Newtown win dramatic final
GAELIC GAMES JUNIOR B FOOTBALL FINAL
Newtown 1- 8, An Tochar 0-10: Newtown inscribed their name on the 2008 championship roll of honour at Arklow on Saturday when their Junior footballers won the B title in a dramatic finale to their game with An Tochar.
The Roundwood men, after trailing their opponents to Des Watters early penalty strike, dominated play for most of the second-half and were shaping up as likely winners after they forged ahead by 0-9 to 1-5.
Up to the 28th minute of the second-half Newtown had been playing second fiddle to rampant Roundwood, their only response to the almost continuous attacking of An Tochar was two rapid fire shots by midfielder Des Watters, the first ending up as a gift into the hands of keeper Liam Cullen and the second immediately afterwards missing the target completely.
Indeed Paul Brady’s men should have been further ahead at that stage as in the first dramatic moment of a second half played at a much higher tempo than the first they failed to capitalise on a golden opportunity for a goal less than ten minutes into the new half.
An Tochar’s full- forward Fergal Mulligan bore down on the Newtown goal with menacing intent after being fed the ball by his flanker John Carr; the Newtown defence were left with no option but to haul Mulligan to the ground.
Shay Cullen, who had been the Roundwood team’s top scorer and predatory forward throughout this championship, stepped up to the penalty but his shot was brilliantly saved by Newtown’s Marty Kavanagh, the replacement keeper for injured regular Trevor O’Brien.
Cullen met the rebound with a volley but it too was saved, with the ball then rolling along the crossbar, off the left hand post and out for a ‘45’ which led to a point instead as Gary McGillycuddy took a short free to Cullen who made some amends by popping the ball over the bar.
That missed goal chance was to come back to haunt An Tochar before the end of the game as Newtown awoke from their second half slumbers in the closing minutes to snatch victory in the nail- biting dramatic finale to this match.
Unanswered second half points by Cullen (2), Cormac Carthy and Joe Coleman had put An Tochar in front for the first time, 0- 9 to 1- 5, entering the final quarter but they lacked the killer instinct on this occasions, failing to put away their opponents who had failed to score for 29 minutes of the half.
In the dying minutes of the match Newtown sprang to life again with David Healy levelling the game on 59 minutes and setting up a grandstand finish. He put his team back in front a minute later and in the 31 minute Shay Cullen made it all square once more 0-10 to 1-7.
Three minute more were played and, while most people would have settled for a draw, Newtown’s midfielder Des Watters ended such thoughts when he landed the winner for the magpies.
This was a game that revolved around two penalty awards, one taken by Newtown, the other missed by An Tochar.
The penalty for Newtown came after just four minutes of the first half when David Healy was brought down after being put through on goal by Terry Murphy.
Influential midfielder Des Waters made no mistake with the spot kick, steering his shot to the net off Liam Cullen’s right hand post.
That goal was to prove the difference between the teams throughout the first half, which saw a better Newtown team lead all the way and their goalie Marty Kavanagh effect another crucial save from Noel Wolohan at the expense of a ‘ 45’ on twelve minutes.
Full- forward David Healy, the scorer of six points, had a huge game for Newtown as they went on to lead by 1-5 to 0-5 at half time, but then An Tochar will for ever bemoan that missed penalty in the second half which could have made all the difference in the end.
Scorers for Newtown: Des Watters (10), David Healy (0-6), PJ Dowling (0-1).
An Tochar scorers: Shay Cullen (0-6), Cormac Carthy (0-2), Eddie Kavanagh and Joe Coleman (0-1 each).
Newtown: Marty Kavanagh, Stephen Kelly, Stephen Byrne, Glen McKenna, Noel McKenna, Stuart Power, Des Watters, PJ Dowling, John Halpin, Ray Carthy, Anthony Duffy, Danny Shannon, David Healy, Terry Murphy. Subs: David Greenan for D. Shannon, Brian Maher for A. Duffy, Michael Hackett for S. Byrne.
An Tochar: Liam Cullen, Mick Nolan, Gary McGillycuddy, Paul Brady, Oscar Long, James Dixon, Noel Power, Conor Davis, Cormac Carthy, Shay Cullen, Noel Wolohan, Eddie Kavanagh, Joe Coleman, Fergal Mulligan, John Carr. Subs: Paul Kenna for N. Power, Ciaran Crowley for N. Wolohan.