Louth to meet Meath in Leinster Junior decider

Louth to meet Meath in Leinster Junior decider

Louth wing-back Micheál McDonnell

Leinster Junior Football Championship semi-final

Louth 2-11 - 0-10 Wicklow

Louth set-up a Leinster junior final date with Meath at the Gaelic Grounds tonight, defeating Wicklow by seven-points.

Niall McCabe and Kevin Hearty were absentees from the quarter-final victory over Longford two-weeks ago, but Ollie McDonnell's men still began the game the stronger with the inside-forward line pair of Conal O'Hanlon and William Woods looking lively.

Woods got the scoring underway with a goal in the second minute, beating Wicklow 'keeper Peter Dignam to the loose ball before palming it by him and to the net.

The Naomh Fionnbarra man then added a point from a free in a subsequent attack to make it 1-1 to no-score. A 15 minute baron spell was to follow before Eddie Doyle opened Wicklow's account from range.

Louth were always in control though and a hat-trick of points from O'Hanlon and another from Woods ensured the Wee County went to the break leading 1-6 to two-points.

The hosts began the second-half strongly too with Dean Maguire burrowing through the Wicklow defence to score a point. White flags were then exchanged before Woods effectively put the game to bed with his second major of the match.

An error in the Wicklow full-back line saw the corner-forward race clear, keeping the ball 'soccer style' on the ground, and slot to the corner of the net five-minutes after the break.

Wicklow upped their performance for a period midway through the half with Seán McGraynor, Eddie Doyle and Mark Doyle hitting the target, although the gap was never less than seven.

Colm Giggins, Ciaran Sheridan and O'Hanlon grabbed points for Louth before the finish, adding gloss to a comprehensive scoreline as McDonnell's men eased themselves through to the June 25th decider at Croke Park.

Louth: Robert Samson; Barry Reynolds, Kieran Lenaghan, Cillian Kirk; Niall Sharkey, David Quigley, Micheál McDonnell; Robert Brodigan, Dan O'Connell; Ciaran Sheridan (0-1), Dean Maguire (0-1), Colm Giggins (0-1); Cian Callan, Conal O'Hanlon (0-4), William Woods (2-4, 0-2 frees)

Subs: Mark Hoey for Lenaghan (HT), Peter Nixon for Giggins (46), Aaron O'Brien for Maguire (46), Barry O'Hare for Woods (54), Andrew Mooney for McDonnell (55), Conor Earley for Callan (57)

Wicklow: Peter Dignam; Padraig Higgins, Chris O'Brien, John Manley; Martin Cullen (0-2), Eoin Murtagh, Chris Healy; Theo Smith, Paul Murtagh; Eddie Doyle (0-5, four frees), Padraig Byrne, Cathal Fitzgerald; Stephen Duffy, Mark Doyle (0-2, frees), Josh O'Callaghan

Subs: Seán McGraynor (0-1) for Duffy (12, black card), Alan Daly for O'Callaghan (HT), Paul O'Brien for Murtagh (36), Liam Kinsella for Healy (48), Simon Boucher for Fitzgerald (58)

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