Saturday 24 February 2018

Burns goal seals fourth win and keeps Louth top

Louth 2-10 Antrim 1-11

Louth manager Colin Kelly. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Louth manager Colin Kelly. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile newsdesk

Louth continue to sit pretty at the summit of Division 3 after they secured their fourth victory in as many games in this hard-fought encounter with Antrim.

It was a cagey start by both sides with scores hard to come by, and they were not helped by the conditions underfoot as the players struggled with the soggy pitch.

Tommy Durnin eventually broke the deadlock when he put Louth ahead with a well-taken score after 10 minutes.

A minute later it was 1-1 to nil as Eoin O'Connor took a Ruairi Moore pass in his stride before finding the bottom corner of the net to send the home fans into raptures.

Antrim responded with a goal of their own as a poor Craig Lynch kick-out went straight to Ryan Murray, who found the back of the net with the help of a slight deflection.

Both teams then traded points before Pauric Smith put the Wee County 1-3 to 1-1 ahead at the break to end a low-scoring opening half.

The teams continued to trade points in the second-half, with Louth able to respond every time Antrim got to within a point of them.

The key moment of the second-half came in the 53rd minute when Ryan Burns was hauled down in the box, resulting in a penalty for the home side.

Burns himself stepped up and buried the ball into the corner of the net to make it 2-7 to 1-5 to Louth.

CJ McGourty scored two points in quick succession to leave just a goal between the sides late on, but a Declan Byrne point eased home nerves.

Despite a couple of late points from Antrim's Rory Scott, it was Colin Kelly's unbeaten Louth side who held on to maintain their 100pc record.

SCORERS - Louth: R Burns (1 '45, 1f), E O'Connor 1-2 each, B Duffy, T Durnin, P Smith, R Moore, J Bingham, D Byrne 0-1 each. Antrim: R Murray 1-0, CJ McCourty 0-5 (2fs), K Niblock, R Scott 0-2 each, P McBride, C Murray, 0-1 each.

LOUTH: C Lynch 6, P Rath 6, P Reilly 7, J Bingham 7, D Maguire 6, L Dullaghan 6, A Williams 6, T Durnin 7, D Byrne 7, J Stewart 7, P Smith 7, B Duffy 7, R Moore 8, E O'Connor 8, R Burns 8. Subs: A Reid 6 for P Smith, J Califf 6 for D Byrne.

ANTRIM: C Kerr 6, C Hamill 5, P Gallagher 5, P McAleer 6, P McBride 6, D Lynch 5, P Healy 6, J Dowling 6, S Beatty 6, C Murray 6, R Murray 5, K Niblock 7, CJ McGourty 8, C Small 6, M Fitzpatrick 6. Subs: P Branagan 6 for C Hamill, S Donnelly 6 for R Murray, D Nugent 6 for C Small, J Hannigan 6 for P Healy, R Scott 7 for M Fitzpatrick, O Hamill NA for P McAleer.REF: P Faloon (Down).

Irish Independent

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