Monday 20 November 2017

O'Rourke hails White for taking crucial free

LOUTH 1-12 ARMAGH 1-10

LOUTH left it late but scored three points in injury-time to beat Armagh in the local derby at the Athletic Grounds.

After a poor performance against Wexford last week, Louth showed great character to snatch victory.

Having been level nine times during the game, both teams probably deserved a draw.

Brian White, who had hit a penalty wide in the 63rd minute after Shane Lennon was pulled down by Brendan Donaghy, landed a difficult equalising free in the first minute of stoppage-time.

And in a dramatic finish, Louth kicked on with late points from Lennon and substitute Cathal Byrne.

Manager Aidan O'Rourke, facing his native county for the first time since taking the Wee County reins, praised White for converting the free, despite Armagh's best attempts to unsettle him along the sideline.

"I think it (gamesmanship) helped him. There were three or four people trying to interfere with him and hold him up," said O'Rourke.

"The fact the referee got involved, settled him, and it allowed him to readdress the ball. It probably worked in our favour.

"To miss the penalty and then step up and take that free ... I don't think anyone else on the pitch would have kicked that point. Huge credit to him."

The teams scored goals within three minutes of each other in the first half and both had a man sent off in the second half for two yellow cards.

Hobbled

Armagh finished the game with 13 men as James Lavery hobbled off in the 68th minute and they had already used all five subs.

Louth hit the first major of the game in the 23rd minute. Attacking wing-back Adrian Reid drilled a low shot beyond Philip McEvoy and the ball had crossed the line before Andy McDonnell got the final touch.

Tony Kernan responded for Armagh, with a dummy to beat the 'keeper which allowed him to tap the ball into an empty net. The sides were level 1-5 apiece at half-time.

Armagh were then reduced to 14 men after 46 minutes when James Donnelly was sent off for a second yellow-card offence against Kevin Rogers.

The home side responded by opening up a two-point lead but, in keeping with the pattern of the game, Louth hit back to level it up again at 1-9 apiece.

Louth lost Gerard Hoey four minutes from the end before the final flurry of points saw them snatch both league points.

Man of the match: S Lennon (Louth)

SCORERS – Louth: A Reid 1-1, S Lennon 0-3, K Rogers (1f), B White (1f) 0-2 each, D Crilly, B Donnelly, D Maguire, C Byrne 0-1 each. Armagh: T Kernan 1-0, G McParland 0-3 (2f), S Forker, S Harold 0-2 each, S Campbell, C Rafferty, D McKenna 0-1 each.

LOUTH – N Gallagher 7; C McGuinness 6, D Finnegan 6, G Hoey 5; P Rath 6, D Crilly 8, A Reid 8; R Carroll 7, B Donnelly 7; A McDonnell 7, M Brennan 6, B White 8; D Clarke 5, S Lennon 8, K Rogers 6. Subs: D Maguire 7 for Clarke (41), J McEneaney 7 for McGuinness (51), C Byrne 6 for Rogers (61).

ARMAGH – P McEvoy 7; J Morgan 8, B Donaghy 6, J Donnelly 5; F Moriarty 6, D McKenna 7, A Duffy 5; J Lavery 7, S Harold 8; C Rafferty 6, J Hanratty 6, S Campbell 7; T Kernan 7, S Forker 8, G McParland 8. Subs: M Shields 6 for Morgan (31), B Loughran 5 for Duffy (46), B Mallon 5 for Forker (49), K Toner 5 for Hanratty (58), S Clarke 5 for Campbell (64).

REF – E Kinsella (Laois).

Irish Independent

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