|Wexford vs Louth|
|Sunday, 27 February 2011 20:45|
Having been victorious in his election campaign earlier in the day, manager Peter Fitzpatrick was forced into an early change as Cooley's Brian Donnelly replaced the unlucky Ronan Carroll, who picked up a dead leg in the opening minutes of the encounter. Despite the change Louth started the brighter of the teams and held a three point lead after the opening quarter, with scores coming from the impressive Shane Lennon (2), his inside man Derek Maguire and Mattock's Mark Brennan. Wexford's only response was a point from Seamus McLoughlin. The hassling and harrying that the Louth forwards put on the Wexford defence was key to the Louth scores and created numerous opportunities for the visitors to extend their lead. The aerial ability of Keenan and Donnelly continued to provide the platform for the Louth forwards to cement the Louth lead and although they held a three point lead, Louth really should have been further ahead of their hosts, at times guilty of taking the wrong option, and at times being denied by the Wexford goalkeeper, Anthony Masterson. Wexford gradually clawed their way back into the contest and a run of scores from the impressive cornerman Ben Brosnan (2) and Ciaran Lyng drew the sides level for the first time. However, Louth re-established their grip of the game and a flowing move from their dominant half-back line found Adrian Reid in space, and his pinpoint pass to club-mate Brennan presented the opportunity for a goal, which was abruptly ended by a Masterson trip, at the expense of a penalty. Captain Keenan stepped up to blast the ball past Masterson's despairing dive to leave Louth three points to the good with half-time approaching. A 45' from the deadly accurate Brosnan was the final score of the half and kept the hosts in touch in a blusterly Wexford Park. After dominating for long periods in the opening period, Louth really should have been further ahead at the break and with the wind rising, the second half would prove to be a tantalising affair.
A rousing half-time team talk from home manager, Jason Ryan rallied his troops, and sprung them into action. Just four minutes into the second half, Wexford had overturned the two point deficit, and taken the lead for the first time in the game, following a pointed effort from Brosnan, sandwiched between two scores from the potent Lyng. Startled by the turnaround on the scoreboard, Louth composed themselves and no one more so than their talismanic leader, Keenan, who put Louth back into the lead, after a brace of scores, following good work from the hard working Gerard Hoey and substitute JP Rooney. A pointed free kick from Brosnan put the sides level once again, but this was to be the final time that the sides were on par for the remainder of the game. Maguire got his second point of the contest, turning sharply and accurately kicking off his left side after good interplay between Eamonn McAuley and Rooney. With Keenan and Donnelly regaining a foothold in the midfield battle, this provided the platform for the inside forward line to gain more opportunities, and both Maguire and Lennon seized the moment. A foul on Maguire, resulted in another pointed free kick for Lennon, who turned creator moments later, setting up Keenan for his third point of the game. A long range free kick from Lennon was Louth's fourth point in a row, and followed some strong running from McAuley. Another free kick from Brosnan left a goal between the sides, but this only spurred Louth on further. A terrific block from the industrious Derek Crilly presented Maguire with the chance to regain the four point lead, and his left footed effort from 25 metres provided Louth with the insurance point with the game entering injury time. With the traveling support in full voice, a wonderfully struck point from Rooney, extended the Louth lead. Brosnan's final act of the day, yet again from the placed ball, was his last contribution of the contest, but alas it was not enough for the home team. In the dying moments, a fine double save from Sean Connor and Gerard Hoey kept the Louth goal intact, and ensured that the Wee County would claim their third league win on the trot.
Louth fully deserved their four point victory. A solid defensive performance meant that the Wexford forwards had to work overtime for each of their scores, the majority of which came from placed balls. In particular Gerard Hoey and Stephen Fitzpatrick were to the fore, keeping a close eye on the dangerous duo of Lyng and Brosnan. The midfield partnership of Keenan and Donnelly provided the platform for the forwards to thrive on, with Lennon, Maguire and Rooney reaping the rewards. Derek Crilly once again got through a mountain of work, ably assisted by the hardworking Ray Finnegan.
Listen to LMFM's Colum Corrigan's post-match interviews with Stephen Fitzpatrick and Peter Fitzpatrick
Stephen Fitzpatrick's reaction to the Allianz National Football League win over Wexford
Peter Fitzpatrick's reaction to the Allianz National Football League win over Wexford
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 March 2011 19:14|