West side have too much for Newtown in cup decider
WICKLOW GAA County Chairman Martin Fitzgerald presented the magnificent West Wicklow Cup to Dunlavin full-back and captain Sean Phelan following his sides’ comprehensive victory over a disappointing Newtown in the Division 1A football league final played in Aughrim on Monday night last, June 24.
The north Wicklow side never really got going and the sharper, more wound up team from the Kildare border belied their Intermediate status and won very comfortably over their more exalted Senior opponents.
Indeed, there were shades of last Sundays’ Leinster football final in that it appeared for a long time that Newtown might not score at all in the first half. However, Sean Heffernan got them on the scoreboard in the 17th minute when he converted their only score of the half.
Dunlavin attacked at pace straight from the throw in and had two points on the board from midfielder Daniel Dawson and centre forward Marty Caplis by the fourth minute.
The scoring rate dropped off as Newtown began to come more into the game. Full-forward Sean Heffernan began to drop out deep into the midfield area and was helping to link up with the half forwards in a carrying, running game.
However, there was an element of robbing Peter to pay Paul about their play. Heffernan had to work hard to get to where he could be most effective in the scoring area. In addition, the smaller Newtown forwards were getting little sympathy from the hard-tackling Dunlavin defenders and most movements were coming unstuck as the men from the West broke up attacks and returned to the attack.
In contrast to Newtown, Dunlavin were far better at delivering the early kicked pass to their full-forward line where Shane O’Rourke was regularly showing in front. O’Rourke set up Dawson for his second point and Marty Caplis got his second on the quarter hour mark.
Thomas Lawlor pointed coming up to 20 minutes and midfielder Eoin Murtagh scored their final point of the first half off his left foot coming up to the half-time break. Dunlavin led by 0-5 to 0-1 but probably should have been a few points more ahead.
The gap was not impossible for Newtown, but they needed to play much better in the second period having had a terrible first half.
Dunlavin brought on Cian O’Sullivan and Darragh Dillon at half-time. O’Sullivan was to play a big part in the outcome of the game in the second half. Newtown began the second period in a much-improved fashion and began to hunt for the scores needed to close the gap.
The flow of play was strongly in the direction of the Dunlavin goal in the first seven or eight minutes with Shane Mooney, Mark Fitzsimons, Paul O’Riordan, Neil Martin, Sean Heffernan and Ross Davis putting on the pressure.
However, their shooting was terrible, and they found it impossible to score, missing from play and frees.
In almost their first attack of the second half Dunlavin pointed when Cian O’Sullivan scored a sweet point off the outside of his left foot. O’Sullivan displayed for the remainder of the game that he knew where the posts were and went on to score a further three points.
Neil Martin pointed a free for Newtown after ten minutes and had what was to be their last score when he pointed another free in the 17th minute.
The Newtown revival of the early second half subsided and Dunlavin went on to score further points from Darragh Dillon, another from Cian O’Sullivan and a fine point from a free by Thomas Lawlor to lead by 0-10 to 0-3 after 20 minutes.
Cian O’Sullivan finished off a fine half hour’s play off the bench when he scored two further points in the final ten minutes. This victory will be a great boost for Dunlavin going into the intermediate championship. For Newtown its back to the drawing board and they will need to quickly leave this disappointing display behind them.
Scorers - Dunlavin: Cian O’Sullivan 0-4, Daniel Dawson 0-2, Thomas Lawlor 0-2, Marty Caplis 0-2, Eoin Murtagh and Daragh Dillon 0-1 each.
Newtown: Neil Martin 0-2 and Sean Heffernan 0-1. Photos: Joe Byrne
The Dunlavin team and supporters celebrate after winning the West Wicklow Cup by beating Newtown in Aughrim on Monday evening last.
Dunlavin’s Paul Murtagh and Newtown’s Paul O’Riordan in action during the West Wicklow Cup final in Aughrim.
Dunlavin captain Sean Phelan receives the West Wicklow Cup from Wicklow GAA County Chairman Martin Fitzgerald in Aughrim on Monday evening.