Scorers: James Rochford, Nathan Hartigan, Darren Collins & Devlin Courtney
Well done to our U18s who ended the season as Div 2 League Champions following their 4-3 League Play-Off win away to Charleville on Sunday morning. Goals from from Devlin Courtney, James Rochford, Nathan Hartigan & Darren Collins were enough to ensure that the league title made its way to Derryleigh Park for the first time. This was the first league title won by any of our junior sides in 23 years and it was hard-won. Going into the game, Charleville were warm favourites as they had led the league for most of the season and had won the cup two weeks ago. Also in their favour was the home venue as they won the toss and the game was played on the astro-turf in Fitzgerald Park. Newport decided to throw the form book out the window and started the game at a million miles an hour, pressing the home team all over the park. Newport raced into a 2-0 lead within 20 minutes and Charleville didn’t know what had hit them. The home team then grew into the game and got a goal back, however Newport continued to press and scored another two goals to make it 4-1 at half-time.
Everyone expected Charleville to provide a fight-back in the second half and this they did. They scored two goals without reply to make the score 4-3 and set-up a tense and exciting end to the game. Both sides had more chances to score but fortunately Newport held firm to secure a historic and long-overdue win for a junior side.
Elliott Slattery, Newport Captain and recently selected as the Limerick District League U18 Div 2 Player of the Year was delighted to accept the Noonan Cup on behalf of the club and his team-mates. A large contingent of this squad have been with Newport since they were 5 or 6 years of age and this was a great way to finish off their time as underage players. We now hope to see lots of these players contine their football journey with our junior sides in the years to come. Well done also to the management team of Ailbe Coffey, Adrian Hurley, Don Houlihan & Tim Coffey and to the various managers & coaches who worked with them as schoolboy players.