GAA | Commins is a class apart as he leads Mary’s to Minor Championship success

Cullen Autoparts Louth Minor Championship Final
Ardee St Mary’s 6–21 Geraldines 2–10

Ardee St Mary’s celebrate after winning the Louth Minor Championship. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

Ardee St Mary’s won their first ever Louth Minor Championship in style by powering their way to a 23-point win over the Geraldines in a breathtaking final at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

The Geraldines certainly won’t want to come across Jonathon Commins for some time. The Mary’s half-forward produced a sensational display, finishing up with a staggering 2–13 on the day, leaving the Minor Board with an easy choice for the Man of the match award.

The game started off in blistering fashion with 10 scores coming inside the opening quarter alone and it never let up after that.

After a couple of near misses, it was the Mary’s who opened the scoring through Commins and he followed that up with a quick-fire goal in the fourth minute.

Ardee St Mary’s captain Philip Trainor receives the Fr Larry Murray Cup from Barry Cullen of sponors Cullen Auto Parts and Alan Smith, chairman of the Louth Minor Board. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

The Gers needed a reprieve and they got it when captain Ben Mooney delivered a low pass across the face of goal and David Murdock was on hand to turn it home.

Gerry Hoey’s side pulled ahead with three points in quick succession, Conor Soraghan firing over from the kick out before a brace from Feidhlim Joyce, one from the right and the other a free form the left, made it 1–3 to 1–2 after 11 minutes.

A stunning free from Mooney drew warm applause from the crowd but the Mary’s hit back and wiped out the Haggardstown side’s lead with Commins running riot.

The Louth minor star reduced it to a one-point game with 14 minutes played, followed it up by hammering a crisp drive past Ciaran Peelo seconds later, floated over a superb ’45 in the 17th minute and then added another point for good measure!

The teams line up before the Louth Minor Championship final. PICTURE: BEMN MCSHANE

The Gers found themselves penned in at this stage and Conor Gillespie found room to add his name to the scoresheet in the 21st minute, 2–6 to 1–4 before Commins took his tally to 2–5 with another free.

The Mary’s flexed their muscles and took a real grip of things in the 24th minute when Shane Matthews popped the ball across the face of goal for Conor Gillespie and he applied the finishing touch to a fine move.

Mooney stopped the bleeding with another fine effort from a ’45 but Jack Reid saw an effort come back off the post after bursting into space.

The Mary’s showed their ruthless streak by converting at the other end, Conor Hennessey making no mistake, before Mary’s ‘keeper Alan McGauley made a stunning save to deny Feidhlim Joyce from pulling back what would have been a much-needed goal in the 28th minute.

Ardee St Marys’ closes down Geraldines’ Ben Mooney. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

Conor Gillespie had the final say of a magnificent first-half for the Mary’s, plucking a ball from the sky to fire over from the left before Joyce completed the scoring with a free for the Gers, leaving them nine adrift, 3–9 to 1–6, at the interval.

The Mary’s continued where they left off in the first half with Shane Matthews and Ciaran Keenan adding their name to the scoresheet inside the opening two minutes of the restart.

Scores from Joyce and midfielder Jack Reid kept the Gers on the mid-Louth side’s coat tails but it was goals they needed.

Joyce answered the call by surging free on the left in the 38th minute to hit the net and when Flyn Kieran followed it up with a point, it left just five between the sides, 3–11 to 2–9.

Geraldines’ Dylan Sharkey is closed down by Ardee St Marys’ Liam Jackson. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

A hat-trick of points from Commins kept the Haggardstown side at arm’s length, the St Mary’s talisman hitting the three scores in the space of just two minutes!

The star of the show then left a number of green shirts in his in the 44th minute, before tapping another over the bar from open play and adding a couple of frees for good measure to stretch St Marys’ lead to 12 with 48 minutes played!

Gavin Kirk’s goal put the icing on the St Mary’s cake before substitute Tristan Knowles scored a beauty just seconds after being introduced.

Ciaran Keenan hit the Marys’ fifth goal of the afternoon before Tiarnan Corrigan made it six in stoppage time. Andrew Bingham was denied a seventh when Peelo made a good stop to keep his penalty out in the dying seconds.

The Ardee St Mary’s team celebrate with the trophy. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

At that stage, Commins was replaced to standing ovation in the dying stages, his stunning display going a long way to helping the Mary’s to end their long wait for success in the Minor Championship.

ARDEE ST MARY’S: Alan McGauley; Cian Taaffe, Philip Trainor (0–1), Killian Scott; Lorcan Dixon, Donal McKenny, Gavin Kirk (1–0); Liam Jackson, Conor Hennessy (0–1); Jonathon Commins (2–13, 1 ’45, 4f), Conor Gillespie (1–2), Ciaran Keenan (1–1); Carl Gillespie (0–1), Joe Mulholland, Shane Matthews (0–1). Subs: Tristan Knowles (0–1) for S Matthews, 49 mins; Andrew Bingham for Carl Gillespie, 51 mins; David Conlon for J Commins, 57 mins; Tiarnan Corrigan (1–0) for G Kirk, 58 mins; James McDonald for C Keenan, 58 mins.

GERALDINES: Ciaran Peelo; Eoghan O’Hora, Matthew Fee, Ross Kelly; Dylan Sharkey, Dan Corcoran, Padraig O’Cuinneagan; Ben Mooney (0–2, 1f, 1 ‘45), Jack Reid (0–1, 1f); Conor Soraghan (0–1), Flyn Kieran (0–1), David Murdock (1–0); Oisin Meegan, Conor McGowan, Fedhlim Joyce (1–4, 2f). Subs: Jack Connolly for E O’Hora, 23 mins; Ronan Greene for D Murdock, HT; Liam McDonnell for O Meegan, 50 mins; Oisin Geoghegan for D Sharkey, 51 mins

REFEREE: Anthony Briscoe (Stabannon).

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.