Thursday 13 December 2018

Brilliant Blues send out a stark warning to rivals

GAA Louth Leagues

John Savage

County champions Newtown Blues sounded a clear and ominous warning to their rivals on Sunday.

After losing their first five games last term and spending the season fighting relegation as a result, Ronan Phillips charges were keen to hit the ground running this term and they certainly hit that target, condemning Geraldines to an 18-point drubbing in their own back yard.

The Joe Ward holders host St Bride's in their first home game of the campaign this Sunday, bidding to consolidate their early position at the head of the Division 1 table.

The fixture computer wasn't kind to Bride's as they begin life back in the top tier after clinching the Division 2 title last term.

They opened their campaign with a three-point defeat to county finalists Dundalk Gaels last Sunday and travel to face the champs this weekend. With most of their county stars of recent seasons now concentrating on club matters, Dreadnots also got off to flying start last weekend, seeing off Cooley Kickhams by eight points in Cooley. They will be hoping to keep their 100 per cent start going agianst Naomh Mairtin this weekend, but the Jocks will be keen to bounce back from an opening round defeat to Sean O'Mahony's last Sunday.

The Dundalk men will be delighted to negotiate such a tricky away assignment and they'll have to be at their best again this Sunday when St Patrick's visit the Point Road. Pat's blew a six-point lead against Clans on Sunday at Castletown.

The former kingpins had a tendency to fade out of games in the final quarter last term and they suffered a similar fate as Clans came storming back to force a draw in the closing stages. Clans will be targeting both points away to Geraldines this weekend, but Wayne Callan won't want to start his tenure with back-to-back home defeats either.

Arguably the form team of 2018 so far Mattock Rangers will be looking to follow up on an eye-catching win over St Mary's last weekend when they host Cooley Kickhams in Collon. Missing a number of players last Sunday, the Mary's will be keen to make amends when they host the Gaels this week.

In Division 2 Hunterstown and O Raghallaigh's were made impressive starts, cruising to impressive wins over Naomh Fionnbarra and Glyde Rangers respectively. There were also wins for St Fechin's, St Joseph's, St Mochta's and Oliver Plunketts. In the third tier Lannleire pulled off a surprise win over Dundalk Young Ireland, but that was the only shock of the weekend as Westerns, John Mitchels, Wolfe Tones and St Kevin's all started their campaigns with wins.

Drogheda Independent