Glencormac come out on top in entertaining tie
GLENCORMAC United remain on course for a runners-up spot in Division A2 after an entertaining 3-1 victory over Newtown Juniors at a wet and windy Ryder’s Field.
There was a defensive masterclass from Billy Mansfield and a superb performance from midfield maestro Michael Prendergast of Glencormac United, while Aaron Hackett and Hannah Martin kept the United attack at bay time and time again.
It was not ideal circumstances for a game of football but the damp weather did not dampen the spirits of either set of players or indeed, legendary referee Thomas ‘Tucker’ Dowling who is still going strong.
Daniel Monaghan enjoyed the first shot of the match for the Glens but Hackett showed a pair of safe hands for the Juniors.
Hannah Martin then showed a neat turn of pace to cut out a pass that almost released Luke Honan but she averted the danger.
Honan then won the ball in the Newtown area but his touch was heavy and Hackett was very brave to snuff out the threat.
Monaghan did a fine impression of a certain Lionel Messi in the 11th minute when he kept the ball in off the left flank before dancing past three defenders but he couldn’t find a shot to match his dribbling.
Two cousins combined for the hosts then when Michael Prendergast’s corner was brilliantly flicked on by Tony ‘Van Dijk’ Prendergast but again Hackett came to his side’s rescue.
Michael Prendergast delivered a delicious pass with the outside of his right foot to set Rueben Wainwright Smith free but his shot was blocked behind for a corner.
Hackett would be beaten in the 15th minute as Monaghan cut in off the left flank and squeezed his low shot through the legs of Hackett.
Newtown tried to draw level with a powerfully struck free from Hannah Martin but Harry Jones caught it cleanly.
Glencormac had one final chance in the first period when Monaghan won possession and crossed from the left for Wainright Smith but he turned it wide.
Monaghan’s fine game continued in the second period and after a strong run, his shot forced Hackett into another impressive save.
With 37 minutes on the clock, the hosts doubled their lead as Luke Honan found Ben Morgan with his cross and he finished like Mo Salah to make it 2-0.
It might have been game, set and match two minutes later as Michael Prendergast teed up Monaghan who unleashed a vicious drive but Hackett again managed to tip it over the crossbar.
Newtown got themselves back into the tie in the 42nd minute when Patrick Martin showed he was lightning quick to intercept the ball and charge forward before slipping Iggy Szpilka with a very nice pass and Szpilka’s finish was perfect as he slid it past Jones with ease.
United almost killed off Newtown five minutes later when Honan picked up a loose ball and dropped the shoulder to beat his man before curling a shot that looked destined for the top corner until the left glove of Hackett somehow turned it behind for a corner.
The last chapter in this story was a third goal for the home side.
Tony Prendergast pushed the ball up the right flank for Finn Kelly and he floated past his man before seeing his dangerous cross deflected into his own goal by a Newtown defender. GLENCORMAC UNITED: Harry Jones, Ben Morgan, Megan Bradshaw, Michael Prendergast, Daniel Monaghan, Luke Honan, Rueben Wainright-Smith, Finn Kelly, Billy Mansfield, Tony Prendergast.
NEWTOWN JUNIORS: Aaron Hackett, Hannah Martin, Max Synnott, Jack Coughlan, Padraig Gammell, Aaron Cawley, Patrick Martin, Jamie Fitzgerald, Edward Valentine, Kiera Farrelly, Iggy Szpilka.
Glencormac United, who were 3-1 winners over Newtown Juniors.
Newtown Juniors, who lost out to Glencormac United.