The Louth U14 panel headed to Kinnegad at the weekend to compete in a national blitz and the Wee County represented their county with dignity in two tough matches.
Louth gave an exhibition of good football in this game and were 2–7 to 0-1 ahead after seventeen minutes.
Cian Callan scored a goal for Louth in the second minute following an excellent move involving Brendan Matthews, Cathal Grogan, Ciaran Carter and Dion Conlon. Longford had a few promising attacks but they were well cut out by Jamie Kelly, Cathal Quinn and Jack McGailey.
Louth were getting plenty ball up front and they put it to good use, Cian Commins got a second goal, Cathal Grogan got a good point and Cian Commins and Cian Callan brought Louth’s tally to 2–3.
Brendan Matthews saved bravely on the goal line and Cathal Quinn cleared and Emmet Hughes finished a length of the pitch move with the point of the game. Christopher Sweeney, Jack McGailey raiding from the back and Christopher again gave Louth a deserved twelve point lead.
By now Louth had introduced substitutes, Conor Whelan and Stephen McCooey took the mid field places of Cathal Grogan and Ciaran Carter and Bill Wells took over at full back from Cathal Quinn. Cian Commins added a point and Christopher Sweeney registered Louth’s eight wide of the half.
Louth introduced eight more substitutes in the second half and the game evened out as a contest.
Sam Mulroy replaced Dion Conlon, Sean Marry came on for Emmet Hughes, Aaron Khan for Cian Duffy, Aaron McParland for Brendan Matthews and John Culleton for Ronan Levins over the first ten minutes of the second half.
All players called on played well but the large number of substitutions disrupted Louth’s flow of play.
Still Lorcan Malone got the first point of the half and Longford got their first goal from the rebound when David Anderson brought off a great save.
Louth hit back immediately when they won the kick out and when Lorcan Malone delivered the ball long to Ross Nally he beat two defenders for a superb goal.
Jason Callan replaced David Anderson in goals and Killian Kempes came on for Jack McGailey.
Ciaran Whelan replaced Ross and he got a point and this was Louth’s last score with ten minutes left.
Longford who had used only three substitutes had a good last ten minutes. Louth conceded a goal and two points but there was still no alarm. That was until a defensive mistake allowed Longford in for a goal and they returned the ball from the kick out for a fifth goal that levelled the game. Jason Callan could have got more protection and the muddy and sticky goalmouth hampered him in getting to the ball.
As it was a blitz situation Louth were declared winners as they were first to score in the game. They played Dublin while Longford played Monaghan in the second games.
It was a superior display by Louth and all players worked hard, combined well and gave it their all. Jamie Kelly, Brendan matthews and the superb Jack McGailey excelled in defence, Ciaran Carter and Cathal Grogan dominated midfield while there and Cian Callan, Cian Commins, Emmet Hughes, Christopher Sweeney and Dion Conlon posed too many problems for Longford.
Louth; David Anderson, John Mitchells; Ronan Levins, N Blues; Cathal Quinn Cooley K; Jamie Kelly, N Blues; Jack McGailey 0-1, D Hill; Brendan Matthews, St Marys; Cian Duffy, St Pats; Ciaran Carter, Gaels; Cathal Grogan 0-1, St Pats; Cian Callan 1-1, St Kevins; Christopher Sweeney 0-2, Gaels; Dion Conlon, Baile Talun; Emmet Hughes 0-1, Roche; Cian Commins 1-2, St Marys; Ross Nally, N Blues.
Substitutes, all used; Jason Callan, Brides; Aaron Khan, St Kevs; Aaron McParland, St Pats; Bill Wells, Gers; Conor Whelan, Stephen McGooey, St Mochtas; N Mairtin; Jonathan Culleton, St Brides; Killian Kempes, Kilkerley; Lorcan Malone, St Mary’s; Sam Mulroy, N Mairtin; Sean Marry, St Brides.
Dublin 6 -9
Louth Under 14 players played with great confidence and commitment in this big game for them.
They were ahead for all but five minutes midway through the half and only lost it ten minutes into the second half, they regained it twice subsequently and were only a point down with four minutes left only to lose by three points.
Five second half goals by Dublin did the damage, two in particular near the end when fresh players by Dublin stretched the Louth defence. Louth had a four point lead at half time and were four points clear again before the two late goals.
The sight of the Dublin jersey inspired Ross Nally and he had three points on the board following two wides in seven minutes and Ciaran Carter’s effort for a goal stuck in the mud.
Louth were playing inspired stuff and Ciaran Carter, Stephen McCooey, Dion Conlon, Christopher Sweeney were on song and benefitting from a good supply from the defence in which Brendan Matthews was central to Louth’s outstanding play.
Dublin had limited chances but from one of them Jack Rafter got a goal and midway through the half they added three points to keep in touch.
Dion Conlon converted three frees that resulted from good Louth pressure on the defence and Ciaran Carter got a point.
Louth were unlucky to be wide with three good attempts and a Ross Nally free gave Louth a four point lead at half time.
Louth continued in the second half where they left off and Dion Conlon got a goal from the throw in when Ciaran Carter won the ball and Cian Callan set up the goal.
The first big set back for Louth came in the next three minutes when Jack Rafter and Mark Donnelly got goals for Dublin. Good play by Jamie Kelly and Christopher Sweeney put Cian Calan in for a point but Dublin took the lead with three superb points.
But this Louth side were not going down easily, Ross Nally regained the lead with a goal bouncing off two defenders on the way but unfortunately Mark Victory’s goal put Dublin back into the lead.
Louth had played too well to give in and they showed grit and determination to go back into a four point lead with about five minutes left. Stephen McCooey had a lot to do to get the ball into the corner of the net and Cian Commins and Ciaran Carter with the point of the game got the scores.
Two late goals for Dublin flattered them and Louth though losing by three points can be immensely proud of the performance.