Newtown Blues 1-10 Naomh Máirtín 0-4
Table toppers Newtown Blues made it 13 matches unbeaten this season with a comfortable defeat of Naomh Máirtín in Newfoundwell on Sunday.
With Ross Nally out injured and Blues opting to leave it until the second half before introducing Andy McDonnell, Ciarán Downey and Dáire Nally, the winners looked to Robert Carr for scores and the full-forward delivered, bagging 1-4, including a crucial goal just before the interval.
The hosts led by 1-5 to 0-1 midway through and despite playing with a considerable gust at their backs in the second half, Máirtín’s never threatened to make the contest competitive, adding just three points to their tally.
Even more alarmingly, wing-back Jack Murphy was their most vibrant threat, his two fine registers being supplemented in isolation by a Tom Gray free.
In front of Louth selectors Gavin Devlin and Niall Sharkey, Blues’ half-back line trio of Alan Connor, Emmet Carolan and Fergal Donohoe were the most impressive performers, the latter’s long sideline kick picking out Carr in behind the covering defenders for the match’s only goal on the eve of the break.
The Jocks had taken an early lead through Gray but they only got inside Blues’ 20-metre line on four occasions during the opening period, which was hardly conducive to keeping pace with their rivals.
A key moment arrived after Conor Ayson fouled Gray for a penalty but Johnny McDonnell was equal to Stephen Campbell’s scuffed strike and Blues followed up with a swift 1-3, Jamie Kelly with the pick of the points.
Into the breeze, the winners minded the ball impressively, though there is no disguising how poor the Jocks were. On one occasion, a member of the team’s experienced brigade was audible in his assessment of proceedings. “Get to the f**king ball,” he bellowed, as Fergal Reel’s men chased to no avail.
NEWTOWN BLUES: Johnny McDonnell; Conor Ayson, John Connolly, Thomas Costello; Alan Connor, Emmet Carolan, Fergal Donohoe 0-1; Chris Reid, Ciarán Cluskey-Kelly; Jamie Kelly 0-2, Conor Moore, Ian Connor; John Kermode 0-1, Robert Carr 1-4 (0-2f), Cormac McQuillan. Subs: Declan McNamara for McQuillan, Andy McDonnell for I Connor, Dáire Nally 0-1 for Moore, Ciarán Downey for Kermode.
NAOMH MÁIRTÍN: Craig Lynch; Conor Smyth, Thomas Sullivan, Shane Morgan; Jack Murphy 0-2, Seán Healy, Conor Morgan; Gavan Mooney, Evan Whelan; Paul Berrill, Val Leddy, Stephen Campbell; Tom Gray 0-2 (1f), Thomas Clarke, Bryan McQuillan. Subs: Colm Egan for Morgan, Mark McCullough for McQuillan, Craig Callinan for Mooney; Ben Callinan for Sullivan, Jack Lynch for Campbell, Jamie Winters for Smyth.
REFEREE: David J McArdle (St Bride’s).