New­town give com­bi­na­tion side the Blues

Drogheda Independent - - SPORT - DAL­TON MCNAMEE

NEW­TOWN Blues’ dom­i­nance of Louth foot­ball con­tin­ued on Satur­day as they saw off a gal­lant Mat­tock Rangers/ Hun­ter­stown Rovers/ Glen Em­mets amal­ga­ma­tion side to win the un­der 21 foot­ball cham­pi­onship on a wet and rainy night in Darver.

The Blues were in con­trol for most of the match and led by 0-8 to 0-1 at half time with Jamie Kelly mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to that tally from free kicks and from play.

The amal­ga­ma­tion side will be proud of the phys­i­cal­ity and pas­sion that they brought to the fi­nal with the Cara­her twins and Ryan Ward work­ing ex­cep­tion­ally hard dur­ing that 60 min­utes.

How­ever, they will with­out doubt rue their waste­ful­ness in front of the posts es­pe­cially in that open­ing half when­they only reg­is­tered 0-1 from 8 shots which in­cluded a su­perb save from Blues goal­keeper Dean Martin to deny Ryan Ward af­ter 10 min­utes with the Blues lead­ing 0-2 to 0-1. You felt when watch­ing this game that these were the sort of op­por­tu­ni­ties that the amal­ga­ma­tion side needed to con­vert to re­ally put pres­sure on the Blues. Had they not been so waste­ful, the out­come may have been dif­fer­ent.

A gor­geous point from play by Ciaran Downey and a hat trick of Jamie Kelly scores gave the Blues a 0-4 to 0-1 lead af­ter 13 min­utes. The Blues found the phys­i­cal­ity of the Amal­ga­ma­tion side dif­fi­cult the break down at times but their class and co­he­sion up front came to the fore and points from Ian Con­nor, Jamie Do­herty and two fur­ther Kelly strikes placed them in a com­mand­ing lead of seven points at the in­ter­val.

Mat­tock Rangers/ Huntestown/ Glen Em­mets con­tin­ued to bring the game to the Blues and thanks mainly to scores from Ben McKenna and Kee­lan O’Neill, they kept the Blues hon­est. But when­ever Colm Nally’s side were asked a ques­tion by their op­po­nents they stepped through the gears with their strength and fit­ness lev­els ev­i­dent. Play­ers like Fer­gal Dono­hoe who touched the ball 26 times over the hour and won the ball back off the op­po­si­tion 7 times de­serve ap­praisal along with Kevin Carr who had 16 touches of the size 5 while Daire Nally younger brother of Ross had an im­pres­sive cameo af­ter com­ing off the bench, which was capped off with ar­guably one of the scores of the game. The Mat­tock/ Hun­ter­stown/ Glen Em­mets com­bi­na­tion man­aged to cut the deficit to seven points with 8 min­utes re­main­ing thanks to the ef­forts of McKenna and O’Neill while Dean Martin pro­duced another save to deny Cathal Flem­ing in that pe­riod. They moved mid­fielder Ryan Ward to full for­ward but again the Blues showed su­perb game man­age­ment and raised the fi­nal three white flags of the game through Ross Nally (2) and Em­met Carolan to cap off a hugely suc­cess­ful 2018 for the New­foundwell out­fit.

NEW­TOWN BLUES: Dean Martin; Ro­nan Levins, Conor Ayson, Ciaran McCann; Alan Con­nor, Ian Con­nor 0-1, Fer­gal Dono­hoe; Kevin Carr, Em­mett Carolan 0-1; Jamie Do­herty 0-1, Ciaran Downey 0-2, Jamie Kelly 0-7 (4f); De­clan McNa­mara, Ross Nally 0-2, Johnny McDon­nell. Subs: Daire Nally 0-1 for McNa­mara, James Moore for Do­herty, Luke Cormi­can for McCann, Ryan Levins for McDon­nell.

MAT­TOCK RANGERS/HUN­TER­STOWN ROVERS/ GLEN EMMETTS: Mark Leni­han; Alan Cara­her, Patrick Taafe Ben Quaile; Sam Kenny, Bren­dan Leacy 0-1, Shane Hickey; Ryan Ward, James Cara­her; Cathal Flem­ing, Ben McKenna 0-3 (1f), Marc Ward; Cil­lian Hickey, Kee­lan O’Neill 0-2, JP Wat­ters. Subs: Evan English for Waters, Ben Markey for C. Hickey.

REF­EREE: Colm McCul­lough (re­placed by Ul­tan McEl­roy due to in­jury).

Ro­nan Levins of New­town Blues at­tempts to break past Patrick Taaffe and James Cara­her of Mat­tock/ Hun­ter­stown/Glen Em­mets.

New­town Blues cap­tain Ro­nan Levins re­ceives the U-21 cup from Chair­man of the Louth County Board, Des Halpenny. Pic­tures: Ken Fine­gan

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