Louth U16 team.
Gerry Reilly Shield final
Louth 0-21 3-8 Wicklow
The Louth U16s had to dig deep on numerous occasions to capture the Gerry Reilly Shield in Oldcastle on Saturday afternoon.
Cathal Fleming's second-half display provided him with the man of the match accolade, but more importantly, the impetus for the relentless Louth performance.
Along with kicking four audacious second-half points from long range, the ability of the Mattock Rangers wing-forward to come into the middle of the field and claim possession was the difference.
As Louth dominated the airways they starved Wicklow any ball, denying their attacking threat the oxygen they required.
Wicklow provided stiff opposition at times with their tricky forwards having had the ability to create and score goals. This gave the Garden County the initiative from the start of both halves and forced Louth to earn their win.
Full-forward Eoin Darcy netted a penalty for Wicklow in the opening few minutes after Louth goalkeeper Martin McEneaney was deemed guilty of fouling the marauding Gavin Fogarty.
Full of confidence, Wicklow were full value for their first-half lead as the movement of their inside line caused Louth serious problems.
McEneaney redeemed himself on two separate occasions to produce crucial saves while the strong running Rúairí Hanlon held things together at times in an uncomfortable first-half for the young Reds.
Ardee, St. Mary's corner-forward Jonathon Commins kept Louth in touch with four first-half frees as they turned around 1-5 to 0-5 in arrears.
The second-half began like the first, Fogarty again got forward for Wicklow to assist Darcy to net from play.
With Louth five points down, cue the Fleming take over. He dragged Louth forward, winning possession and giving them the platform to push ahead. Commins levelled and impressive replacement Seán Healy gave the lead before Louth captain James Mee rose into ascendancy to push them into a comfortable four-point lead.
But, like a good horror movie, Wicklow rose from the dead to pump Louth pulses one last time with a goal from Alan Barrett, quickly followed by a minor and suddenly it was level.
Though, much to the delight of Louth's management team, which comprised of Hugh Lyons, Tom Rooney, Seán Hand, Malcolm McDonnell and Noel Litchfield, their young side composed themselves to run out four-point winners in the end.
Louth: Martin McEneaney; Caolán McCabe, Finbarr Lynch, Jamie Winters; James Harper, Rúairí Hanlon, Aaron McDonnell; James McGillick, Joe Mee (0-2); Conor Faulkner, Gabriel Bell (0-2), Cathal Fleming (0-4); Patrick Johnson, Ryan Walsh (0-3, frees) Jonathon Commins (0-8, four frees)
Subs: Nathan Buckley for McDonnell (35), Seán Healy (0-2) for Faulkner (35), Conor Quigley for McGillick (43), Eoghan Ryan for Johnston (53), Darragh McCoy for McCabe (59), Jay Crawley for Winters (64)
Wicklow: Kian Geragthy; Cian McHugh, Dáire Devine, Jason Steed; Johnny Keogh, Fionn O'Carroll, Gavin Fogarty; Cian Walsh, Sean Doody; Alan Barrett (1-0), Shaun Cranley, Óisín Cullen; Seán Mason, Eoin Darcy (2-5, one goal pen and five frees) Rúairí Tompkins (0-3)
Subs: Niall Gaffney for Geragthy (HT), Ben Fennell for Steed (49), Tristan O’Toole for Doody (56), Nick Kearney for Fogarty (63)
Referee: Colm McManus (Meath)