The Junior A side travelled to play Hill Celtic in the quarter-final of the Lawson Cup and as predicted in the match preview, there was very little between the sides, with Hill Celtic edging out Newport 3-2 after extra time. Newport struggled to get into any real rhythm in the first hour of the game and after 57 minutes found themselves 2-0 down and facing an uphill struggle. Newport were missing a number of players and as early as the 17th minute had to re-shuffle the team after winger Dave Kennedy went off injured and was replaced by U17 player, Jack O’Carroll, making his A team debut. Then later in the game, Jack also had to leave the field injured. Hill Celtic opened the scoring in the 35th minute, when they broke down the left wing and fired the ball across the box. Newport keeper, Harry Ryan, got a leg to the ball, which richoted off the crossbar and a Hill Celtic player was on hand to drill the ball home from close range.
In truth, Newport were really only making chances from set-pieces and came close on a couple of occasions with one powerful free-kick from Elliott Slattery bringing out a great save from their keeper. A similar pattern continued into the second half and when Hill Celtic broke the offside trap to extend their lead to 2-0 in the 57th minute, it looked like there would be no way back for Newport.
However this seemed to inject a new lease of life into Newport and they began to exert some real pressure on the Hill Celtic defence. We closed the gap in the 72nd minute when Sean Ryan expertly slid his shot past the home keeper into the bottom of the net. Newport now sensed that an equaliser was on the cards. In the 78th minute, Elliott Slattery produced another top-class save from their keeper from a trademark free-kick. From the resultant corner, there was a little pinball in the penalty box before substitute, Paul Ryan managed to put the ball in the back of the net to level the tie.
The game ended 2-2 in normal time and the cup tie went into extra-time of 20 minutes. The home side took the lead again in the 5th minute of extra-time with a free header at the back post. Try as they might Newport could not score an elusive equaliser and it’s Hill Celtic who advance to the semi-final. The games between these sides are very tight affairs so the league game back in Derryleigh Park in the next few weeks has all the makings of a cracker.
In their final league game of the season, the B team put a real dent in Mungret Regional’s promotion hope with an excellent 3-2 away win on Sunday morning. Youth player, Colin Coleman, was the scorer-in-chief with a well-taken hat-trick. The Bs now have just one league game remaining and hopefully their recent good form will give them some real confidence in the divisional cup, which they are hoping to retain.
Next weekend the A, B & C teams are all in divisional cup action on Sunday afternoon with all games kicking off at 2.15pm. A’s are home to Regional Utd B, B’s are away to Holycross B and the C’s are home to Athlunkard Villa.
Inter-League Success for Newport Youth Players
Congrats to our Youth players Darren Collins & Jack Noble and the Limerick District League Youth squad & management who have advanced to the final of the FAI Inter-League Youth Cup. On Sunday afternoon in Jackman Park they beat the Inishowen Donegal League on penalties after the 90 minutes & extra-time ended 1-1. We understand that the national final v the Waterford League will take place on Jackman Park on Easter Sunday, April 21. Well done lads. Great achievement to make the final.
The schoolboy sides recorded a clean sweep of victories at the weekend with all four sides in action recording excellent victories. The U16B bounced back from a loss in their game with an excellent 5-2 win at home over Summerville Rovers. The scorers were Johnny Ryan 2, Luke Ryan, Luke Hamilton & Colm O’Malley.
The U14A side made it three wins from three games with a 6-3 win away to Aisling Annacotty B. On the scoresheet for Newport were Nathan Bridgeman 2, Alex O’Toole 2, Conor Brett & Adam Melikchi. In an excellent start to their league campaign, the lads have now scored 6 goals in each of their three games to date.
The U14B side travelled to Corbally and won 2-0 in an excellent performance away from home with the goals coming from Conor Gavan & Alex O’Neill.
Finally the U12s got their league campaign off to a very impressive start with a comprehensive win away to Janesboro. Conor Ryan 3, Dara Moloughney 2, Conor Sweeney, Sean Wren, Aaron Flaherty & Jack Cosgrove scored the goals in an excellent team performance.
Well done to our U10 player, Oran O’Neill, who was one of the team mascots at the Ireland v Georgia game in the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening. We hope you enjoyed the occasion.
Next Saturday sees the odd age competitive schoolboy sides in action. The U13s are home to Aisling Annacotty C (11am) and the U15s are away to Aisling Annacotty B (2pm). With the clocks going forward next weekend, evening games commence on Monday, April 1 with both our U11 sides getting their seasons underway. All evening games kick-off at 6.30pm. The U11 Reds are home to Shelbourne and the Browns are home to Mungret Regional. On Wdnesday, April 3, the U15s are away to Caherdavin. With so many upcoming games, keep up to date on all fixtures & results on the official club website www.newporttownafc.com
Both our U12 & U18 schoolsides were in cup action over the weekend and unfortunately, despite brave performances, both were knocked out of the cup competitions.
The U18s welcomed league champions Birdhill to Derryleigh on Saturday afternoon and Newport made a good contest of it but Birdhill proved to be the stronger side running out winners on a 3-0 scoreline.
The U12s played their part in a real cup-cracker away to Ballymackey. After a thrilling game of normal time and extra-time the two sides could not be separated with the game ending 1-1, with Ava Palmer scoring Newport’s goal. In the end, it took the dreaded penalty shootout to decide a winner and unfortunately it was Ballymackey who won the shootout 2-1. Hard luck to both the Newport sides.
Next weekend, having been knocked out of the Cup, the U18s will contest the final of the Shield against Lough Derg in Killavailla at 2.30pm, while the U13 girls will travel to play Ballymackey in the league at 11.30am.
Online booking will open on Tuesday, March 26 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 €5,750 with the next draw taking place on Saturday, March 30 in Lee’s Bar. The numbers drawn were 1, 10, 12 & 19. Thanks, as always, to everyone who supports the club’s main fund raiser.
Last Man Standing
Following a 2 week break due to FA Cup & International fixtures, Last Man Standing resumes this weekend on March 30. 90 players have qualified for round four of the competition and their team picks will have to be in with us by 9pm on Friday, March 29.
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.