Ardee St. Marys' Luke Matthews was the scorer of 1-7 for Louth minors on Tuesday night. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Electric Ireland Leinster MFC
Kilkenny 3-8 Louth 3-16
Luke Matthews hit 1-7 as Louth opened their Leinster U17 Championship campaign with an eight-point win over Kilkenny at Nowlan Park.
The Ardee St. Mary’s sharpshooter led the Wee County attack to a comfortable, if not overly impressive, victory, scoring 1-3 from play - the same tally as St. Josephs’ Ben Collier, who also caught the eye up front.
Kilkenny’s first outing at this grade in three years, DJ Carey’s team were chasing the game from an early stage, Louth captain Craig Shevlin’s goal giving the visitors some breathing space.
However, the Cats were able to find the way to goal, corner-forward Vincent O’Grady scoring two majors before half-time to give his team a glimmer of hope moving into the second period, 1-11 to 2-3.
The second half saw Louth pull away somewhat with goals from Matthews and Collier making the spoils safe. Nevertheless, manager Gus Flynn and his management team have acknowledged improvement will be required ahead of the May 8 clash with Kildare in Drogheda.
Kilkenny: J Conway; C Arthurs, A Walsh, F Suffin; T Carroll, J McNamara, O Henebery; B O’Shea, S O’Dwyer; B O’Callaghan, C Walsh, T Coogan (0-2); E Crowley, R Murphy (1-4, 0-4 frees), V O’Grady (2-1, 1-0 pen & 0-1 free)
Subs: O Carroll (0-1, free) for O’Shea (HT), F Moore for Suffin (45), F Blanche for Carroll (45), B McDonald for O’Grady (58)
Louth: Niall Brady; Aidan Grant, Peter Lynch, MJ Hanlon; James McDonnell, Michael Staunton, Páraic McKenny; Craig Shevlin (1-2), Thomas Rice; Kyle McElroy (0-1), Donal Leavy (0-1), Patrick Murtagh; Ben Collier (1-3), Luke Matthews (1-7, 0-4 frees), Tom Gray (0-2)
Subs: Daniel McArdle for McElroy (39), Ronan McBride for Hanlon (41), Harry O’Neill for Staunton (41), Jamie Ward for Shevlin (49), Pádraig Downey for Murtagh (57)
Referee: Stephen Fagan (Wicklow)