Ace Lennon inspires Louth

SHANE LENNON will have good reason to remember the first National League match played at the Geraldines grounds at Haggardstown, near Dundalk, on Saturday night.

The conditions were foul, but Lennon was untroubled. His marksmanship provided plenty of cheer for the home crowd, a fine total of 1-7 giving him and his Louth side the perfect start to life in a very competitive Division 3.

A new-look Westmeath side, which had Darren Quinn taking over in goals from All-Star Gary Connaughton, put themselves in trouble early on by failing to take advantage of a very strong breeze. They scored first, but after that were on the back foot as Louth, playing intelligent football, cruised into an eight-points lead.

Full-forward Lennon grabbed two points early on, and then in the 11th minute collected a long ball from Dessie Finnegan before blasting to the net. Two minutes later, Derek Maguire repeated the dose, and turning into the second quarter, Louth were ahead by 2-3 to 0-1.

By half-time, however, Westmeath were back in touch, fine midfield play by Brendan Murtagh and the youngster, John Heslin, providing the openings for David and Denis Glennon and the long-serving Dessie Dolan.

Picking off eight points to Louth’s one, the midlanders went in trailing by just one point, 0-9 to 2-4.

Louth restarted brightly with four quick points, the first of them coming from midfield replacement, Brian Donnelly. And the trend was maintained from there to the finish.

With conditions worsening, the home side picked off a further five points, ace forward Lennon claiming three of them. Westmeath’s reply came from Denis Glennon and Fergal Wilson.

Scorers for Louth: S Lennon 1-7, D Maguire 1-0, A Reid 0-2, R Finnegan, P Keenan, A McDonnell, B Donnelly 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: Denis Glennon 0-3, C Lynam, D Dolan 0-2 each, J Heslin, F Wilson, P Greville, David Glennon 0-1 each.

LOUTH: S Connor; D Byrne, A Hoey, G Hoey; R Finnegan, D Finnegan, S Fitzpatrick; P Keenan, R Carroll; D Crilly, M Brennan, A McDonnell; D Maguire, S Lennon, A Reid.

Subs: B Donnelly for Carroll; P Smith for Maguire; JP Rooney for Brennan ; R Greene for Reid.

WESTMEATH: D Quinn; J Gaffey,R English, K Maguire; F Boyle, K Gavin, C Jordan; J Heslin, B Murtagh; C Lynam, Denis Glennon, G Egan; P Greville, David Glennon, D Dolan.

Subs: C Martin for Gavin; D Harte for Jordan; D Coroon for Murtagh; F Wilson for denis Glennon; P Bannon for Greville.

Referee: P McEneaney (Monaghan).

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