Newtown beat Ashford to reach the last four
Newtown 2-4, Ashford 16: Newtown qualified for the semi-final of the Philip Doyle Junior B football championship when they saw of the challenge of Ashford in a keenly-contested game played in excellent conditions at Newcastle on Tuesday evening last, writes Mick Hagan.
The winners got off to a dream start when Terry Murphy found the net after six minutes and after both sides missed scoring chances Graham Mooney pointed from a free in the sixth minute.
At this stage Ashford took the game to their opponents and with a good supply to the forwards, with former Blessington player, veteran Gary Anderson causing havoc in the Newtown defence in which he scored three points in row one from play and two frees.
Newtown’s only response was a point from Dessie Waters and following an lacklustre first-half the sides finished level on a score of 1-1 to 0-4 at the interval.
After the break the game really came to life following a move involving several players before Dean Mooney scored his sides only goal which saw Ashford leading 14 to 1-1 after 36 minutes. With both teams striving to keep their championship hopes alive Glen McKeanna and Paddy Shannon exchanged points.
Newtown were back in the game when a free from substitute Brian Maher floated into the Ashford goalmouth and corner-forward John Halpin rose above the defenders to fist a goal which saw the sides level on a score of 2-2 to 1-5 after 40 minutes.
With this score proving to be a real tonic for the winners they went on to add two further points from Antony Duffy and Dessie Waters with ten minutes left to play.
Meanwhile, the game saw an exciting finish as Ashford rallied to try and save the game and they were rewarded with a pointed free from top scorer Gary Anderson to reduce the lead to a single point and during the final minutes they lay siege in the Newtown goalmouth in search of an equalising point but it was not to be as goalkeeper Trevor O’Brien and the full-back line stood firm to ensure that the winners held on to clinch victory by the minimum.
BBoth teams deserve credit for their commitment during the hour in what was a sporting contest. As the concluding stages of the championship draws near the semifinals pairings are Newtown v St. Patrick’s and Tinahely v. An Tochar in what should prove to be two interesting clashes.
Newtown scorers: Terry Murphy (1-0); John Halpin (10); Dessie Waters ( 0- 2); Antony Duffy (0-1); Glen McKenna (0-1).
Ashford scorers: Dean Mooney (1-0); Gary Anderson ( 0- 4, 2 frees); Graham Mooney (0-1); Paddy Shannon (0-1).