Glyde Rangers eased into the knockout stages of the Junior Football Championship thanks to a nine-point victory over a spirited Naomh Malachi outfit in Louth Village. The Tallanstown outfit raced into a six-point lead inside the opening quarter and were never headed in a contest where Brian Duffy and Niall Sharkey were to the fore.

Played in slippery conditions, the men in sky blue settled the quicker and opened the scoring inside 60 seconds through a Trevor O’Brien free kick. Full forward Brian Duffy opened his account in the 6th minute and this was quickly added to by a brace of scores from placed balls from Niall Sharkey. Conor Sheridan was next to open his account with a close range effort and when O’Brien claimed his second point on the quarter hour mark, the mid Louth side were six points in front. Shane Rogers claimed the opening score for the Mals with a long-range effort but his side were dealt a blow when talisman Collie Rooney left the field of play with a suspected broken collarbone. The Mals did receive a boost when their counterparts were reduced to 14 men when Sheridan headed for an early bath following a second card offence. Pierce Caherty narrowed the gap with a curling effort in the 25th minute but it was the Division 3 table toppers who finished the stronger in the half with points from Barry and Niall Sharkey and a brace from the impressive Duffy.

Half-Time: Glyde Rangers 0-10 Naomh Malachi 0-2

Gavin Duffy stretched the lead after the interval with a well-taken point and when he goaled past Mals net minder Niall Bird in the 43rd minute, the Glyde men held a commanding eleven-point advantage. The Courtbane outfit didn’t wilt and a fine effort from Caherty reduced the arrears somewhat, albeit his side were also reduced to 14 men when wing half, Peter McShane, was dismissed in the 45th minute. The Mals were given a lifeline though soon after when Glyde goalkeeper David Brennan was adjudged to have handled the ball on the ground inside the small rectangle and up stepped Ronan Greene to slot home for the Mals’ opening goal. However, a placed ball from O’Brien and a point from wing forward Alan Brennan put paid to any hope of a comeback. Caherty claimed his third point of the contest before veteran, Mark Meegan, slotted over his sides fifth point as the Mals finished strongly. The impressive Niall Sharkey and John Myles sandwiched a late effort from Meegan as the Glyde men ran out comfortable winners and leave the Mals and the Nicks men to fight it out for the remaining place in Group 2.

Full-Time: Glyde Rangers 1-15 Naomh Malachi 1-6

Referee: Noel Hand

Glyde Rangers: David Brennan; Peter Duffy, Cein Sheridan, Gerard Farrell; Niall Sharkey (0-4 1f, 1 45’), Mark O’Brien, Conor McCullagh; Ciaran Sheridan, David Devenney; Aaron Devlin, Conor Sheridan (0-1), Alan Brennan (0-1); Trevor O’Brien (0-3 2f), Brian Duffy (0-3), Gavin Duffy (1-1).

Subs: Barry Sharkey (0-1), Niall Bird, John Myles (0-1), Jason Dullaghan, JP Boyle.

Naomh Malachi: Niall Bird; David Begley, David Rogers, Sean Gogarty; Peter McShane, Ronan Greene (1-0 1pen), Stephen Burns; Ronan McElroy, Pierce Caherty (0-3); Emmet Mullen, Shane Rogers (0-1), Donal Begley; Collie Rooney, Padraig Moley, Jamie Kelly.

Subs: Noel Donaldson, Mark Meegan (0-2), Conor Gonnelly, Eamonn Agnew.

Ronan Green