Newport win the Div 1B Calvert Cup Final
The top two sides in Div 1B, Newport Town & Hill Celtic contested the Calvert Cup Final in a sun-soaked Jackman Park on Saturday evening. The large crowd in attendance witnessed a cracking cup final between two very evenly-matched sides. Ultimately the game was decided by two great strikes from the division’s top scorer, Christy Doyle, to ensure that the trophy crossed the border to North Tipperary and will reside in Derryleigh Park for the next 12 months following a hard-earned 2-0 win.
Having played each other three times already this season, twice in the league and once in the Lawson Cup, with Newport wining the league encounters and Hill Celtic, the Lawson Cup tie, the teams were very familiar with one another and the opening stages of the game were tight with both sides probing each other. In the 19th minute Newport were awarded a free kick when James Lynch was fouled 30 yards from goal. Christy Doyle stepped up to take the free-kick and fired home with a well-struck shot, which beat Robert Power in the Hill Celtic goal, who was maybe put off by the bright sunshine he was facing into.
Just 3 minutes later, Hill Celtic were awarded a free kick on the right hand side of the box and it took a superb save from Harry Ryan to deny the Limerick side an equaliser. Hill Celtic stepped up the pressure on the Newport goal and in the 25th minute Newport managed to escape a goalmouth scramble from a corner. Just 2 minutes later Hill Celtic flashed in a dangerous low cross the box but thankfully there was no one on hand to get on the end of it.
Hill Celtic continued to dominate possession and push forward but the Newport rearguard, superbly marshalled by Christy O’Connor & Elliott Slattery soaked up the pressure. Unfortunately just before the interval, Davy Ryan had to be substituted and was replaced by Paul Ryan. On the stroke of half-time, Hill Celtic were once again denied a goal by a brilliant point-blank save from Harry Ryan. Newport took a one goal lead into the interval but Hill Celtic would have been disappointed not to have been on level terms. Newport were thankful for the opportunity to regroup and take a well-earned breather.
The early stages of the second half saw Hill Celtic continuing to dominate possession and again it was the Newport keeper who was being kept busy pulling off two more excellent saves in the 51st & 55th minutes. In the final quarter of the game, Hill Celtic had to push out more from the back as they went in search of a goal and this led to the game being more open and Newport were beginning to create some chances. In the 77th minute, Dave Kennedy replaced Kevin Connolly on the Newport side.The last 15 minutes of the game were very tense for both sets of supporters with both sides coming close on a number of occasions. In the 90th minute, Hill Celtic had a shot that looked destined for the top corner but it just grazed the top of the crossbar much to the relief of the Tipperary side and their supporters. When word came that there would be 4 minutes of injury time, there was a groan from the Newport support and the nail biting continued.
However 2 minutes into injury time, that man Doyle ensured the Newport victory, when superbly dispatching a low shot into the far corner after captain, Brian ‘Clemy’ O’Sullivan, broke away and released Doyle with a perfect pass. The sense of relief was palpable amongst the Newport support as it was now too late for Hill Celtic to deny us the victory.
Hill Celtic will probably feel that their efforts and performance deserved more from the game but credit has to go to Newport for taking their chances and defending superbly throughout the game. The large Newport crowd were delighted to see captain Brian O’Sullivan receive the Calvert Cup before the celebrations went on long into the night in O’Sullivan’s Bar and beyond.
It would be hard to single out any one player for Man of the Match but the general consensus was that it would have to be any one of Harry Ryan, who produced some great saves throughout the game, either of the two centre-halves, Christy O’Connor & Elliott Slattery, who defended as though their lives depended upon the result or Christy Doyle, who scored the two Newport goals and in the process brought his season’s tally up to 40.
The players & management would like to extend their sincere thanks for the incredible support they had at the cup final as it really helped them dig deep and get over the line.
Newport: Harry Ryan, James Lynch, Mark McGuire, Elliott Slattery, Christy O’Connor, Peter O’Sullivan, Davy Ryan, Sean Ryan, Christy Doyle, Kevin Connolly, Brian O’Sullivan (C)
Subs: Paul Ryan for Davy Ryan (45), Dave Kennedy for Kevin Connolly )77)
Unused Subs: Kevin O’Brien, Jimmy Fyfe, Jack Noble & Darren Collins.
Hill Celtic: Robert Power, Adrian Mitchell, Jamie Leahy, Danny Sheehan (C), David Corbett, Michael Lipper, Kenneth Nealon, Patrick Boyle, Aaron Sawson, Dean Mitchell, Alex Purcell
Subs: Evan Doran for Aaron Dawson (64), John Mitchell for Dean Mitchell (75) Evan Doran for Jamie Leahy (75)
Unused Subs: Johnny Corbett, Lee Reddan,Joe Mannahan,Daniel Malone & Hayden Johnson.
Div 1B Promotion Race
Newport welcome already relegated Regional B to Derryleigh Park this coming Thursday at 6.30pm, knowing that a draw will be good enough to secure promotion. However at the same time, Hill Celtic travel to play Knockainey and Kilfrush welcome Geraldines in fixtures that could also determine whether or not Newport are league champions or are in a playoff for promotion for the league title. Simply put, a draw definitely guarantees promotion and a win will see us either crowned as league champions or in a play-off with Hill Celtic for the league title depending on the other results. Once again, we are calling on all our supporters to get along to Derryleigh Park as the as the lads now push on to try and win the league & cup double. This team have had a wonderful season so far and are fully deserving of your continued support.
Limerick Junior Teams of the Season
The Limerick League Junior Teams of the Season have been announced and Newport has great representation on 4 teams in Div 1B, Div 2B, Youth Div 2 & U17 Div 1. This is a great honour for our players and our club.Well done lads and hard luck to our players who must have been in the running for a spot but missed out.
The Newport players and their respective division are below:
Junior A, Div 1B:
Team: Christopher O Connor Brian O’Sullivan Christy Doyle
Subs: Elliott Slattery & Seán Ryan
Junior B, Div 2B:
Team: Stephen Carroll & Nathan Hartigan
Sub: Odhran Brett
U18 Youth Div 2:
Team: Darren Collins Jack Noble & Jack O’Carroll
Subs: Killian O Malley & Colin Coleman
U17 Div 1:
Team: Jack O’Carroll
Sub: Jay Ryan
The U18s wrapped up their season when they travelled to play Cals who had already been crowned league champions. Newport were guaranteed runners-up spot so this was a game with nothing resting on it. However credit is due to both sides for playing out a very entertaining game, which saw Cals narrowly win on a 3-2 scoreline. Newport were missing a number of regular players so there were some enforced positional changes, one of which saw regular left-back, Jack Noble play as a centre-forward and it proved to be a great switch as he scored both Newport goals. The first half was scoreless and Newport took the lead early in the second half when Jack Noble beat the offside trap and latched onto a through ball and calmly slotted home under the advancing keeper. The home side then scored 3 goals without response before Jack Noble pounced on a defensive lapse late in the game to roll the ball into an empty net. However the lads could not snatch a deserved equaliser. The league’s top scorer, Jack O’Carroll was very unlucky not to make it to 20 goals for the season after his superbly struck free-kick early in the first half smashed against the crossbar. However well done to Jack for scoring 19 goals in the 16 games that he played in.This was a lot of the lads last time playing underage football before they move into the full junior ranks. They have been a credit to the club and have a very bright football future ahead of them. Peter, Allon, Tom & Dave would like to thank all the players for their efforts over the past few years.
The C team also finished their season when they lost 4-2 away to league champions Lisnagry with Aidan Healy scoring both Newport goals. This has been a frustrating season for the C team and they were unlucky not to get more positive results during the season.
The U13s recorded an excellent 4-0 win away to Pike Rovers with goals coming from John Kennedy, Damien O’Brien, James Moloney & Adam Power. Both U16 sides were in action. The A team drew 2-2 qith Mungret Regional with Jay Ryan scoring both.This leaves them in third place in the Premier league after 6 games. The Bs lost 2-1 away to Aisling Annacotty B but were very unlucky not to earn a share of the points after Aisling in the last minute of the game. Alex Considine was the Newport scorer.
In non-competitive games, the U10s had a very busy week with each side having two games each. Our U8s were home to Aisling Annacotty on Saturday morning. Scores for non-competitive games aren’t recorded and there are no league tables but by all accounts the Newport sides put in some very good performances in entertaining games. Well done everyone.
This week we have schoolboy games on Wednesday, Friday,Saturday & Monday. On Wednesday, U15 are home to Aisling Annacotty B (6.30pm). On Friday, U9s are home to Fairview (6.30pm) and the U11 Reds are home to Pike Rovers (6.30pm). On Saturday the U7s are home to Aisling Annacotty (9.45am), U16A are away to Fairview (1pm), U16B are home to Carew Park (11am) and the U14A side are away to Aisling Annacotty in the Cup quarter-final (2pm). Finally on Monday the U13s are home to Pike (6.30pm) and U15 are home to Aisling Annacotty A (7.45pm).
With so many games taking place, keep up to date on all fixtures & results on the official club website www.newporttownafc.com
Unfortunately despite a brave performance the U18 girls lost their cup final 2-0 to Nenagh. They will now play Lough Derg in the Shield Final this Wednesday in Derryleigh (6.30pm).
The U15 beat Ballymackey 7-0 in the Shield Final in their final game of the season in Nenagh. Newport started the game strongly. With Abbie, Leah & Sarah dominating the midfield it was difficult for Ballymackey to create anything to really bother the back line. When they did get a half chance, Ailín, Caragh, Ellie, Jayne & Mara were solid enough to tidy up. Changing wingers around really upset their back line so Aoife, Emily, Eryn, Nadine, Neve & Shauna had a lot of open field to run at them. Chelsea was her usual self, creating space and tormenting defenders. Leading 3-0 at half time through goals from Abbie, Chelsea & Shauna, it wasn’t long into the 2nd half and the girls were creating more chances. There was some lovely passing and moving by the girls and Ballymackey did not know how to stop them. Abbie & Chelsea completed a hat trick each to put a gloss on the scoreline but it was definitely the team working hard that created those chances. Right at the end of the game, Ballymackey broke through but Emma forever brave, dived at the players feet to snuff out that chance. Again we had a few injured and missing players Abi Rainsford, Aisling O’Gorman, Mollie O’Hora & Robyn McNamara. A season of ups & downs but finished strong.
FAI Coaching Course
An FAI Coach Education PDP 2 two day coaching course takes place in Derryleigh Park on Sundays May 19 & 26. Cost is €75. Booking can be made online at www.fai.ie/domestic/coach-education
Please be advised this is the only way to book a place on the course! There is a maximum 24 places for the course, so please book early
Online booking are now open for our always popular FAI Summer Soccer School camps. Once again we will hold 2 camps. Camp 1 (July 15-19) & Camp 2 (August 19-23). Our camps always book up fast so book early to avoid disappointment. Full details on www.summersoccerschools.ie
There was no winner of this week’s club’s lotto and the jackpot is now €6,100 with the next draw taking place on Saturday, May 18 in McGrath’s Bar. The numbers drawn were 11, 17, 28 & 30. Thanks, as always, to everyone who supports the club’s main fund raiser.
Our ‘Clothes Collection’ continues, so drop your bags of clothes, shoes, handbags, blankets & bed linen to the clubhouse anytime. Just leave them under the canopy and we will recycle them for you. This fundraiser is in partnership with the NCBI – Working for People with Sight Loss. If you need bags collected or have any questions, please contact Sarah on 087 2826155.