An outstanding second half display, in which Louth struck 2-18, from a dozen different players, to Lancashire’s 0-4, earned Paul McCormack’s charges a morale-boosting victory in Abbotstown on Sunday.
he Reds’ play during the opening period was far too complicated on a day where the stiff downfield breeze was a key variable. Though a more direct, incisive approach paid significant dividends upon the game’s resumption. Indeed, each of Louth’s half-backs registered from range as the winners made optimum use of the gust at their backs.
Ultimately, the Wee manager was pleased with the comprehensive margin of victory, though there was a sense that the first half display was a sore point.
Louth, after all, gifted the exiles the goal which had them showing in front for much of the opening spell – a slack clearance firstly finding the grasp of David Burke and while his puck was saved by Ruairi Morrissey, Danny Connolly made no mistake with a subsequent effort.
The Reds were territorially dominant throughout but lacked a prolific touch early in the contest, the gap between Paul Mathews and Andrew Mackin – and duly Seán Kerrisk – increasingly yearned which led to the premature fracture of several attacks.
Captain Feidhelm Joyce was a beacon of optimism, however. His brace of points was from the classy category and kept the Reds in touch, 1-6 to 0-9, at the interval.
There was an immediate catapulting of gears upon the match’s restart as Louth, via impressive Niall Keenan and Joyce, moved ahead for the first time since the opening 10 minutes.
Lancashire halved the deficit, but by the occasion of their next conversion, Louth had fired 1-5, the goal forged in Termonfeckin with Paul Mathews cleverly feeding Kerrisk whose finish was confident.
Another Lancashire notch was but a momentary reprieve as the winners hit the English county for a further 1-7 unanswered. Mathews was the major maverick this time, pulling on lively Conor Deane’s cross in sending a bullet-like drive to the net.
The quality of the offensive play was a particularly noteworthy aspect of the second half. Louth are well able to split the posts from range, while the forwards are light and nippy which commands quick supply and plenty of green grass.
There is a clear plan designed to maximise these resources, though as challengers become tougher, the Reds cannot struggle with the elements like they did for 35 minutes on Sunday.
Still, though, it’s a stocky building block. A win was all that really mattered with the circumstances of the success academic.
Louth: Ruairí Morrissey; Danny Morgan, Donal Ryan, Adam Plunkett; Liam Molloy 0-2, Conor Quigley 0-1, Jamie McDonnell 0-2; Seánie Crosbie 0-1, Feidhelm Joyce 0-5; Peter Fortune, Niall Keenan 0-3, Seaghan Conneely 0-2; Paul Mathews 1-0, Andrew Mackin, Mark Gahan 0-7 (4f). Subs: Seán Kerrisk 1-2 (0-1f) for Mackin (20), Conor Deane 0-1 for Fortune (45), Padraig Fallon 0-1 for Gahan (52), Matthew Fee for McDonnell (58), Gareth Hall for Mathews (58).
Lancashire: Darren Cusack; Shane Maloney, Kevin Fennelly 0-1, Brian Slattery; David Power, Greg Jacob, Phil Shine; Stephen Duncan, Shane Nugent 0-2; Eoghan Kelly 0-1, David Burke, Darragh Carroll; Danny Connolly 1-4 (0-3f), Justin Cleese, Simon Holland 0-2. Subs: Jordan McAllister for Carroll (16), Mick Morgan for Holland (47), Liam Burns for Duncan (58), Simon Wallace for Nugent (58).
Referee: Kevin Parke (Antrim).