St. Fechin's, U16 county champions. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
U16 Championship final
St. Fechin's 1-13 Ardee, St. Mary's 0-14
St. Fechin's simply never gave up on their quest to capture the Louth U16 Championship title, and their perseverance was rewarded with a surprise victory over Ardee, St. Mary's in Dunleer on Sunday.
In an entertaining battle, Ryan Walsh gave a virtuoso performance for the Termonfeckin men, leading his team to the title on a two-point margin.
Losing captain Tom Jackson to injury early in the first-half rocked the Ardee youngsters, but as scorer-in-chief Jonathon Commins - himself having to shake off a knock - found his stride, the Deesiders took control.
The centre-forward ensured St. Mary's recovered from three-points down before pushing four ahead by the end of the first-half.
And the favourites, Ardee, looked like racing clear early in the second-half, however, Walsh would not relent, notching seven-points and setting up a penalty which he dispatched himself.
Well aided by Paul McEvoy and Adam O’Neill, St. Mary's were unable to mount a successful comeback, leaving the Hoops to claim the Dermot O'Brien Cup.
St. Fechin's: Conor Flynn; Josh Halpin, David Lally, Neil Boylan; Cathal Quinn, Ryan McEvoy, Peter Meegan (0-1); Harry O’Neill (0-1), Ryan Walsh (1-8, goal pen, four frees and one '45); Kingsley Akinbode, Eoghan Ryan, Neal Hodgins; Sean Kerrisk (0-1) Cormac Dolan, Adam O’Neill (0-2)
Subs: Jack Bohill for Akinbode (25), John O’Connell for Bohill (28), Cian Gorman for Dolan (58), Anthony Dillon for Meegan (64)
Ardee, St. Mary's: James McGillick; DJ McKeever, Nathan Buckley, Andrew Rogers; Jay Crawley, Tiernan Corrigan (0-1), Eoin Clarke; Tom Jackson, Carl Gillespie (0-2); Aaron Keenan, Johnathon Commins (0-9, two frees and two '45s), Dylan White; Darragh McCoy, Luke Matthews (0-2), Conor O’Brien
Subs: Callum Keenan for Commins (11, blood), Páraic McKenny for Jackson (13), Callum Keenan for Clarke (HT), Jackson for Aaron Keenan (45), Cillian Keenan for O’Brien (60)
Referee: Aidan Shevlin (Stabannon Parnells)