Darren Clarke of Ardee, St. Mary's. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Newtown Blues 1-9 Ardee, St. Mary's 2-14
Darren Clarke continues to be one of the county's leading marksmen and county champions Newtown Blues discovered as much at Newfoundwell on Friday night as Ardee, St. Mary's dumped them out of the Paddy Sheelan Cup.
The former Louth player struck 1-8, seven points of which came from dead-balls, as the Deesiders booked their place in the semi-final.
Alongside the prolific corner-forward, Dáire McConnon is carving out a niche for himself on the goal-scoring front and this continued as he departed Drogheda with 1-1 to his name, while centre-forward Paudy Clarke fired over three points and No. 14 Cian Commins finished with two.
Robert Carr, with 0-5, offered the main resistance for the hosts, while Conor Brannigan scored a second-half major, however, a comeback victory was put beyond Ronan Phillips' side with the Clarkes finding the target at the opposite end.
Ardee led 1-8 to 0-7 at half-time but extended their winning eight points courtesy of their second period showing.
They were joined in the last four by Mattock Rangers, who held off the challenge of Dreadnots; 1-10 to 0-8.
Newtown Blues: Danny Rothwell; Leigh Synott, Aidan O'Brien, Ronan Levins; Ian Connor, Paul Kelleher, Jimmy Murray (0-1); Cormac Reynolds (0-1), Kevin Carr; Jamie Kelly (0-1), Conor Brannigan (1-1), Lorcan McQuillan; Colm Judge, Conor Moore, Robert Carr (0-5)
Subs: Alan Connor, Declan McNamara, Chris Reid, Jamie Doherty
Ardee, St. Mary's: Alan McGauley; Brendan Matthews, Philip Trainor, Conor Keenan; Wayne Matthews, Karl Faulkner, Kian Moran; Joe Mulholland, Robbie Leavy; Dáire McConnon (1-1), Paudy Clarke (0-3), Dean Matthews; Mark Fay, Cian Commins (0-2), Darren Clarke (1-8)
Subs: Conor Gillespie, Liam Jackson, Jamie Rooney, RJ Callaghan, Robbie Clarke, Craig Keenan
Referee: Gerard Corrigan (Mattock Rangers)