NEWTOWN BEAT WICKLOW IN MCLAUGHLIN CUP FINAL
NEWTOWN UNITED A 4 WICKLOW TOWN 1
NEWTOWN UNITED responded like a wounded animal to blitz their way to Jim McLaughlin Premier Trophy glory.
They fell behind after 10 minutes at a sun-soaked Carlisle Grounds but they retained their crown largely owing to Dean Odlum’s sublime 25-minute first half hat trick.
That allowed the Magpies to storm into a 4-1 lead at the interval and they maintained that scoreline throughout as Town were reduced to 10 men in a second half that saw them show great fighting spirit, even if it was all in vain.
Truth be told, Newtown were in a class of their own on Saturday evening as they secured their second trophy of the season against a Town side who desperately missed their captain Peter Finnegan.
The Town defence were weathering a storm from as early as the fifth minute. Dean Odlum dance into the area saw his far-post curler blocked as was Martin Williams’ follow-up.
A loose pass from Shane Mooney was intercepted by John Connors and his pass allowed Richard Murphy to take aim but his daisy-cutter was turned around the post by a cautious Irah Redmond.
Redmond would throw caution to the wind two minutes later however as Town hit the front. He had only just managed to scramble the initial corner kick behind but the second attempt saw him caught in no-man’s land and John Moore- house-Hayden found the roof of the net with his header.
It required two fine blocks from Town captain Leonard Carton to keep out a Fitzsimons effort and the rebound as well but Newtown would not be denied in the 18th minute.
It was worked to the right flank for Williams. He injected pace and surged forward, Fitzsimons miscontrolled initially but still had time to pick his spot and level.
And less than a minute later, it was Newtown that led. Fitzsimons held it up before playing a perfectly weighed-pass through for Dean Odlum steered it to Kenneth Turner’s right and a weak hand from the goalkeeper was not enough to keep it out.
The travelling support from the Matt Kelly Memorial Grounds were ecstatic at such a quick turnaround and it just got better and better for them.
On 24 minutes, Williams delivered a cross that Fitzsimons neither tamed nor threatened with but his touch on the ball but it fell to Dean Odlum who instinctively swept it home.
It would have been 4-1 before the half hour mark elapsed as Willams’ strike looked set to nestle in the bottom corner but Fitzsimons got in the way of it and couldn’t force it in.
Ross Odlum, playing at centre-half in place of the injured PJ Dowling, roamed forward and had his run picked out expertly by his brother but he was denied a lovely goal by a block from Turner.
Town hadn’t thrown in the towel and Murphy’s free kick forced Redmond to claw the ball away from under his crossbar but United had a hand and four fingers on the trophy by half-time courtesy of Odlum’s hat-trick. His brother decided to lay things on for him on this occasion and Ross’ chipped pass was exquisite, Dean’s touch wasn’t half bad either and the finish was never in doubt.
Town went three at the back for the second period as they desperate searched for a way to conjure three goals but the final nail was put in their coffin when Brendan Cox saw red. Town felt they should have had a penalty in the 59th minute when the ball struck a Newtown hand but Jameson disagreed and Cox’s protest earned him an early shower.
This meant that the Magpies were able to rest Dean Odlum for the majority of the second period and withdraw Matthew Kennedy – already booked – as they allowed one eye to scan forward to the Wicklow Cup final; the third leg of this potentially amazing treble.
The damage could have been greater for the Finlay Park outfit had United felt more ruthless. A sublime fifth was almost added as Williams’ outstanding 40 yards pass was matched by Dessie Waters’ touch and skill to go past Johnny Carton but Turner denied him with a smart save at his near post. Top Form: Dean Odlum (Newtown United): Marking him is like nailing jelly to a wall. Scorers - Newtown United A 4 (Fitzsimons 18, D. Odlum 19,
24, 43), Wicklow Town 1 (Moorehouse-Hayden 10)
Newtown United: 1. Irah Redmond, 2. Ross Odlum, 3. Neilly Martin, 4. PJ Dowling, 5. Shane Mooney, 6. Matthew Kennedy, 7. Evan Moran, 8. Martin Williams, 9. Mark Fitzsimons, 10. Dean Odlum, 11. Sean Heffernan. Subs: Richard Franey for Dowling (17); Dessie Waters for D. Odlum (53); Glenn Carthy for Kennedy (76).
Wicklow Town: 1. Kenneth Turner, 2. Johnny Carton, 3. Ian Brannigan, 4. Thomas Kelly, 5. Leonard Carton, 6. John Connors, 7. Alan Delaney, 8. John Moorehouse, 9. Gareth Murphy, 10. Richard Murphy, 11. Brendan Cox. Subs: Eddie Cox for Moorehouse (65); Oisin for Referee: David Jameson.
Assistants: Frank Croasdell & Owen White.
Ruby Odlum raises her dad’s Man of the Match award.
Mick ‘Dirt’ Byrne, Kim Mooney, Kenneth White and Cormac Anderson enjoying the McLaughlin Cup final.
Jim McLaughlin presents the McLaughlin Cup to PJ Dowling, captain of Newtown.
The victorious Newtown United squad after their victory in the Jim McLaughlin Cup final.
Wicklow Town’s Thomas Kelly protects the ball from Sean Heffernan.
Wicklow’s Gareth Murphy under pressure from Shane Mooney.