Holcroft holds nerve to lift Wee county
Louth 1-19 Cavan 1-18 (after extra-time): Leinster JFC
Louth juniors lifted the mood in the Wee County with a gutsy extra-time win over All-Ireland champions Cavan in Drogheda.
After leading by seven points at one stage in the first half, Colin Kelly's side needed a last-gasp penalty from Ronan Holcroft to force extra-time.
The hosts storming into a 0-7 to no score lead. Cavan didn't get off the mark until the 19th minute, but finished the half strongly to close the gap to 0-9 to 0-5 at the break.
Conor Madden then netted for Cavan, giving the Ulster county the lead for the first time at 1-9 to 0-10.
Louth made no headway until deep into injury-time when Holcroft held his nerve over the penalty, awarded for a touch on the ground inside the square after a great save by Aaron Farrelly.
With Holcroft prominent, Louth seized the initiative in the first period of extra-time to turn with a two-point cushion, 1-16 to 1-14.
Cavan drew level, but a free from Holcroft and a fisted point from Conall McKeever saw Louth home.
Scorers - Louth: R Holcroft 1-7 (1-0pen, 0-5fs), P Kirwan, G McSorley, D Maguire, C McKeever 0-2 each, J McEneaney, D O'Connor, D McComish, W Woods 0-1 each. Cavan: C Madden 1-8 (0-4fs, 0-1 '45'), T Moore (1f), E Henry (1f), S Tierney, D Sexton 0-2 each, M Cunningham, L Murphy 0-1 each.
Louth - C Lynch; C Lenehan, B Mulligan, K Toner; P McGrath, P Berrill, D McComish; J McEneaney, M Rogers; C McKeever, P Kirwan, J Agnew; R Holcroft, D O'Connor, G McSorley. Subs: C Smith for Berrill (44), A Brodigan for Rogers (44), D Maguire for McSorley (54), W Woods for O'Connor (f-t), M Rogers for Brodigan (f-t).
Cavan - A Farrelly; B Fortune, L Reilly, S Grey; L Murphy, A Watson, B Tully; G McGovern, C Daly; B Kelly, C Madden, E Flanagan; S Tierney, C Flanagan, T Moore. Subs: JP Kelly for Grey (28), E Henry for Daly (h-t), M Cunningham for Kelly (41), K Boucher for C Flanagan (54), D Sexton for Reilly (56), B Kelly for Daly (72), C Daly for Tierney (78).
Ref - P Maguire (Longford).