Lann Leire 1-13 Naomh Malachi 0-10
On the weekend of the Naomh Malachi 50th Anniversary celebrations, Lann Leire took on the role of party-poopers when inflicting a six-point defeat on the men from Courtbane. The Dunleer side were full merit for their win and although they did rely on a fortuitous goal just after half time, it is them who face St Kevins in the semi-final encounter in three weeks time.
In very blustery conditions, the men in white and blue trim settled the quicker and opened the scoring through corner forward Niall Lennon in the 2nd minute. Colin Murphy was highly influential in the opening exchanges and he set up his side’s second point of the contest which Donal Clare finished. Despite being aided by the breeze, it took the Malachis outfit 13 minutes to open their account through Pierce Caherty. Lennon though quickly responded with a fine curling effort soon after. Some good interplay between Ronan McElroy and Ciaran Hughes set up Colin Rooney for his first point of the evening before Jamie Kelly made full use of the wind when he slotted over from 40 metres out. A sweetly struck free kick from Liam Callan restored the mid-Louth sides advantage before Rooney claimed his second point in the 26th minute. Alan Murphy and Tiernan Gonnelly both exchanged free kicks before Caherty sent his side into the half-time interval with the lead for the first and only time of the contest.
Half-Time: Lann Leire 0-5 Naomh Malachi 0-6
The elements played their part straight after the interval when Lennon’s effort at a point deceived the Mals’ netminder, Liam McCann, and looped into the top corner of his goal. The influential Murphy added another soon after before a surging run from midfielder Paul Callan resulted in his side’s seventh point. His namesake, Liam slotted over another free kick in the 39th minute as Lann Leire grew in confidence. Some good work between Noel Donaldson and Rooney ended when Gonnelly chipped his second point to reduce the gap, but only briefly as the impressive Callan and Lennon extended their advantage to six points going into the last quarter. Gonnelly reduced the arrears with a pointed free but the Mals were thankful to McCann for keeping them in the contest with a point-blank save moments later. Any hope the Mals had though was soon extinguished when the equally impressive Murphy and Callan pointed, and although Donaldson and Gonnelly tagged on two late scores for the border side, it was all to no avail as Lennon had the last say with a pointed free on the stroke of full time to set up a semi-final encounter with near neighbours St Kevins.
Full-Time: Lann Leire 1-13 Naomh Malachi 0-10
LANN LEIRE: Craig Devlin; Justin McCarville, Thomas Doyle, Bob Murphy; Brian McGuinness, Paul Doyle, Jason Torris; Andrew Dowd, Paul Callan (0-1); Donal Clare (0-1), Liam Callan (0-5 3f), Colin Murphy (0-2); Niall Lennon (1-3), Ian Mulroy, Alan Murphy (0-1 1f).
Subs: Garry Monaghan for Clare, Andrew Flanagan for Torris.
NAOMH MALACHI: Liam McCann; David Begley, Stephen Burns, Conor Gonnelly; Jamie Kelly (0-1), David Rogers, Donal Begley; Ronan McElroy, Padraig Moley; Ciaran Hughes, Ronan Greene, Noel Donaldson (0-1); Colin Rooney (0-2), Pierce Caherty (0-2), Tiernan Gonnelly (0-4 2f).
Subs: Kevin Rogers for Begley, Shane Roddy for Hughes, Liam Campbell for Caherty.