DCU book place in O'Byrne quarter-finals

Louth 0-11 DCU 1-14

Impressive displays from Mayo's Conor Mortimer and Seanie Johnston of Cavan ensured that DCU had no problems booking a spot in the O'Byrne Cup quarter-finals tonight, following their 1-14 to 0-11 victory over Louth at Darver.

Mortimer and Johnston led the charge for DCU with nine points between them, but this was an all-round solid display from the students who now face Offaly in the last-eight in Tullamore on Sunday.

The Cavan-Mayo axis up front were the deadly duo in the opening half but as Louth came back into contention, it was a 62nd-minute goal from former All-Ireland minor winner Cathal Cregg of Roscommon which sealed the visitors' triumph.

Despite Louth's second half comeback in cold conditions, this was a contest that the Declan Brennan-managed DCU side always looked like winning.

They made a brilliant start and were more clinical in their use of possession than the home side.

Johnston kicked the first three points of the contest in a four-minute spell with Louth's only real scoring chance of the opening 10 minutes falling to half-forward Alan Reid.

But the Shamrocks player had his goal shot saved by DCU keeper Colm Munnelly of Laois.

DCU's dominance in midfield was certainly telling in these opening minutes with Felim O'Reilly and Chris Cucken in solid form as the students added further scores from David Kelly and Mortimer to hold a 0-5 to 0-0 lead after 11 minutes.

Monaghan's Shane Smith was among those who added further points to the students' tally and while Padraig Matthews and Brian White kicked a point each for Louth, the visitors held a deserved 0-10 to 0-3 interval lead.

Good points from Donegal defender Martin McElhinney, Mortimer and Johnston got a rock-solid DCU off to a good start in the second half but the students did let their foot slip off the pedal a little bit.

Louth were suddenly given more time and space on the ball and finally began a dominant patch when Mark Stanfield kicked their fourth point, nine minutes after half-time.

This was the start of a bright spell for Eamon McEneaney's charges who landed the next five points with midfielder Ronan Carroll and Brian White scoring two points each while Dessie Finnegan was also on target to cut the gap to four points with nine minutes remaining.

However Cregg's goal put the students back in the driving seat and they continued to impress right up to the finish.

LOUTH: S Connor; A Page, M Fanning, B McArdle; D Finnegan (0-1), C McGuinness, R Finnegan; R Carroll (0-2), P Mallon; A Reid, E Carroll, JJ Quigley; B White (0-4, 0-2f), M Stanfield (0-2, 0-1f), P Matthews (0-1).

Subs used: J Murray for Reid, J Neary for Page, D Clarke (0-1) for Quigley, B Donelly for Mallon (all half-time), K White for E Carroll (61 mins).

DCU: C Munnelly; P Andrews, D Sheridan, D Mooney; R Flanagan (0-1, 0-1f), K Leahy, M McElhinney (0-1); F O'Reilly, C Cucken; D Keenan, S Smith (0-2), C Cregg (1-0); S Johnston (0-5, 0-2f), C Mortimer (0-4, 0-2f), D Kelly (0-1).

Subs: K Nolan for Cucken (half-time), C Rogers for Mortimer (53 mins), D Walsh for Johnston, W Mulhall for Leahy (both 61), B Sheridan for O'Reilly (64).

Referee: Peter Daly (Westmeath)

Most Read in Sport