Newtown Blues 0-08 Éire Óg 2-09

First half goals from Murtough Ware and Brendan Kavanagh sent Éire Óg on the their way to a convincing seven point victory over the Newtown Blues in the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda.

The goals came within two minutes of each other, with identical build up play from the Carlow champions.

Long direct balls in to the square the first was collected by and finished by Ware and the second a high ball again was this time broke by Eoghan Ruth and defender Kavanagh was on hand to finish.

The game had an ominous feel from that point onwards and the Carlow side were able to control the contest and simply made the Louth champions look rudderless at times.

Before the breakthrough, the sides as they were level on four occasions. Both teams settled into the modern day patterns of a mass block of players behind the ball. 

Despite the tense opening, Christopher Blake found a pocket of space to fire over and the other end Rob Carr cut through to open the Louth Champions account.

With the line of engagement growing more and more as the game went on, discipline suffered. Colm Judge and Darragh O’Brien traded free’s. The impressive Sean Gannon found the posts after a Newtown Blues free was hopped for dissent. 

That decision was an indication of how the tide was about the turn as the local Drogheda side were living on their nerves and increasingly more space opening up for the Carlow Champions. 

Ciaran Downey and John Kermode did give Blues a brief lead however O’Brien, son of Carlow senior manager Turlough quickly levelled from a free.

The Louth champions finally broke and then game the match winning goal swell and Jordan Morriessey further seized on the panic in the Newtown Blues defence to add another score. The wing back is heavily rumoured to be signed up to an AFL side in the near future. Louth captain Andy McDonnell pulled one back to make it 2-05 to 0-05 at half time.

Newtown Blues did come back from six down in their county final to win however a host of missed chances upon the restart and the elements combined to consign their first round exit for the second year in a row. 

The Carlow champions comfortably soaked up the Newtown Blues wasteful attacks and countered with ease scoring three in a row. Simon Rea (free), Ross Dunphy and O’Brien with his third and final free.

Former Louth county player Judge finally found the range thirteen minutes into the second half. 

Such was the level of superiority on show from the Joe Murphy’s men they could afford the luxury of not scoring for the final quarter after Simon Rea’s free on the 46th minute.

Downey and McDonnell added to their tallies but a comeback was never on the cards as replacement Jamie Kelly and McDonnell both saw red to compound the Louth sides misery.

Éire Óg on the other hand will look to avenge last years exit to Mullinalaghta in the semi final two weeks time, the Longford champions that beat them last season.

Newtown Blues: Dean Martin; Fergal O’Donohoe, Emmet Carolan, Paul Moore; Kevin Carr, Stephen Moonan,Johnny Connolly; John Kermode (0-01), Andy McDonnell (0-02); Rob Carr (0-01), Ciaran Downey (0-02, 0-01f ), Conor Branigan; Colm Judge (0-02, 0-01f), Ross Nally, Conor Moore.

Subs used: Alan Connor for S Moonan 23 min, Hugh McGinn for J kermode (26 mins) J Kermode for C Moore (HT), Jamie Kelly for K Carr 41 mins, Thomas Costello for R Nally (49 mins)

Éire Óg: Robert Moore; Fiach O’Toole, Mark Fitzgerald, Brendan Kavanagh (1-00); Jordan Lowry, Paul McElligott, Jordan Morrissey (0-01); Seán Gannon (0-01), Kelvin Chatten; Simon Rea (0-02, 0-02f), Ross Dunphy (0-01), Eoghan Ruth; Darragh O’Brien (0-03, 0-03f), Murtough Ware (1-00), Christopher Blake (0-01).

Subs used: Derek Hayden for S Rea (46mins) Niall Quinlan for C Blake (49), Mark Furey for J Lowry (53), Cormac Mullins for M Ware (57 mins), Evan Kelly for R Dunphy (61 mins)

Referee: Patrick Maguire (Longford)