ST PATRICKS 1-14
SEAN O'MAHONYS 0-9
St Patricks claimed their seventh Louth Senior Championship title at Drogheda on Sunday afternoon when they ran out eight-point winners over Sean O'Mahonys.
The experience and talent of the Lordship side shone through in this encounter as a thoroughly professional display saw the Pats end the O'Mahonys hopes of a first ever title.
The reigning champions kept their opponents at arm's length in the first half and without ever being spectacular, they moved up the gears in the third quarter to take a grip of the game before an Aidan McCann goal on 48 minutes proved to be the knock-out blow.
The O'Mahonys had gone into the game with high hopes of completing the fairytale of successive championships, but despite putting in a gallant effort, they were unable to pull off the shock result.
At no time did it look as if the Pats would have the off day that the Dundalk men required and in the end were comfortable winners.
As a result, Paddy Keenan and Karl White stepped forward to receive the Joe Ward Cup, with the former Louth captain dedicating the victory to their late colleague, Eamon Carroll.
The game saw the Seans get off to the best possible start as Conor Finnegan landed a free kick into the wind. That was cancelled out by an effort from birthday boy, Paddy Keenan, almost immediately, but the Seans showed they were up for the fight when frees from Finnegan and Stephen Kilcoyne had them ahead on two further occasions.
However, each time, Man of the Match, Aidan McCann, and Keenan replied to leave the teams level at three points apiece after 22 minutes of a half that never really burst into life.
Scores from Eoin O'Connor and Keenan saw the Pats go two clear but the O'Mahonys had the final say of the half from a free to reduce the gap to 0-5 to 0-4.
Having played within themselves during the first half, the Pats upped the pace at the start of the second period and with Eamonn Breen, Danny O'Connor, Aidan McCann and Ray Finnegan on target they began to take control of the game.
Finnegan (2) and Ben McLaughlin tried to keep their side in contention but a Keenan free on 16 minutes put his side 0-10 to 0-7 in front.
With Stephen Fisher and Kilcoyne starved of possession by the disciplined Pats defence the O'Mahonys were facing an uphill challenge, and that task became all but impossible on 48 minutes with McCann's goal.
The Pats put together an excellent move which ended with Eoghan Lafferty setting up McCann who despite having his back to goal, brilliantly flicked the ball over the head of the advancing Kevin Brennan.
The Pats were cruising in the closing stages and added points from Eoin O'Connor and Ross Murphy. Although David Dowling and Ben McLaughlin replied for the Seans they never looked capable of creating the goal they needed and the Lordship side completed with win with late points from Karl White and Daragh Lafferty.
St Patricks: Sean Connor; Kevin Toner, Darren O'Hanlon, Patrick Kirk; Owen Zamboglou, Dessie Finnegan, Ray Finnegan 0-1; Paddy Keenan 0-4, Eamonn Breen 0-1; Aidan McCann 1-2, Karl White 0-1, Eoghan Lafferty; Danny O'Connor 0-1, Eoin O'Connor 0-2, Conor Grogan. Subs: Ross Murphy 0-1 for P Kirk BC, Daragh Lafferty 0-1 for C Grogan, Paudie Mallon for A McCann, Sean Cumiskey for K White.
Sean O'Mahonys: Kevin Brennan; Kurt Murphy, Peter Nixon, Michael Clarke; Ronan Byrne, John O'Brien, Keith McLaughlin; Conor Crawley, Shane Brennan; Gary Mulligan, Conor Finnegan (0-4), Ben McLaughlin (0-2); Stephen Fisher, Conor Martin, Stephen Kilcoyne (0-2). Subs: David Dowling (0-1) for S Fisher, Jonathan Connolly for S Kilcoyne, 55, Barry O'Brien for G Mulligan, Pat O'Brien for M Clarke.
REFEREE: Stephen Murphy