Wednesday 16 January 2019

Narrow cup defeat a 'New' experience

Soccer NEFL, Leinster Junior Cup: Booth Road Celtic 3 Newfoundwell 2

Newfoundwell's hopes of landing either provincial or national glory finally bit the dust on Saturday last as they tasted defeat for the first time in 35 games in all competitions this season.

The Drogheda side were recently thrown out of the FAI Junior Cup for fielding an ineligible player in their last-16 victory over Ayrfield United, but they still harboured genuine hopes of going all the way in Leinster.

That dream now lies in tatters following this quarter-final defeat at Ballyowen and the team managed by Danny Gartland and Paul Crowley must now focus on domestic matters where they remain on course for a possible treble in the North East League.

Facing Leinster Senior League opposition, the 'Well travelled without some key players, with Alan Murphy injured, John Kermode suspended, Kevin Bull unavailable and both Rob Cashman and Anto Burke cup-tied.

That left the management team short of options and in front of a large crowd the Dublin outfit took control of the game early on, with their back four of Gary Cleary, Martin McGuinness, Jordan Roe and Stephen Bermingham were excellent from start to finish.

After a scoreless first 40 minutes the home side made the breakthrough when Mikey Collins played an excellent through-ball to Ryan O'Callaghan who smash home the opener.

The 'Well wouldn't have been too downhearted to reach the interval just one goal in arrears, but alas they conceded again almost right on the half-time whistle, with Collins supplying the ammunition for Philip Sheppard to apply the finish.

The visitors halved the deficit early in the second half with a well-taken goal scored by Ian Devine and a promising move shortly after came to nothing when a Brian Kermode pass was intercepted.

However, the deficit was soon back to two goals as Collins raced onto what looked like a nothing ball before turning inside and setting up O'Callaghan for a good finish and a 3-1 Booth Road lead.

The 'Well were given renewed hope on 79 minutes when Kermode fired home to set up a tense finish, but Booth Road held out to take their place in the semi-finals.

For Newfoundwell, news of Trim Celtic slipping up again in the league on Sunday was some consolation and they can close to within three points of the leaders, with three games still in hand, if they can overcome Ardee Celtic at Townparks this Wednesday evening.

NEWFOUNDWELL: Ronan Brown, Paddy O'Boyle, Daryl McDonagh, Stephen Murphy, Cormac Reid, Ryan Connor, Dean Carolan, Brian Kermode, Adam O'Connor, Ian Devine, Craig O'Connor.

Drogheda Independent