Sunday, November 25, 2018 (Derryleigh Park)
Scorers: Jay Ryan 3 & Karl Kelly
A top Vs bottom of the table clash took place at Derryleigh Park on a sunny, wintery day, perfect for a game of football. Newport fielded a weakened team with several players out injured and more on the field at less than 100%. It showed in the early stages as Annacotty looked the stronger team, scoring after 5 minutes with a long-range effort that skimmed off the surface, and creating several chances early. Annacotty doubled their advantage after some scrappy play around the box, the ball broke kindly for the Annacotty forward who finished deftly.
But Newport were not without their chances, Jack Foley forced a good save, Gavin Denihan headed off the post and Jack O’Carroll shot narrowly over the bar. With ten remaining in the half Jay Ryan picked the ball up 20 yards out with two men to beat and surprised everyone with a quick toe-poke into the bottom corner of the Annacotty goal. The half time whistle came with Annacotty leading 2-1.
The second half started slowly with Newport slowly gaining control and the advantage in possession, and duly Karl Kelly steered the ball home from close range after several ricochets, deflections and saves in the Annacotty 18-yard box.
The Newport boys’ tails were up now and as Jack O’Carroll set Jack Foley away down the left, Foley measured an inch perfect cross 1st time onto the head of Jay Ryan, who put the ball low to the keepers left. Great football from Newport with a finish to match.
Several players were out on their feet now and with no substitutes, it was inevitable that Annacotty would come back strong. And they did. The Newport boys defended bravely for 15 minutes before Annacotty finally got the break they were after, the ball finally bouncing loose to the striker after some brave keeping by Jack O’Sullivan.
There looked to be only one winner now with 5 minutes left, as Annacotty pinned the Newport lads back in their box, the Newport lads defended bravely, throwing their bodies on the line. With the clock dwindling down the Newport men threw one last attack forward, and when the ball broke to Jay Ryan on the right of the Annacotty box, he slotted the ball past the keepers right, to give Newport the advantage with seconds remaining.
Annacotty launched one last attack but the Newport men stood stoutly and fell to their knees when the final whistle blew, exhausted, but victorious!!
Hard to single out anyone for man of the match after all eleven worked so hard but special mention must go to the walking wounded, who battled to the end. Jack O’Sullivan in goals (ankle), Dylan Ryan (groin) and Gavin Denihan(hip) in defence, and Jay Ryan (stomach) clinical up front.
Report by Daire Kennedy