The Adult Club League fixtures continued over the weekend with clubs taking to the field without most of the Louth inter-county panel who continue their preparation for the Division 4 National Football League final next weekend.
In Division 1, St Brides, Geraldines, St Fechins, Cooley and Roche all recorded their second victory in a row, with the other 5 contenders in this division all still looking for their first win of the league season.
Report from Stabannon v Gers from Teresa Hanratty:
Stabannon 0-5 Geraldines 3-15
Stabannon travelled to Haggardstown to meet Senior Champions, Geraldines. In the first minute of the match, Geraldines put down as marker as they were first to score in the first minute of the game. Stabannon were guilty of winning possession and giving it away again and Emma Garllan and Ciara O’Connor punished the mid Louth side for their errors with two points in quick succession. Stabannon won a number of frees out field but again errors in passing meant loss of possession. Sophie Smith for Stabannon was unlucky to put the first free of match wide on the sixth minute of the game and again Emma Garllan punished Stabannon with another point. Suzanne Carroll was strong from Stabannon in goals and made a number of great saves and forced the Geraldines ball over the bar. Stabannon had a great spell of possession for the next ten minutes and Sophie Smith got Stabannon on the score board with a fine point, followed by a free that Smith put over the bar and great play from Anne Marie Lynch in the backs to Niamh Sadlier saw Sadlier put the ball over the bar to leave 3 points between the teams. Again Lynch and Sadlier combined again but Sadlier was unlucky not to score this time. Ciara McNally took a great score for Stabannon bringing it back to 2 points between the teams as half time approached. The tide turned in favour of the Geraldines and some great score taking saw them add another three points to the score board before half time. At the interval the home side led on a score of 0-08 to 0-04.
Stabannon started the second half strong and retained possession but again were found guilty of giving away possession when in a scoring position. The Stabannon defence, reignited by the return of Anne Marie Lynch and Andrea Carney were strong against a forceful Geraldines attack. Unfortunately the Geraldines hit the back of the Stabannon net about ten minutes into the second half. Another score added to the homeside tally before Stabannons Niamh Sadlier scored a point on the 17th minute of the second half. Caoimhe Boyle was unlucky not to convert for Stabannon as the Geraldines added another two points to their score.
Stabannon made some changes with Sophie Smith being replaced by Lucy Smith and Saoirse Titley replacing Amy Malone while Deirdre Lyons replaced Niamh Sadlier. The Geraldines were now dominant in terms of possession and scoring and they added a further five points and a goal to their score without reply from Stabannon.
At full-time the score was Geraldines 3-15 to Stabannon 0-05. While Stabannon performed well in parts of the game, their inability to retain possession at crucial times in the game and lack of power in attack would ultimately cost them the game. There were strong performances by Andrea Carney, Anne Marie Lynch, Ruth McNally, Carol Cluskey and Laura McNally in defence for Stabannon but the absence of experienced players like Orlagh Byrne, Danielle Sharkey, Rachel McNally and Bronagh McGrane in attack proved costly for the mid Louth side.
St Brides 1-15 St Mochtas 1-06
St Brides registered their second win in succession against a weakened Mochtas outfit on Sunday morning in Knockbridge. The strength of the opposition, however, did not detract from the quality of play from the hosts from the outset. In the first ten minutes, the Brides put 1-4 on the score board without reply. Two points apiece from Emma McArdle and Kodie McEneaney with a clinical finish from Lily Fagan after a fine save by Niamh Kirk in the Mochtas goal put the team in red and white into an almost unassailable lead early on. A fisted point by McEneaney was the culmination of some tireless team work that started from their own goal line after the Knockbridge outfit snuffed out a Mochtas attack. This was the last score before the water break as both teams spurned chances at scores.
Despite marshalling her defence with the experience we have come to expect, Dearbhla O’Connor and co. could not halt the waves of Brides attacks as Aimee McNally got in on the action with her first point after the water break. The Mochtas then had a bit of a purple patch with Lauren Keenan driving her team on from midfield, but a couple of wides were the only outcome of this brief period of dominance. McEneaney added her fourth of the game after a long, rangy run before Laura Kieran registered the visitor’s first point of the game from a free. McEneaney finished the half of as she started it with a point for the Brides to leave the score at the break 1-8 to 0-1.
Changes were made throughout the second half by the Brides, but the points kept coming. Three points from Emma McArdle, one after great interplay with Sarah Fagan, and one more from McEneaney after a trademark run from her own 45, put the game out of sight. A free from Laura Kieran was followed by two more points from St Brides – a fisted point from Sarah Fagan and appoint from play from Emma McArdle.
After the water break the Mochtas saw their second spell of dominance in the game as they outscored their opposition 1-4 to 0-1. Kieran got her third point of the day followed by points from Grace O’Reilly and Christine Carolan. In reply, former Mochtas player, Gráinne Mackin, scored a point for the Brides. A fantastic run from defence by centre half back, Leah Farrell, ended in Kieran finding the net, before the Mochtas midfielder, Sarah Englishby registered the final point of the day.
In Division 2, Dreadnots continued their good start to the league with a 1-11 to 0-7 win over Ardee St Mary’s. Naomh Fionbarra got back to winning ways with a victory over Glyde.
Also in this division St Kevins recorded their second win of the campaign beating Gleann Mhairtin on their visit to Philipstown by a score of 1-12 to 2-3. This was a closely contested game througout but St Kevins managed to pull away in the last 15 minutes through a goal from Aishling Maguire and well taken points by Susan Byrne and Roisin Maguire.
Gleann Mhairtin had started well with first half goals from Marcella Molloy and Rachel Leonard and 2 points from Sarah Maguire. However St Kevins kept in touch with most of their scores coming from Susan Byrne and Roisin Maguire. With Grainne Murray also very strong in the Kevin’s defence they restricted the Monasterboice/Tullyallen outfit to just a single score in the second half and ran out winners by 6 points in the end.
In Division 3A on Friday evening O’Raghallaighs/Plunketts continued to set the pace with a narrow win over Mattock Rangers, 2-13 to 1-14, a very impressive Cooley B team got the better of Gleann Mhairtin B at home by 1-16 to 6 points, while Gers B had a big win over Brides B.
In Division 3B there was a great night for Dundalk Gaels ladies team claiming their first ever victory over local rivals Dundalk Young Ireland’s. The first half was a closely contested affair with the Gaels leading 2-4 to 1-2 at half time. The game finished Dundalk Gaels 3-05 Dundalk Young Ireland’s 1-02.
Also in Div 3B there was a win for the Clans B team over Hunterstown Rovers, 5-7 to 4-7. Roche B has a 3 point win over the Gers C team, the Kilkerly & Fechins B teams played out draw (1-9 to 0-12), while a high scoring Cuchullain Gaels had a win over Stabannon B, 9-9 to 7-8.