LOUTH footballers will play Division 3 league football next season after Mickey Harte’s men proved a cut above a listless Carlow side in this NFL Division 4 semi-final at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday. Louth took early control and it was soon apparent they carried too much firepower, physicality and class for Niall Carew’s men.
Ciáran Byrne, the Louth No 9, had a brilliant opening half, orchestrating play in midfield, scoring three points from play and being involved more in the general play than anyone else on view.
By half time eight Louth players had shared in their tally of 1-12, 1-10 from open play, the forward charge led by the stylish Sam Mulroy at centre forward and full forward, Conor Grimes, an ideal target man for Harte’s men, who contributed 1-2 from play.
Carlow trailed by eight points (1-12 to 0-7) at half-time. The Louth goal came ater 30 minutes when a long kick out from their goal was fielded by Sam Mulroy, who fed the marauding Ciarán Byrne, who stormed through the middle before parting to Grimes who palmed an easy goal.
There was a suggestion of a Carlow revival early in the second half but Louth regained control in the game’s final quarter.
Jamie Clarke scored an injury time goal for the home side from a penalty – it was a mere consolation.