Naomh Mairtin 1-7
Nh Mairtin’s dreams of Leinster Championship glory were dashed when they suffered two-point defeat to Wexford champions, Shelmaliers, at Haggardstown on Sunday afternoon.
A blistering start that featured an early Conor Whelan goal, wasn’t enough to propel the Monasterboice side to victory as they Slaney-siders came out on top thanks largely to an unanswered 2-4 in a 15-minute blitz either side of the interval.
It was a disappointing outcome for the Louth champions as they failed to repeat the performance that saw them brush aside the challenge of Carlow’s Rathvilly in the opening round.
Confidence was high in the Mairtins camp following that win and they looked to have taken a firm grip on the game in the early exchanges when Sam Mulroy’s opening point was followed by Whelan’s goal on eleven minutes.
With JP Rooney and Mulroy adding to the tally just after the first water break, the hosts held a commanding 1-3 to 0-1 advantage. It’s a position the Mairtins have found themselves in many times in recent times and would have expected to kick on from there. However, on this occasion they were unable to build on that lead and the game turned in a dramatic just either side of half time.
Eoghan Nolan took centre stage for the visitors as he found the back of the net while a Glen Malone point helped level the game at 1-3 apiece at the break. To make matters worse for the Mairtins they were reduced to 14 players as Craig Lynch picked up a black card.
The Wexford men took full advantage of their numerical superiority as two minutes after the restart Ross Banville added their second goal, and they tagged on two further points through Malone and Aaron Murphy to increase the gap to 2-5 to 1-3.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle for the Mairtins from that position but they did battle to the end with Mulroy landing a further four points. However, they were unable to complete the comeback as late efforts from Mulroy and Rooney just missed the target, allowing the Wexford side to hold out for victory.
SHELMALIERS: Craig McCabe; Andre O'Brien, Simon Donohoe, James Cash; Ross Banville 1-0, Graham Staples 0-1, Glen Malone 0-3; Sean Keane-Carroll, Aidan Cash; Jody Donohoe, Conor Hearne, Aaron Murphy 0-1; Brian Malone; Paraic O’Leary, Eoghan Nolan 1-1. Subs: Mark Power for P O’Leary, Aodhan Foley for A Murphy, Aaron Murphy for A Foley, Eoin Doyle for A Cash, Kyle Roche for A Murphy.
NH MAIRTIN: Craig Lynch; Mark Whelan, Thomas Sullivan, Conor Healy; John Clutterbuck, Sean Healy, Conor Morgan; Wayne Campbell, Evan Whelan; Val Leddy, Eoghan Callaghan, Stephen Campbell; Conor Whelan 1-0, Sam Mulroy 0-6, JP Rooney 0-1. Subs: Joe Gordon for V Leddy, Jack Murphy for S Campbell, Gavin Mooney for W Campbell, Thomas Clarke for G Mooney.