After last week’s cup games, it’s back to the bread & butter of league action this weekend, with our Junior A, C & U18 Youth teams all in action in Derryleigh Park on Sunday and all support is welcome. The A team are right in the promotion race but with just 7 league games remaining, every game is almost a must-win and that then brings its own pressures. We currently lie 12 points behind league leaders Kilfrush, but we have 3 games in hand and are 9 points behind second-placed Hill Celtic with 2 games in hand. Only two sides get promoted at the end of the season but we still have to play both these sides in Derryleigh Park in massive games, but Marc Barry and his players are only concerned with taking one game at a time starting with the visit of seventh placed Southend next Sunday morning.
In the earlier fixture back in August, Newport recorded a 3-1 away win with goals from Brian O’Sullivan (2) & Darren Collins in a hard-earned victory. Even though Southend don’t have much to play for, as they are more-or-less safe from relegation and looking at a mid-table finish, they will still be tough opposition and won’t make life easy for Newport. Team captain, Brian O’Sullivan, who scored his 22nd goal of the season last week will continue to lead the line.
A satisfying aspect of last week’s 6-0 win over Regional was that six different players scored, and we also kept a third clean-sheet in 4 games. New keeper, Harry Ryan, has settled nicely into the team and has done well. The players & management would really like to see the Newport support get behind them in the remaining games in the push for promotion and hope to see a decent crowd at the game on Sunday morning. Thanks also to some of the U13 schoolboys who will be on ball-boy duty for the game.
At the same time, the C team welcome near neighbours, Murroe C to Derryleigh Park in a local derby. These teams played out an exciting 3-3 draw back in September and this game has all the makings of a cracker, as a win for Newport would see them climb off the bottom of the Div 4 table and level with Murroe. To give this fixture even added spice, Murroe have some former Newport players in their ranks, who will be anxious to put one over their former team-mates.
The third game of the day sees the Youths play Caherdavin in Derryleigh with a 2.15pm kick-off. Newport currently lie in second-place behind Cals, but a very disappointing loss away to Corbally last time out put a big dent in their title hopes. Newport must win their four remaining league games and hope that other results go their way to have any hope of catching Cals. Caherdavin also have a slight chance of catching Cals but also need to win their remaining games, so with this game being a must-win for both sides it could be a very tense & exciting game. In the reverse fixture back in August, Caherdavin were 3-1 winners in a game that Newport did not play as well as they can. For this game, the Youths welcome John Ryan Rose back to the squad after a nasty injury and also welcome Thomas Floyd back to the fold. Colin Coleman, who has been missed, remains unavailable due to suspension but will be available for the next game.