The A team returned to league action on Sunday and recorded an important 4-0 win away to Ballylanders. Newport had lost the reverse fixture 3-4 earlier in the season, so despite Ballylander’s position in the bottom half of the table, a tough game was expected at a venue that always proves a difficult place to get a result. The poor weather conditions and soft pitch weren’t going to help anyone’s cause and so it proved in the first ten minutes with Newport failing to get a real grip on the game.
However in the 10th minute, Newport almost opened the scoring when a mix-up in the Ballylanders defence almost led to an O.G. but they just managed to avert the danger. Three minutes later, Christy Doyle saw a delicate lob over the Ballylanders keeper hit the top of the crossbar. Newport were now beginning to get on top and looking the most likely to break the stale-mate and this duly happened in the 27th minute after Christy Doyle went on a mazy run, beating a couple of defenders and firing a shot that the home keeper could only parry and captain, Brian O’Sullivan gladly tapped home from close range.
With 2 minutes remaining in the first half, Ballylanders pressed the self-destruct button after they had 2 players sent-off one after another for dissent and this proved to be the main turning-point of the game. Newport took the 1-0 lead into the half-time break and knew that the game was only theirs to lose playing with the strong breeze in the second half and against 9 men.
Brian O’Sullivan made it 2-0 in the 50th minute when he latched onto a cross from Davy Ryan. It was all one-way traffic now and Newport made it 3-0 in the 66th minute when Peter O’Sullivan, who enjoyed another good outing, scored from a trademark Davy Ryan corner. Newport made some substitutions, with Darren Collins & Sean Ryan making way for Kevin O’Brien & Paul Ryan. Newport continued to create chances but failed to find the back of the net. On 70 minutes, with the game won, Christy Doyle was withdrawn and replaced by youth player, Jack Noble with Brian ‘Clemy’ O’Sullivan moving up top on his own.
Clemy, who enjoyed a fine game, finally secured his hat-trick with the last kick of the game from the penalty spot after a Newport player was taken down in the box. Clemy will get the man of the match award for his hat-trick but special mention for the full-backs, Mark McGuire & Kevin Connolly, who have both been in great form in the past few weeks and continued in this vein again. Also well done to Harry Ryan in goals who kept a clean sheet, ably assisted by his centre-halves, Christy O’Connor & Elliott Slattery. In fairness, every player is giving 100%, realising that there is strong competition for places.
Newport are in good form and playing with lots of confidence. We have 7 league games remaining with 5 of those at home but know that with Kilfrush, Hill Celtic & Knockainey also winning, every game is now almost a must-win to keep up the pressure on their main promotion rivals.
The B’s advanced to the quarter-finals of the Div 2B cup with a comfortable 4-1 win over Caherdavin on Sunday afternoon. This was a strong B squad with a good mix of experience & youth. Newport’s goals came from Devlin Courtney, Colin Coleman, Nathan Hartigan & Dermot Ryan. Newport won this cup last year and will be hoping to retain it this season but a difficult away trip to Holycross awaits the lads in the quarter-final.
The C team finally get their first win of the season when they beat Aisling Annacotty E in Derryleigh Park on Sunday morning thanks to goals from young players, Adam Keane & Aidan Healy. This win has been coming for the past few games and now that the duck has been broken, it will give the lads confidence to try and move up the table.
Unfortunately the U17s game at home to Nenagh was abandoned very early in the second-half, when Newport player John Ryan Rose suffered a bad leg injury and had to go to hospital in an ambulance. We all wish John a speedy recovery. At the time Newport were losing 2-1 but the game should now be re-scheduled at a later date.
Next Sunday, the A’s are the only junior side in action, when they welcome Granville Rangers to Derryleigh Park in the first round of the Div 1B Calvert Cup. The winners will be home to Regional Utd B in the quarter-final.
Good luck to our Youth players, Darren Collins & Jack Noble, who are in the Limerick District League inter-league squad that play the North Dublin League in the quarter-final of the FAI Inter-League competiton in Jackman Park next Sunday at 2.15pm.
The new calendar schoolboy season finally got underway on Saturday with the U14 & U16 sides in action. The lads got the season off to a great start with a clean sweep for all four teams. The U16A recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to Fairview in the Premier League with Daniel Egan scoring the only goal of the game. Well done to the U15 players who stepped up and played their parts in a great win.
The U16Bs, are playing in Div 1 and secured a hard-earned 3-2 away win to Aisling Annacotty C with Johnny Ryan (2) & Luke Hamilton on the score-sheet.
Our U14A side opened their Div 1 league campaign with an impressive 6-0 won over Mungret Regional B in Derryleigh Park. Managers, Richard Egan & Dave Brett have assembled a very strong squad and are hopeful of pushing for honours this season. Nathan Bridgeman 3, Conor Brett 2 & Callum O’Connell were on target for Newport.
Finally the U14Bs rounded off the perfect day with a 7-4 win away to Summerville in Div 2, with the goals coming from Conor Gavan 4 & Cathal Lenihan 3.
All in all, a great start and let’s hope that the U13s & U15s also hit the ground running next Saturday. The U15s are home to Carew Park in the Premier League at 11am and the U13s are away to Corbally in Div 1 at 2pm.
There was no competitive schoolgirl fixtures at the weekend but our U10 girls welcomed Ballymackey & Knigh United to Derryleigh Park on Saturday afternoon for a blitz. Great fun was had by all in glorious spring sunshine. Well done everyone.
Well done to our players that were on the NTSFL Academy U13 and U15 Girls squads v Limerick County on Sunday in the latest round of Gaynor Cup Qualifiers.
Next Saturday the U17s are away to Ballymackey at 11.30am and the U13s are away to Killavilla at 1pm.
There was no winner of this week’s club’s lotto and the jackpot is now €5,550 with the next draw taking place on Saturday, March 2 in McGrath’s Bar. The numbers drawn were 5, 8, 11 & 14. 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.