Cooley Kickhams' Aoghain McGuinness and JJ Quigley of Clan na Gael in action on Friday night. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Clan na Gael 2-12 Cooley Kickhams 0-21
Cooley Kickhams secured only their second victory of the season to move up to 10th in the Division One standings as Clan na Gael fell to a fourth defeat on the trot on Friday night.
A triumph for the hosts would have effectively secured their place in the top-flight for 2019, however, Fearghal Malone, with seven points, and Brian White (0-6) contributed largely to Cooley's victory, especially during the second half.
Indeed, with just two points separating Ardee, St. Mary's in fifth and Dundalk Gaels at the foot of the table, there realistically looks to be eight teams involved in the demotion scrap.
But, on the Ecco Road, Clans led 1-8 to 0-8 at the interval with Mark Newell finding the net as they looked to repeat last year's triumph over Kickhams.
The prolific Billy Smith added a second three-pointer for Mark McCann's side after the break, but Kickhams hit their stride with 13 second-half points. Corner-back James O'Reilly, a 2017 Louth minor colleague of Malone's, getting in on the scoring act.
For this one, Cooley welcomed Ciarán Sheelan back into their starting XV. He, along with White and Michael Rafferty, who struck 0-2, could be vital as the peninsula side approach a decisive number of weeks.
Clans, meanwhile, will look to stop the rot against St. Mary's next time out.
Clan na Gael: Seán Smith; Ian Carr, Craig Long, Tiarnan Reilly; Kevin Carroll, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Michéal McDonnell; Leo Martin (0-1), Robbie Curran (0-5); Mark Newell (1-2), Mark McGeown, Conor Noonan (0-1); Billy Smith (1-1), JJ Quigley (0-2), Paul Gore
Subs: Stephen Coleman, John Byrne
Cooley Kickhams: Neil Gallagher; Paddy Hanlon, Dean McGreehan, James O'Reilly (0-2); Eoin McDaid, Conor McGuinness, Gerry Malone; Richard Brennan (0-1), Fearghal Malone (0-7); Emmet Rogan (0-2), Aoghain McGuinness, Michael Rafferty (0-2); Darren Marks, Brian White (0-6), Ciarán Sheelan (0-1)
Subs: Alan Page, Keith White
Referee: Finton Levins (Hunterstown Rovers)