Wednesday 24 January 2018

The Mighty Magpies

THE last of Mick Hagan's championship games in Wicklow in 2013 was played in very nice conditions in Arklow on Sunday morning when Newtown beat Michael Dwyers in the Minor C final.

The last of Mick Hagan's championship games in Wicklow in 2013 was played in very nice conditions in Arklow on Sunday morning when Newtown beat Michael Dwyers in the Minor C final.

This was another good final in this grade and rounded off a busy year for both clubs.

The question most people were asking was how two teams with so much talent were in the third grade of football.

The answer given by Dominic Leach of Newtown is quite simple, "we wanted to play in a higher grade but because of shortage of numbers we could not be certain of having the required 15 in the summer evenings so we were told we would have to play in the C championship".

So it appears that this grade was reserved just for the weak teams but for clubs that were not sure of being able to get the required number players to fullfil fixtures during the league section.

Dwyers had played all their games, including the semi-final at 11-a-side but for Sunday's final they got out two more players so this game was played at 13-a-side.

Newtown came into this game as hot favourites to win, mainly because of their past record in the U-14 and U-16 grades.

Everyone was looking out for one of their star player, Darren Walsh, who was expected to dominate from midfield. The first big boost Dwyers got was when Tristan Maher quickly came to terms with Walsh and kept him rather quite for most of the game.

On the day it was Walsh's midfield partner, Luke Martin, that stole the show with a mighty display of all out attacking football.

Shane Lennon got Dwyers off to a good start when he pointed a long range free after his brother Eoghan was fouled.

A minute later Phillip Penrose was in on the end of a Tristan Maher centre to blast to the net. While Newtown had plenty of the play in the first quarter it was Dwyers that were getting the scores but good defending by Cian Jackman, Darragh Byrne and Adam Doyle was playing a part.

Laurence Murphy had tacked on another point for the group team before midfielder Luke Martin got Newtown on the score board in the 10th minute. Darren Byrne and Penrose did the spade work to put Laurence Murphy through for Dwyers second goal.

However, that brought a quick reply with Luke Martin going through from midfield to blast the ball past the helpless Stephen Coogan.

Tristan Maher added a point for Dwyers and at the end of the first quarter the west side led by 2-3 to 1-1; Steven Davis pointed two frees and then really rallied Newtown with a second goal in the 23rd minute. A third goal by Dylan Carty left Newtown leading by 3-5 to 2-4 at half time.

While Maher and Shane Lennon continued to put in strong work at midfield and Murphy, Padraig Byrne and Eoin Coogan were always dangerous up front it was becoming clear that Newtown were the stronger team.

Sean Odlum for once shook off the attentions of Jackman and sent over a point. Sean Doyle made a good interception but Declan Doyle was in to add another point for Newtown. Laurence Murphy pointed a free and the west side stayed in the hunt right up to the closing minutes.

Stuart Sinnott, Kenneth Turner, and Liam Keogh were putting up the shutters in a very tight defence and when corner back Ciaran Doherty raced the length of the field to send over a great point it posted another message.

Luke Byrne kicked a point for Dwyer's under pressure but they missed a couple of gaoling chances and that was to tell in the end.

The two big hitters Luke Martin and Steven Davis tacked on more points and when David blasted home a fourth goal it was all over - or was it?

Padraig Byrne who was doing Trojan work soloed through for a point and then blasted home a goal and for a few minutes it appeared that Dwyer's might just rally again.

Eoin Coogan had a hard earned point but that was as good as it was going to get. Newtown added more points in the closing minutes with Dylan Carty, Robert Greenan, and substitute Hugh McDaid getting on the score sheet to seal the issue.

Another entertaining final in what has been a good year for Minor football in the county.

All seven goals were well taken and in fact both goalkeepers, Aidan Carthy and Steven Coogan were not to blame and both brought off a number of good saves.

In all a total of 16 players got their names on the score board.

Scorers - Newtown - Steven Davis 2-6; Luke Martin 1-2; Dylan Carthy 1-0; Sean Odlum, Declan Doyle, Robert Greenan, Ciaran Doherty and Hugh McDaid 0-1 each.

Ml Dwyers - Laurance Murphy 1-2; Padraig Byrne 1-1; Phillip Penrose 1-0; Shane Lennon, Tristan Maher, Steven Coogan, Daragh Byrne and Luke Byrne 0-1 each.

Wicklow People

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