New­cas­tle in com­mand

GAELIC GAMES JU­NIOR ‘A’ FOOT­BALL SEMI-FI­NALS

Bray People - - Sport -

New­cas­tle 0- 10, Rath­new 0- 8: New­cas­tle’s mid­fielder Rob­bie O’Gara turned in a five star per­for­mance for his team as he led them to this two points win over their east coast ri­vals Rath­new in their semi-fi­nal game of the ju­nior A foot­ball cham­pi­onship at Ark­low on Satur­day.

Rath­new, who had just taken an early lead in this match, lost one of their mid­field­ers af­ter just twelve min­utes, for­mer se­nior player De­clan Byrne who was red carded for an off the ball in­ci­dent, and he was a huge loss to his team.

Yet full- for­ward Robert ‘Turkey’ Doyle tacked on his sec­ond point im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards and the men from the Thatched Vil­lage were ahead by 0-3 to 0-2 at the end of the first quar­ter.

New­cas­tle were not gelling as a unit in the early play but fin­ished the half much bet­ter. A move by Paddy Ka­vanagh and Adam Mer­ri­man set Rob­bie O’Gara up for an ex­cel­lent long range point on 21 min­utes.

Then mo­ments later New­cas­tle’s num­ber 13 Shane Cloake was dis­patched to the sin bin on a straight red card.

In in­jury time JP Kelly, who was also catch­ing the eye for New­cas­tle at full- for­ward, fired over the last point of the half to give his team a slen­der 0-4 to 0-3 lead at the break.

Even though Rath­new drew level with their op­po­nents in the first five min­utes of the sec­ond half, Johnny Byrne and Robert Doyle coun­ter­ing with points af­ter Robert Mer­ri­man’s opener for New­cas­tle in the first minute.

Robert Mer­ri­man came as a re­place­ment for Dar­ren O’Brien be­fore half time and he proved to be a big ad­di­tion to their at­tack in ev­ery re­spect.

Cen­tre- back Niall Yeo­man, who was also an an­chor of the New­cas­tle side, took off on one of a num­ber of good runs into en­emy ter­ri­tory, link­ing up with Paddy Ka­vanagh to win the free and a lead point for Rob­bie O’Gara.

On 46 min­utes O’Gara showed his ac­cu­racy from an­other free and JP Kelly added a fur­ther point three min­utes later to ex­tend New­cas­tle’s ad­van­tage to three, 0-8 to 0-5.

Though Robert Doyle pulled a point back on 50 min­utes, Rath­new legs ap­peared to be tir­ing. In the 24th minute Rob­bie O’Gara picked out Ro­nan Lyng with a long range free and Lyng had the white flag wav­ing again. Bustling Richard Mer­ri­man made an open­ing for him­self and New­cas­tle had a cush­ion of four points ( 0- 10 to 0- 6) with five min­utes left.

Pound­ing the New­cas­tle ram­parts, Rath­new they found the way blocked for a goal, but won two frees within range and Robert Doyle popped both over the bar to nar­row the gap to just two (0-10 to 0-8) be­fore the fi­nal whis­tle.

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