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23/10/2021

Sam Mulroy shows his class as Naomh Mairtin begin defence of their Senior crown

INSIDE TRACK | If only Sam had found the mark much earlier in Sunday's Louth senior final

Naomh Máirtín's Sam Mulroy, who was in superb form last weekend hitting 1-7 as his side defeated the Dreadnots. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)

Anchor Tours Senior Football Championship Group D

Naomh Mairtin 1-11 Dreadnots 0-9

A second half resurgence saw Naomh Mairtin open up their Senior Football Championship defence in Group D with a five point victory over the Dreadnots on Sunday evening.

With talisman Sam Mulroy helping himself to 1-7, the holders did enough to see off the tricky challenge of the Dreadnots, who led by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break thanks to the kicking of Peter Kirwan and Jay Hughes, and a splendid point from James Califf on the angle.

With the Martins slow out of the blocks, the Dreadnots turned them over and broke with pace. The Clogherhead men led by 0-3 to 0-1 after 12 minutes, with Jay Hughes (0-2), either side of a Paraic Smith effort giving their side early joy, with a classy point from Mulroy the sole response from the Martins.

Pat Lynch then set up Darragh Shevlin for another white flag, while further scores from Kirwan and Hughes helped the Dreadnots to lead by 0-6 to 0-2 after 20 minutes, with the possibility of an early championship upset a distinct possibility.

Two frees from Sam Mulroy did close that gap, before a wonderful kick from James Califf left just a kick of the ball between the sides at the break, despite the Martins having Conor Whelan and Stephen Campbell black carded during that opening 30 minutes.

The Martins had another gear or two to reach and they certainly reached it in that second half, with Sam Mulroy scoring 1-4 of their second half tally of 1-7. Mulroy also touched the ball 17 times over the hour, with Sean Healy and John Clutterbuck turning the screw.

The Monasterboice side only turned the Dreadnots over six times in that opening half. But in the second half, Fergal Reel’s side upped their intensity and levels of urgency, turning Clogherhead over 15 times in the second half.

This led to the game changing moment of the match, as Sam Mulroy seized on a loose pass from the Dreadnots defence, before firing the ball passed Ciaran Cunningham to level things up at 1-4 to 0-7 minutes after the restart.

The Martins kicked on from that, scoring seven points in a row as Clogherhead failed to register a second half score until stoppage time through two Jay Hughes frees.

The Martins pushed for home, winning six from 15 on the Dreadnots kickout with four further points from the boot of Sam Mulroy, two from Conor Whelan and a point from Wayne Campbell ensuring the Jocks’ victory in their first game in their bid to defend their Joe Ward crown.

Naomh Martin: Craig Lynch; Mark Whelan, Thomas Sullivan, Conor Healy; John Clutterbuck, Sean Healy, Conor Morgan; Wayne Campbell (0-2), Evan Whelan; Jack Murphy, Eoghan Callaghan, Stephen Campbell; Conor Whelan (0-2,0-1 free), Sam Mulroy (1-7, 0-5 free), JP Rooney. Subs: Val Leddy for Evan Whelan (50), Brian McQuilan for Rooney (50), Mick Fanning for Murphy (54), Cian Sands for Wayne Campbell (58),

Dreadnots: Ciaran Cunnigham; Barry Faulkner, Padraig Rath, Conor Clarke; Aaron Scullion, Anthony Williams, Conor Faulkner; Paraic Smith (0-1), Dermot Campbell; Peter Kirwan (0-2), Pat Lynch, James Califf (0-1); Jay Hughes (0-4, 0-3 free), Darragh Shevlin (0-1), Cian McEvoy. Subs: Anthony Lynch for Pat Lynch (48), Derek Shevlin for Faulkner (53), Carl Monaghan for Darragh Shevlin (53).

Referee: David Fedigan.

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