HURLING | Louth make their exit from the Nicky Rackard Cup

Nicky Rackard Cup Round 2B | Armagh 0–23 Louth 2–9

Louth captain Paddy McCormack leads his team out at the Athletic Grounds. PICTURE: LOUTH GAA

Their inability to make full use of the wind in the first half proved costly in the end as Louth’s hurlers made a tame exit from the Nicky Rackard Cup with this defeat to a livelier Armagh side at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh on Saturday afternoon.

With Diarmuid Murphy on target with three pointed frees, it was Louth who trailed the home side by 0–4 to 0–3 on the quarter hour.

The Orchard men extended their lead with points from John Corvan and Cahal Carvill before the visitors got it back to one again with terrific long range points from hard working defenders Paddy McCormack and Roger Maher.

The sides shared the next two points before Louth grabbed a fortuitous goal on 32 minutes when Diarmuid Murphy’s effort from distance was fumbled by keeper Simon Doherty and the inrushing Gavin Kerrigan took advantage of the error to net his side’s opening goal from close range.

Late points from Cahal Carvill and top scorer David Carvill saw the teams going at the break tied a 1–6 to 0–9.

Louth were boosted by an early goal on the resumption when Michael Ryan netted from close range on 38 minutes. Aided by the breeze the home side then struck for four unanswered points from David Carvill (0–2), John Corvan and Conor Corvan to go in front by 0–13 to 2–6 after 46 minutes.

The Wee County certainly created good opportunities throughout this second half and wasted three goal chances by Donal Ryan, Seaghan Conneely and David Kettle, denied on all three occasions by good Armagh defending.

The sides were level again on 48 minutes when Murphy struck over a free from just inside the 65 metre line but once David Carvill responded with a brace of pointed frees for the home side the result looked inevitable.

A run of six further unanswered points between the 59th and 67th minutes set Armagh up for the win as they now led by 0–22 to 2–8.

David Kettle did manage to grab a consolation point for the Reds but it was Carvill with his 11th point of this encounter that sealed the Ulster side’s passage to the quarter-finals next weekend.

The Louth team that played Armagh on Saturday. PICTURE: LOUTH GAA

ARMAGH: Simon Doherty; Ciaran Clifford, Artie McGuinness, David Bridges; John Corvan (0–2), Paul Gaffney, Connor Devlin; Fiachra Bradley, Nathan Curry (0–1); Cahal Carvill (0–2), David Carvill (0–11, 7f), Dylan McKenna (0–1); Conor Corvan (0–5), Ryan Gaffney, Danny Magee (0–1). Subs: Peter McKearney for F Bradley, 56 mins; Dean Gaffney for C Carvill, 70 mins; Caily Gorman for D McKenna, 70 mins; Caolan Rice for D Bridges, 70 mins.

LOUTH: Stephen Hackett; Stephen Kettle, Mike Lyons, Conor Matthews; Paddy McCormack (0–1), Roger Maher (0–2), Andrew McCrave; Donal Ryan (0–1), Seaghan Conneely; Gerard Smyth, Diarmuid Murphy (0–4, 3f), Gavin Kerrigan (1–0); Colin Griffin, David Kettle (0–1), Michael Ryan (1–0). Subs: Davy Mahony for G Kerrigan, 55 mins; Padraig Cunningham for G Smyth, 61 mins; David Stephenson for M Ryan, 64 mins; Liam Molloy for S Conneely, 70 mins.

REFEREE: James Clarke (Cavan).

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