Louth footballers cruise into final berth

Louth 0-22 Antrim 0-08

Louth 0-22 Antrim 0-08

Louth breezed into the Tommy Murphy Cup final as Shane Lennon and Brian White shot eight points between them in a 0-22 to 0-8 win over Antrim at Dundalk this afternoon.

Mickey Culbert’s under-strength Saffrons were overpowered in the second half – they trailed by 0-9 to 0-6 at the interval – as Louth had eleven different players on the score sheet.

Points from Ciaran Close, Karl Stewart and Joe Quinn kept Antrim in touch but they failed to score from the eighth-minute of the second half onwards when half back Sean Kelly pointed.

The Wee men, who beat Clare and Monaghan in previous rounds, will face either Carlow or Leitrim in the August 27 final at Croke Park.

At St. Brigid’s Park, Lennon and White, who shot 0-4 (1f) apiece, awoke Louth from a semi-slumber in the first half as they helped them move three points clear for half-time.

An impressive over from midfield Quinn kept the Saffrons on the hosts’ coattails, but their charge waned early on the second half.

Scores from White and Colm Judge saw Louth, who were comprehensive 2-15 to 0-12 winners when the sides met in the League in February, move into overdrive.

It could have been worse for Antrim – goalkeeper John Finucane was called upon on three occasions to repel the home attack in the second half.

With four of their five substitutes – including Mark Brennan and Darren Clarke – notching points, Louth had a degree of comfort for the closing stages.

Carlow and Leitrim meet in Birr tomorrow afternoon (throw-in 4pm) in the other semi-final.

LOUTH – S Reynolds; D Brennan, M Fanning, A Page; R Finnegan (0-1), P McGinnity, D Finnegan; S O’Neill, P Keenan (0-1); JP Rooney (0-2), M Farrelly, J O’Brien (0-2); C Judge (0-2 (0-1f)), S Lennon (0-4 (0-1f)), B White (0-4 (0-1f)).

Subs used: M Brennan (0-1) for D Finnegan (half-time), D Clarke (0-2) for O’Neill (43 mins), D Reid (0-1) for White (56), H McGinn (0-2) for Judge (60), J Doyle for Kennan (62).

ANTRIM – J Finucane; N Scullion, A Scullion, K Murray; A Press, S McVeigh, S Kelly (0-1); J Quinn (0-2), M McCann; T O’Neill, O Doherty, C Close (0-2); K Stewart (0-2 (0-1f)), N Enright (0-1), C McGourty.

Subs used: J Crozier for Scullion (24 mins), K McGourty for Doherty (36), C Lynch for Enright (49), S Byrne for Close (66).

Referee: M Deegan (Mayo).

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