Halpin strikes for Magpies!
Late goal seals vital victory
NEWTOWN put their defeat to Bray Emmets in the Keating Trophy well and truly behind them when they triumphed over Coolkenno in Avondale last Friday night.
John Murphy’s men turned in an impressive display to see off the Carlow border men who were relying heavily on the shooting skills of Eamon Rossiter given that Conor Walker was unavailable to selection.
This was an entertaining affair and close all the way with John Halpin’s excellently taken goal after 50 minutes being the ultimate difference between the teams when Garreth Whelan sounded his final whistle.
The performances of Karl Carthy, Mark Fitzsimons, Neilly Martin, Sean Gregory and Ross Davis will give Murphy and the Newtown supporters huge hope ahead of their remaining Keating Trophy games as it is now all to play for with Bray Emmets sitting on top with two wins from three while all the other teams have one win under their belts and two points on the board.
The 0-07 to 0-07 half-time score was an accurate reflection on the game for the opening 30 minutes. Newtown started superbly with points from the superb Gregory and a bomb of a point from midfielder Mark Fitzsimons to leave them 0-02 to 0-00 after a matter of minutes. Gregory also fired wide after this as he displayed sharpness and a serious pace on the wing.
A foul on Brian Rossiter allowed the alert Eamon Rossiter his first opportunity from a placed ball and the Coolkenno sharpshooter was in excellent form under the lights in Avondale.
He had the sides level moments later thanks to an excellent point from play and he answered a Neilly Martin score after eight minutes to make it 0-03 apiece.
Things got better for Coolkenno when Eamon Rossiter drove them into a two-point lead with two converted frees but there might have been concern that it was only the full-forward who was raising the white flags.
A Ross Davis free and a wicked Karl Carthy effort leveled the game at 0-05 apiece before two frees, one from Davis and the other from Sean Heffernan, left Newtown sitting pretty with 26 minutes on the clock, although they did record two more wides in the immediate aftermath.
But back came Coolkenno. A converted free from Rossiter was followed by a beast of a 45 from Paddy Dalton and the teams took the half-time break at 0-07 to 0-07 and all to play for.
Coolkenno introduced David Tompkins on to the edge of the square for the second half in a move to add more threat to their attack and he pointed the third point of the second half after a stunning ball from Jim Cushe and following points from Ross Davis for Newtown and Eoghan Dolan for Coolkenno.
John Murphy sent Darah Callan in to the action in place of Shane Mooney with John O’Donohue going back to full-back, Neilly Martin to centre half back and Callan taking up position at centre half forward.
Points from Davis, Martin and Davis again make it 0-11 to 0-9 for the Magpies before substitute Callan split the posts with 20 gone.
And then John Halpin struck. A tricky ball was sent flying in to him and the full-forward got down low and managed to gather and turn and head for goal before unleashing a rocket of a shot past John Corcoran for what was a massive boost for Newtown.
Back came Coolkenno and Eamon Rossiter tried his damndest to get them out of jail but a Davis free gave Newtown a bit of breathing space and despite a late Brian Rossiter point and a desperate search for a late goal, Coolkenno just couldn’t catch the Newtown men who breathed a huge sigh of relief at the final whistle.
Scorers – Newtown: Ross Davis 0-06 (4f), John Halpin 1-00, Neilly Martin 0-02, Danny Brady 0-01, Sean Heffernan 0-01 (f), Sean Gregory 001, Karl Carthy 0-01, Mark Fitzsimons 0-01.
Coolkenno: Eamon Rossiter 0-09 (6f), Paddy Dalton 0-01 (45), David Tompkins 0-01, Brian Rossiter 0-01, Eoghan Dolan.
Newtown: Ciaran McGuirl; Glen Carthy, Shane Mooney, Darren Walsh; Oisin Greenan, John O’Donoghue, Karl Carthy; Paul O’Riordan, Mark Fitzsimons; Bobby Greenan, Neilly Martin, Sean Gregory; Sean Heffernan, John Halpin, Ross Davis. Subs: Darah Callan for S Mooney (39min), Stephen Kelly for B Greenan, Danny Brady for S Gregory.
Coolkenno: John Corcoran; Paul Keogh, Jim Cushe, Shane Walker; Robert Keogh, Philip Timmons, Paul Murphy; James Gregan, Paddy Dalton; John Kavanagh, Cathal Rossiter, Conor Doyle; Eoghan Dolan, Eamon Rossiter, Brian Rossiter. Subs: David Tompkins for C Rossiter, Pierce for P Keogh.
Referee: Garreth Whelan (Kiltegan)