Ardee St Mary’s hero Dáire McConnon was ‘bricking it’ before hitting late winner in Louth SFC semi-final thriller with Naomh Máirtín
Ardee St Mary’s hero Dáire McConnon was “bricking it” before landing the knockout blow to Naomh Máirtín’s three-in-a-row senior championship title bid on Sunday afternoon.
he Louth attacker struck 11 minutes into second half stoppage time as Cathal Murray’s men resurrected a seemingly hopeless cause, having trailed by seven points at half-time, to qualify for Sunday week’s showpiece against Newtown Blues.
Jocks – who had Conor Morgan and John Clutterbuck sent-off during the closing quarter – felt especially hard done by after referee Fr Derek Ryan waved play on when their best performer on the day, Conor Whelan, looked to have been fouled in the play prior to McConnon’s winner.
“It’s unreal – some feeling – and probably up there with 2016 against Clogher (Dreadnots) in Haggardstown,” McConnon said of the thrilling finish.
“I got a goal that night but this is up there, and we knew it was in us, but they were actually more organised than in 2020 (final) – they’ve improved since then.
“I was frazzled when I got past the tackles. My heart was in my mouth – I was bricking it. I just saw space in behind and jinked inside. They were a couple of men down and leggy, so it just opened up. I was just praying it went over.
“I probably could have kept going, but I was just like, ‘tip it over’.”
Trailing by such a margin at the interval was way off Marys’ script, but with the champions hitting just a single point when the match restarted, and the gust beginning to grow stronger in the winners’ favour, the comeback effort gradually gained momentum.
“We didn’t mind the half-time gap because of how strong the wind was,” added McConnon.
“I didn’t realise it in the warm-up on the back pitch and then when we came in for the first half, it was very strong. I knew it would open up for us and we ran at them – that’s why they got men sent-off.
“I was worried at half-time in that I’d have preferred if it was four or five (points) – seven was a bit much, and then we left it a bit late.”