Louth forward Cian Callan. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Leinster U20 Football Championship
Offaly 2-16 Louth 1-7
Louth U20s exited the Leinster Championship at O'Connor Park, Tullamore, on Sunday morning following a heavy loss to group three winners Offaly.
Needing a win to advance to the quarter-finals, following their opening round reverse to Carlow, the Wee County were blown away by the hosts, who struck 2-10 in the first half, compared with Louth's modest two-point return.
Wayne Kierans' side found it difficult to handle the Faithful's inside forward line, in particular, which contributed 1-12, seven points of which arrived from play. Full-forward Cian Farrell, who top-scored in the match, with 1-6, converted five frees too.
Louth trailed from an early stage with Cian Johnson putting Offaly in front. Captain Sam Mulroy got the Reds back on terms, however, a scoring burst from the home side, which included a goal from centre-forward Conor Dunne, saw Offaly mount a considerable lead as the half wore on.
Gerry Garland raised a white flag with a spectacular effort, yet the winners registered 1-8 to no-reply before the interval, to assume command. The prolific Farrell finding the net.
Offaly extended their lead with the opening two points of the second half, before Mulroy replied with three minors of his own as Louth went about putting some guise of respectability on the scoreboard.
The Naomh Máirtín man was a central figure in the match from that stage onwards. He cracked the goalframe with a penalty before atoning for his miss later in the half, sending Barry Rohan the wrong way from the spot.
However, Kierans' side were down a man by that juncture following the dismissal of Cooley Kickhams' Fearghal Malone for a second yellow card.
Offaly: Barry Rohan; Ronan Hynes, Pa Robilliard, Aidan Bracken; Jack Quinn, Stefan Geoghegan, Jack O’Brien; Kyle Higgins, Seán Ibbotson; Kevin McDermott (0-1), Conor Dunne (1-0), Dan Wyer (0-3); Cian Johnson (0-4), Cian Farrell (1-6, 0-5 frees), Jack Darcy (0-2)
Subs: A. Delaney for Higgins (36), R. Galbraith for McDermott (49), M. Wren for Bracken (52), S. O'Brien for Johnson (53), B. Carroll for Quinn (53), S. O'Brien for J O'Brien (55)
Louth: Alan McGauley; Leonard Grey, Alan Connor, Chris O'Neill; Eoin McDaid, Eimhin Keenan, Jamie Kelly; Liam Jackson, Fearghal Malone; Conor Morgan, Seán Marry, Gerry Garland (0-1); Ciarán Keenan, Sam Mulroy (1-5, 1-0 pen & two frees), Cian Callan
Subs: Cathal Grogan for Morgan (HT), John Gallagher (0-1) for Marry (37), James O'Reilly for Callan (43), Marc Lugoye for Garland (46), Conor Whelan for Kelly (51), Jason Woods for McDaid (52)
Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)