Louth have earned themselves a Leinster Football Championship quarter-final clash with Dublin following their comprehensive 4-12 to 2-07 victory over Wicklow at a resplendent Croke Park this afternoon. The pace of Mark Stanfield proved a constant thorn in Wicklow's side and he eventually scored 2-03 in an impressive display.
Louth's forwards generally had too much pace and power for their markers but were wasteful, shooting no less than 14 wides in all. Wicklow goalkeeper Robert Hollingsworth required treatment early in the first-half as he came out to deny Louth a certain goal, but he recovered to again to deny the lively Stanfield minutes later. The ball was then worked down-field and centre-half back Brendan O'hAnnaidh crashed the ball to the net for a stunning opening goal.
However, the Boynesiders replied in style, hitting 1-03 without reply to take the wind out of Wicklow's sails. Their opening goal came from JP Rooney who evaded a challenge before finding the left-hand corner of the Wicklow net following a pass from Stanfield.
Stanfield added a second goal when he took a pass from Ollie McDonnell coming up to half-time to give them a 2-05 to 1-02 advantage at the interval. Stanfield got his second goal 14 minutes into the second-half to put Louth 10 points clear, but to their credit, Wicklow refused to give up and scored a tremendous goal through Anthony Nolan. However, JP Rooney grabbed his second goal of the match in the closing stages to confirm Louth's place in the last eight, where they will now meet Dublin at Croke Park on June 1.
Elsewhere in the Leinster Senior Football Championship, Laois beat Wexford 1-19 to 1-10 to earn a quarter-final date with Offaly, and Westmeath will face neighbours Meath following their 1-17 to 1-12 victory over Carlow. It was also confirmed today that Meath will be without Ollie Murphy for that clash who broke a bone in his shoulder while playing for his club on Saturday night.
Filed by Shane Murray