The fifth & final instalment of the Newport v Hill Celtic saga takes place this coming Saturday in Hogan Park at 6.30pm, when the Div 1B League Playoff Final takes place. With both sides already promoted to Div 1A, this one-off game will determine who are crowned as league champions. Newport will be determined to go up with the 1B double secured and both trophies sitting in Derryleigh Park, but the city side will be desperate to end their season with some silverware to show for all their efforts.
The four previous games between the sides have been tight affairs. Newport have won both league games and the recent Cup Final, with Hill Celtic’s solitary win coming in the Lawson Cup quarter-final when it took extra-time to separate the sides. It’s been a very successful season for both clubs and they have proven to be the best two teams in the division. For Newport a win would be the icing on the cake in a season that has delivered so much. If the manager, Marc Barry, had told you before the season that with one game remaining, we’d be in a playoff for the league title, won the Calvert Cup, made it to the last 32 of the FAI Junior Cup and progressed to the quarter-final of the Lawson Cup, eyebrows would have been seriously raised. However great credit is due to Marc, coach Davy Ryan, all the players & backroom staff for such a successful season and providing the supporters with great entertainment along the way in what’s been a roller-coaster ride of a campaign that started with a league game at home to Knockainey on August 15 2018 and will finish this Saturday over 9 months later with the 38th competitive game of the season. In the 37 previous games, we have 31 wins, 1 draw & just 5 losses. We have scored a total of 138 goals, conceded 47 and kept 12 clean sheets. 18 different players have featured on the scoresheet and we also have the league’s top scorers, Christy Doyle with 41 and Brian ‘Clemy’ O’Sullivan with 31.
Newport are the form side in Div 1B, currently on a 16-game winning run in the league & cup and the only games they haven’t won in 2019 are the FAI Junior Cup game away to Aisling Annacotty and the Lawson Cup quarter-final away to Hill Celtic. Having won the toss for venue, Hill Celtic will be confident that home advantage could be a big factor in this game and no doubt will have a vocal home support in Hogan Park. However, Newport have been getting big support at their recent games and Saturday should be no different with a large crowd expected to make the short 15-minute journey into Limerick. We are calling on all our supporters to get to the game to get behind the lads as your support could help make the difference.
Whatever the result on Saturday night, promotion has been secured and the cup has been won, so it’s been a great season but one final push will see Newport do something that they have only done once before in our 49 year existence, that’s win a league & cup double at junior level. Most of our players have never won a junior league title so this will be an added incentive if one was needed to get us over the line. So spread the word, make sure your car is full, wear your colours and let’s all get in there early to get behind the lads. Hon the Town 🔴⚫️