25 Sept 2022

Sam Mulroy the star attraction as Naomh Mairtin prove too good for Dreadnots

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

Naomh Máirtín's Sam Mulroy was in superb form last weekend, hitting 0-10 as his side defeated the Dreadnots. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)

Anchor Tours Senior Football Championship Group 3 Round 3

Naomh Mairtin 0-16 Dreadnots 1-9

The County champions booked their place in the quarter finals with a second win of the campaign in Group 3. They were never able to shake off their neighbours from Clogherhead, but four points in a row midway through the first half ultimately created a cushion that they never relinquished.

A Jay Hughes goal gave the Dreadnots some hope, bringing his side back to within two points. However despite threatening a another green flag on numerous occasions in the second half, they failed to rattle the net again. The Jocks doing just enough when it mattered to get over the line.

The opening exchanges were rather even. To nobody’s surprise Sam Mulroy got the tie’s opening score, only for it to be cancelled out immediately by Jay Hughes.  

John O’Brien’s charges even led for a short spell on eight minutes, two in a row from Hughes and Craig Shevlin enough to cancel out a long-range effort from Val Leddy. Darragh Shevlin was their go to man, anything good produced by his teammates tending to have had some influence from him.

The Martins quickly took control from here, either by going short from their own kickouts and slowly building it up the field or by turning the ball over when their opponents restarted the contest.

Four in a row between the 10-18th minute of the match saw them build up a cushion that ended up being decisive, with Sam Mulroy the main culprit. Three from the Louth captain coupled with an effort from Wayne Campbell seeing the Martins lead by 0-6 to 0-3.

By this stage there was notable drop in intensity, the tie looking far from a championship derby. Yet it produced three scores apiece, Whelan (2) and Mulroy for the Jocks, Hughes (2) and James Califf for the Dreadnots, leaving three between the sides as they went into the dressing rooms, 0-9 to 0-6.

Fergal Reel’s troops came out of the blocks fast, another two points from Whelan and Mulroy, both from play, extending their lead. Their was big rumblings around the ground when Sam collided heads with teammate Sean Healy. Could their talisman have picked up a serious knock.

He was down for a while and not moving much, yet once back on his feet and getting his bearings, the Monasterboice man was on song once more with another free right over the blackspot.

The game was threatening to fizzle out at this stage, looking far from a championship derby clash, lacking intensity and played at a slow pace. However the men from Clogherhead would spend the final 15 minutes searching for goals, the direct and high ball their deadliest weapon.

After grabbing their first point in 15 minutes, they would win the resulting kickout, a quick break teeing up Hughes to bury home with a bullet. Hughes and David O’Brien came close to rattling the net again, but both missed their chances.

That left the stage set for Sam Mulroy, who shone in the final 10 minutes when grabbing three more points to bring his final tally to 10. Coupled with an effort from Campbell, the Jocks hung on for a deserved victory that leaves them one step closer to another Joe Ward Cup. Next up a date with St Pats in the Quarter Finals.

Naomh Mairtin: Craig Lynch; Conor Healy, Thomas Sullivan, Mark Whelan; Evan Whelan, Sean Healy, Conor Morgan; Wayne Campbell (0-2), Val Leddy (0-1); Brian McQuillan Jack Murphy, John Clutterbuck; Conor Whelan (0-3, 0-1 free), Sam Mulroy (0-10, 0-6 frees), Tom Gray. Subs: Shane Morgan for E Whelan (42), Dara McDonnell for Leddy (43), Eoghan Callaghan for Gray (52), Paul Berill for McQuillan (52), Tom Clarke for Murphy.

Dreadnots: Ciaran Cunningham; Conor Faulkner, Dermot Campbell, Conor Clarke; Derek Shevlin, Cian McEvoy, Barry Faulkner; David O’Brien, James Califf (0-1 free); Owen Murphy, Jay Hughes (1-5, 0-3 frees), Padraig Rath; Craig Shevlin (0-1), Darragh Shevlin, Peter Kirwan (0-2).  Subs: Fergal McGuigan for Darragh Shevlin (36), Nathan Sutherland for Murphy (42).

Referee:  Paul Kneel

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