Galway too good for brave Louth

Galway 2-8 Louth 0-9

Galway 2-8 Louth 0-9

Galway hardly needed to stretch themselves in their first ever championship meeting with Louth, but needed the benefit of an injury time goal from substitute Noel Meehan to finally see off the Wee county 2-08 to 0-09 at Parnell Park.

Louth, showing the spirit that beat Antrim in extra-time in the first round, will be kicking themselves however as particularly in the first half, they missed a number of chances, hitting five consecutive wides just after Padraig Joyce had breached their cover for the first Galway goal on 16 minutes.

An even start saw Matthew Clancy pop over a quick point, followed by scores from Louth attackers JP Rooney and Mark Stanfield, the second a crisp shot from the sideline after seven minutes.

The aforementioned Joyce levelled at 0-02 apiece with a 20-metre free and bagged another two, with Paudie Mallon booked. Michael Donnellan then put the Tribesmen three points clear with his first from 40 metres.

The goal showed all of Galway's attacking class, with swift interchanges seeing Joe Bergin feed Thomas Meehan, then with the ball breaking to Joyce, he chipped it without effort into his hands and raced 20 metres clear of the Louth cover to finish to Shane McCoy's net.

Two Stanfield frees and a point from midfielder Paddy Keenan from 45 metres kept Louth in touch at 0-05 to 1-05 down at the break.

Top marksman Stanfield pointed another brace of placed balls after the restart. But with Louth having to wait until the hour when JP Rooney and half forward Nicky McDonnell added further scores, there was only going to be one winner.

Galway hardly broke sweat but did enough as Donnellan and Derek Savage (0-02) opened up a 1-8 to 0-7 lead.

Rooney and McDonnell did make a scramble of it in the closing stages but Noel Meehan made sure of Galway's advancement with a well-finished goal, set up by the quick thinking of another substitute John Devane.

Scorers: Galway: P Joyce 1-03 (2f), N Meehan 1-00, D Savage, M Donnellan 0-02 each, M Clancy 0-01

Louth: M Stanfield 0-05 (5f), JP Rooney 0-02, P Keenan, N McDonnell 0-01 each

HT: Galway 1-05 Louth 0-05

Galway: B Donohue; K Fitzgerald, B Dooney, D Meehan; P Clancy, T Meehan, G Fahy; K Walsh, S O Domhnaill; J Bergin, M Donnellan, M Clancy; D Savage, P Joyce, T Joyce. Subs used: N Meehan for T Joyce (ht), J Devane for Clancy (66 mins)

Louth: S McCoy; A Page, P Mallon, J Carr; D Shevlin, S Gerrard, R Rooney; D Devaney, P Keenan; N McDonnell, O McDonnell, R Finnegan; A Hoey, M Stanfield, JP Rooney. Subs used: D Burke for R Rooney (51 mins), D Clarke for McDonnell (61 mins), P Matthews for Devaney (69 mins), R Kenny for Stanfield (70 mins)

Yellow cards: P Mallon (Louth) (15 mins), M Clancy (Galway) (54 mins), JP Rooney (Louth) (54 mins)

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