Orla O'Neill kicked a point from centre-half in St. Mochtas' Louth SFC victory over St. Bride's in Louth Village on Thursday. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Halpenny Travel Louth SFC
St. Mochta's 0-18 St. Bride's 1-9
St. Mochta's began their quest for a maiden Halpenny Travel Louth SFC title by seeing off neighbours St. Bride's in Louth Village on Thursday night.
Last year's semi-finalists led throughout and rarely looked in danger in front of a sizeable crowd, with Eimear Byrne and Laura Kieran each kicking four points from play.
The hosts led 0-7 to four at the interval, having struck the opening three scores, with Róisín Curley on target with a pair of stylish efforts.
Aimee McNally led the visitors' charge and Fra Fagan's side had the deficit down to just one approaching the opening quarter mark, before Byrne (2) and Laura Kieran extended the winners' lead once more.
Bride's went close to a goal when Edel McKeown rattled the 'bar, having earlier found Niamh Kirk in no mood to concede; the Mochta's keeper enjoyed a fine outing.
Points were traded at the beginning of the second period, before Mochta's hit three in a row, Kieran, Orla O'Neill and Katie Rafferty on target.
The gap stood at four when Bride's had a goal chalked off for square ball, with Sarah Fagan the creator, but the Reds were given a lifeline when Emma McArdle found the net with a powerful drive.
Though the final four points were registered by Mochta's, the Byrne sisters, Aoife (2) and Eimear, coming to the fore in a crucial period.
Indeed, the Louth Villagers' midfield pair played well on the night, as did Kirk, Róisín Curley and Kieran, while Fagan, Aimee McNally and particularly Ruth Hanna impressed for Bride's.
St. Mochta's: Niamh Kirk; Laura McDonnell, Dearbhla O'Connor, Kayleigh Hoey; Lauren Kieran, Orla O'Neill (0-1), Shauna Lennon; Aoife Byrne (0-3, one free), Eimear Byrne (0-4); Katie Rafferty (0-1), Laura Kieran (0-4), Róisín Curley (0-2); Caitlin Curley, Grace O'Reilly, Emma Quinn (0-3)
Subs: Kayla Byrne, Ciara Callan
St. Bride's: U Pearson; N Sweeney, B Hilliard, K Rafferty (0-1); N Belton, C Hoey, R Hanna; K Wynne, S Fagan; O McGeeney (0-3, two frees), E McArdle (1-0), A McNally (0-2); D White, E McKeown, B McArdle (0-3, two frees)
Sub: L Fegan