Div 3A, Power Cup, Semi-Final, Newport Town AFC ‘B’ 2 – 0 Murroe (Stevie O’Connor 2)

Sunday, March 8 (Derryleigh Park)

Our Junior B team took pride of place this weekend after they advanced to the final of the Div 3A Power Cup thanks to a two goal salvo from striker, Stevie O’Connor. The B’s will now meet Ballylanders in the decider, after their surprise win over league leaders, Croom. The final will take place in Jackman Park on a date to be decided.

The game between ourselves and our near neighbours took place on the bottom pitch and kicked off following a minute’s silence before the game for the late Joe Murray, grandfather of our player, Dave Murray. The opening exchanges were evenly contested with little between the two sides.

Newport took the lead on twenty minutes with a well taken goal from Stevie O’Connor, when he struck a low shot across the keeper, which hit the far post and went in. There was little else of note in the first half but at half time the feeling was that Murroe would come out with all guns blazing.

The second half was definitely a tougher challenge as Murroe pushed hard for an equaliser. At times Newport rode their luck and it took a great double save from Mark Shinners in the 52nd minute to deny Murroe an equaliser. Newport had plenty of defending to do in the second half but Eoin Bonfield & Kieran O’Sullivan in the heart of the home defence defended resolutely to keep Murroe at bay. In the middle of the park, Dave Murray had an excellent game both in attack & defence. The game was finally made safe in the dying minutes when Stevie scored his second after a lovely through ball from Aidan O’Brien.

This game was a typical semi-final as it may not have been the sexiest game ever seen in Derryleigh Park but today was all about the result and winning ugly didn’t matter. Well done to the players and management who now have a cup final in local HQ to look forward to.

Team: Mark Shinners, Tom Morris, Richie Ryan, Kieran O’Sullivan (C), Eoin Bonfield, Dave Murray, Martin Turner, Odhran Floyd (Kieran Casey 75), Dermot Ryan (Chris Carroll 85), Stevie O’Connor, Aidan O’Brien (JC Aherne 89). Unused Subs: Kalem Harte & PJ O’Rourke.