It is a good year for Under 14 Football in Louth and two terrific championship semi finals underlined the talent at this level. League champions Newtown Blues did well to get the better of St Mary’s by just two points in a well contested game while Dundalk Gaels were just a point behind Féile winners Mellifont Rovers in an equally good game.
John Laverty Motor Factors
Under 14 Championship Semi Finals
26th Sept Darver
Newtown Blues 5 - 10
St Mary’s 4 - 11
Blues had to fight all the way and just edged it by two points at the end. Mary's started the stronger and had 1-1 on the board, a goal from Luke O’Kane and a Lorcan Malone point, before Blues hit the target with a J Kelly point. Blues got right back in it when Fergal Donohoe goaled after a good move up the middle. Mary's Ryan Rooney converted a penalty before half time to lead by three at the break. The first half had plenty of good exciting football with tough exchanges and tight marking.
The second half was superb as a contest and with a total of 6 goals and 19 points scored you couldn’t take your eye of it there was so much action.
Blues started the 2nd half stronger and goaled within the first minute through Kevin Carr. Further points from C. Downey(2) and J. McDonnell extended Blues lead, but Mary's came storming back and three unanswered points and Rory Cousins goal drew them level again. Blues struck another goal and a point through Johnny McDonnell to put them in the driving seat but Mary's scored 2 great pts to come within one again.
The power of the Blues team was evident again when they had another two goals from C. Downey and Kevin Carr, but Mary's were not finished yet, they laid siege to the Blues goal mouth and goaled in the last minute through James Conlon to leave two in it at the final whistle. It was a pulsating and very sporting game and a very good contest, between two fine sides that have many talented players who produced a magnificent Under 14 Championship Semi Final.
Best for Blues were Johnny McDonnell ,Kevin Carr, Fergal Donohoe, Conor Farrell,Conor Ayson and Nathan Seery. Scorers: J.McDonnell 1-3, K.Carr 2-1.C.Downey 1-2, F.Donohoe 1-0, N.Seery 0-2 and J.Kelly 0-2
Brendan Matthews was outstanding at corner back for St Mary’s, Ryan Rooney had one of his best games at mid field and Luke O’Kane was the best of a good forward line. Overall it was a good team performance by St. Mary’s.
Scorers; Ryan Rooney 1 – 2(penalty), Luke O’Kane 1-0, James Conlon 1-0, Rory Cousins 1-0, Lorcan Malone 0-3, Evan Keenan 0-2, Dara McConnon 0-2, D.J. Matthews 0-1, Josh Martin 0-1.
Mellifont Rovers 1 - 9
Dundalk Gaels 1 - 8
This was a very close and hard fought contest between two well matched teams with Mellifont just about holding out at the end to win by the minimum. Mellifont started well and got 3 points on the board before the Gaels hit back with well taken points from play from Chris Sweeney, Sean Murray and Adam Brannigan. Some poor finishing prevented the Gaels from going into the lead at this stage and it was Mellifont who stretched their lead with a fisted goal by Ben Watters from a long delivery. Further Gaels points from John Byrne and a well struck free from Sean Murray and two points from Mellifont by Ben Watters and Alan Carraher left Mellifont in front by 1-5 to 0-5 at half time. Sean Murray narrowed the gap early in the second half with another free before Mellifont extended their lead again with some good scores from Aaron O’Brien and James Caraher. However in the last fifteen minutes it was all Gaels with Stephen Sharkey scoring 1-1 and Ciaran McKeown adding a point. The Gaels continued to press and create opportunities but with stern defending from Mellifont, the Gaels could just not find that extra score and Mellifont held out for a one point win.
Tommy Molloy at full back was commanding in the final stages for Mellifont and his clearances were added to by a very industrious Alan and James Caraher, Ryan Ward and Darren Kirk were strong at mid field and Jason McKeown, Aaron O’Brein, Jack Roddy and Ben Watters impressed up front.
Dundalk Gaels: Brian Gaffney, Sean Matthews, Andrew Lynch, Micheal Lambert, Adam Brannigan (0-1), Conor Morgan, Ciaran Carter, Oisin Murray, Ciaran McKeown (0-1), Stephen Sharkey (1-1), Conor Richardson, Chris Sweeney (0-1), Sean Murray (0-3), Conor Coleman, John Byrne (0-1), Aaron Culligan, Junior Animashaun, John Burlingham
Mellifonr Rovers; Craig Corrigan, John Matthews, Tommy Molloy, Alex marrin, Alan Carraher 0- 1, James Caraher 0 - 2, Patrick Taffee, Ryan Ward, Darren Kirk 0- 1, Jason McKeown, Aaron O’Brien 0 - 2, Killian Smythe, Ben Watters 1- 1, Jack Roddy, Nathan Murphy,
Substitutes; Jack Dunne, Keelan Evans, Sean Clarke, Shane De Courcy, Brendan Leacy, Aaron McCabe.