna (St Kevin's), Ciaran Carter (Dundalk Gaels), David Cluskey (Stabannon Parnells); Aaron Khan (St Kevin's), Danny O'Brien (St Joseph's), Brendan Matthews (St Mary's); Dion Conlon (Glyde Rangers 2-3), Emmet Hughes (Roche Emmets 0-2); Sean Marry (St Brides 0-1), Cian Callan (St Kevin's 0-2), Liam Lynch (Dundalk Gaels); Cian McDonald (Cuchulainn Gaels), Sean Murphy (Sean O' Mahonys), Conor Whelan (Naomh Mairtin 1-4). Subs: Rory Duffy for Roche, Cathal Grogan (St Patrick's) for Carter, Joe Corrigan (St Fechin's 0-1) for McDonald, Killian Kampes (Kilkerley Emmets) for Lynch, Sam Mulroy (Naomh Martin) for Murphy.
MEATH: Dean Reddy (Skyrne); Ryan Hand (Curraha), Conor Harnan (Moynalvey), Mark Phelan (Curraha); Morgan Callaghan (Ballivor), Brian Joyce (Curraha), Kevin Gilsenan (St Brigid's); Conor Nash (Simonstown Gaels), Conor O'Byrne (St Colmcille's 0-1); Frank O'Reilly (Carnaross 0-2), Leo Reilly (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Brian O'Reilly (Moynalvey 1-1); James Conlon (St Colmcille's 2-3), Cian O'Reilly (Carnaross), Stephen Carton (Donaghmore/Ashbourne). Subs: Shane Bennett (Gael Colmcille) for O'Byrne; Enna Kelly Lynch (Wolfe Tones) for Nash, Aaron Kennedy (Ballinabrackey 0-2) for Reilly, Rory Maguire (O'Mahonys) for Carton, Cathal Murphy (Dunsany) for Gilsenan, Aaron Geraghty (Simonstown Gaels) for Callaghan.
Round 3 Fixtures
(all games in Millbrook, Oldcastle)
Saturday July 12
Westmeath v Louth (4pm)
Sunday July 13
Meath v Dublin (4pm); Wicklow v Cavan (7.30pm)
Monday July 14
Meath v Monaghan (7.30pm)