NEWTOWN Blues confirmed their Division 1 survival as O'Connells missed out on a semi-final place when they had no answer to a second half powerhouse display by the county champions at The Grove on Sunday afternoon.
The home side got off to a flyer with a goal from Andrew Sharkey straight from the throw in. Hugh McGinn got the Blues off the mark with a point from a free but the Bellingham side got the next three points from Cian Doyle, Robert Quigley and Niall Conlon.
McGinn again got his side's second point but back came the home team with the next two from Dean Stanfield and Jackie Agnew. Colm Judge got the next point for the Blues and the following four points were shared by the teams.
The away side finished the half the stronger and got the last two points of the half from McGinn and a Judge free to leave the half time score 1-7 to 0-7 in favour of the O'Connells.
If the home team just shaded the first half the second half was all about the men from Drogheda. Frees from McGinn and Judge were answered by another point from Dean Stanfield but the county champions shifted a gear and got the next six points to move into a four point lead 0-15 to 1-8.
O'Connells tried hard to get back into the game with two points from Doyle but McGinn and Robert Carr maintained the four point gap between the sides. Doyle got the Bellingham boys' last point of the game and Andy McDonnell and John Kermode rounded off the scoring for the Blues.
NEWTOWN BLUES: Conor Barton; Niall Costello, Thomas Costello, Paul Black; Stephen Moonan 0-1f, Jamie Carr, Andrew Tinley; Keith Lynch, John Kermode 0-1; Brian Kermode, Hugh McGinn 0-73f, Barry Sharkey; Colm Judge 0-42f, Andy McDonnell 0-3, Robbie Carr 0-3. Subs: Dara Moore for P Black, Alan Wilton for B Sharkey, James Carter for R Carr.
O'CONNELLS: Stuart Reynolds; Andrew Shields, Conor Byrne, Jason Carroll; Salem Rifaie, Jackie Agnew 0-1, Keith Woods; Conor Kiernan, Dean Stanfield 0-2; Niall Conlon 0-1, Mark Stanfield 0-1, Paul McKeever; Cian Doyle 0-51f, Andrew Sharkey 1-0, Robert Quigley 0-1. Subs: Sean Cairns for c Kiernan, Emmet Byrne for A Sharkey, David Doyle for K Woods, Sean Connolly for D Stanfield.