National Football League: Louth Player Ratings vs Laois

National Football League: Louth Player Ratings vs Laois

By Caoimhín Reilly

Louth won their opening National Football League game on Saturday evening with a comprehensive 2-16 to 0-10 victory over Laois.

The result means that for the second year in succession the Reds have won their opening league game. Here’s how the players fared individually:

  1. Craig Lynch – Lynch’s strongest asset has always been his distribution off the tee and last night he highlighted this quality. 12 of his 14 first-half kick-outs found an outfield colleagues and set the Reds into attack. It wasn’t just his kicking that was impressive though as he repeatedly dealt with long punts towards goal by Laois, especially in the second-half. An excellent display: 8
  2. Pádraig Rath – Picked up the pacey Eoin Lowry and dominated the tussle in keeping the forward scoreless. The biggest complement that you can pay Rath is that neither he nor his marker were noticeable for long spells, proving how effective Rath’s man-marking skills are: 7
  3. Patrick Reilly – Given the task of marshalling Donie Kingston, Reilly coped admirably. Kingston may have gotten three-points from play but this was more down to the Laois man’s brilliance rather than Reilly’s ineptitude. Although he can be rash at times, Reilly is a very solid, consistent defender as he proved last night. A good showing: 7
  4. Kevin Carr – Another, like Rath, to have gotten through the entire 70-minutes doing the basics well. Marked Donal Conway and prevented the corner-forward from having any influence in open-play. Tidy when in possession but he tends to take six-to-seven steps without playing it at times and moving forward referees will pick-up on this: 7
  5. Derek Maguire – Still not playing as effectively as he did last season. His pace and energy gives him the edge on most of his opponents while his technical ability on the ball, to give and take passes, is unquestionable but in defending he is suspect and could be targeted by oppositions further down the line, despite being the assigned sweeper: 6
  6. Liam Dullaghan – It may have been his league debut but Dullaghan looked like a seasoned campaigner in leading the Louth defence, being more vocal than he had been on his previous appearances. The O’Mahonys man is more than building his case for a regular starting berth at the heart of the defence: 7
  7. Anthony Williams – Another who is enjoying a fine start to the year. Williams was excellent, scored two-points, defended as well as he has ever done in a Louth jersey and put his endless reserves of energy to good use in covering every blade of grass to join, and be highly effective in, the Louth attack: 8
  8. Tommy Durnin – Durnin is getting into the habit of putting in complete midfield performances. Another fine display by the Westerns man in Portlaoise was capped off with two outstanding points from play. His work rate was phenomenal while his fielding and composure in possession were excellent. Quite simply, man of the match: 9
  9. Andy McDonnell – In the shape of his life and putting his athletic build to good use in forging an excellent centre-field partnership with Durnin. Took his goal with aplomb having hit a point earlier in the match. He just seems to add that ‘x’ factor around the middle and everything he does has class etched all over it. His return to the team has been very encouraging: 8
  10. James Stewart – Did what he was asked to do in covering for Maguire in the half-back line but, unlike others who were asked to do a similar defensive job, Stewart failed to get involved going forward. Showed excellent fitness levels throughout but was largely out of the game, which was a shame considering his outstanding ball-winning abilities: 6
  11. Páraic Smith – Any night you score 1-4 from play is a good night, and Smith was simply excellent in Portlaoise. Officially handed the player of the match award much down to this scoring return but it was his build-up play and intelligence to always be in the scoring position that was the most impressive aspect of his display. A shrewd all-round operator who is now starting to look comfortable at this level: 9
  12. Bevan Duffy – Would it be too much to suggest that this was Duffy’s finest game in Louth colours? The winger called four-marks and notched two very well taken points. His fielding has never been questioned but, his fitness levels and general ability to get around the field has been a problem in the past. On last night’s evidence, those issues are in the past: 8
  13. Ruairí Moore – Another to shine having been surprisingly handed a start by Colin Kelly. He seemed to be the willing target for countless Lynch kick-outs, particularly in the first-half when he was highly effective. One of which saw kick a great long-distance point at the end of a fine run. A really comprehensive all-round display: 7.5
  14. Jim McEneaney – It just didn’t happen as fluently as we come to expect from McEneaney last night. Although his effort and desire was palpable, he was just unable to find himself in the positions to harm Laois further. Set-up a lot of scores but never looked like scoring himself, in fact he never even has a shot at the posts. Played well for the team though: 7
  15. Ryan Burns – A constant threat inside the Laois full-back line although Burns only got one from play. Tried a few long-range frees which all tailed off target but the Hunterstown man offered was the vocal point with his movement being of an exceptional standard. Kicked frees of his left and right feet: 7

Subs:

Conal McKeever – Introduced for Duffy with almost an hour played and the result all but determined. This didn’t stop the Clans man from bringing his usual high levels of work rate to proceedings though as he helped close the game out: 6

Ronan Holdcroft – Played a lovely ball through for Burns to run on to shortly after coming on before getting a soft booking off the referee. The Fechins forward benefitted from Louth being in the ascendency as he got involved to good effect without scoring himself: 6.5

Derek Crilly – Got involved in a couple of nice attacking moves during his short spell on the field but never got within scoring distance of the posts: N/A

John Bingham – Another who did what he had to do without being too evident for his short cameo on the ground where he made his Louth debut four-years ago: N/A

Ross Nally: Kicked an excellent point from a dead-ball shortly after his arrival onto the field and showed glimpses of what he was capable of in darting along the end-line in injury time as he looked to add to his account. He’s a huge prospect: 6.5

Sam Mulroy: Like Nally, Mulroy is certain to make it at this level. Got his first game in the National League last night and did well, drawing a late free: N/A

 

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