Winners lay down marker with victory over Newtown
AVONMORE laid down a marker for the season ahead by coming from a goal down to beat reigning Premier champions Newtown United by five goals to one at the Matt Kelly Memorial Grounds last Sunday morning.
Goals from Fiachra Ryan, Callum Broughan, Mark Cullen and an Adam Tuke double cancelling out a Dean Odlum opener.
With Newtown much changed from the side that won the league in June and Avonmore missing some through GAA commitments it was always going to be a hard game to predict.
The early going saw Newtown slightly shading possession and territory with Shane Doyle and Dean Odlum having efforts from distance.
On 20 minutes they opened the scoring. A long ball over the top saw Dean Odlum out muscle James Byrne before placing beyond the reach of keeper Jason Porter.
It was to be as good as it got for the Magpies as Avonmore completely dominated the rest of the game.
Chances came and went for Adam Tuke, Mark Miley and Mark Cullen before they deservedly equalised on 35 minutes.
A Cian O’hannain free kick bounced awkwardly hitting James Synnott on the arm with referee Gavin Colfer awarding a penalty. Up stood Fiachra O’hannain and he placed to the keeper’s right with a composed confident finish.
Avonmore visibly grew in confidence and they took the lead less than three minutes later. A floated ball in from the left by Fiachra O’hannain saw Mark Miley smash back across goal and standing six yards out Adam Tuke swept home. That’s how the sides retired at the interval.
On 50 minutes Avonmore struck again. Fiachra O’hannain’s corner was only partially cleared with Miley’s effort from 20 yards dropping to midfield partner Callum Broughan who struck past keeper Lee Fitzpatrick.
On 56 minutes Avonmore were once more in dreamland with the goal of the match.
Centre back James Byrne played a beautiful 40-yard ball into space for Mark Cullen to race onto and the speedy striker beat Fitzpatrick to the ball before rolling to the empty net.
With the Byrne brothers, James and Danny, dominating from the back and Paddy Kennedy tackling anything that moved Newtown never looked likely of getting back into the contest and indeed it was the Rathdrum side that closed out the scoring with three minutes left.
Substitute Cody Reid pressed and hassled the Newtown defence into an error with the ball dropping to Tuke who drilled low and hard past Fitzpatrick.
A poor showing from Newtown with PJ Dowling really the only player who was anywhere near his best. With players to come back into the side they will bounce back to form sooner than later
Avonmore really were superb, and this result should really give them the confidence to have a say in the premier title race.
Adam Tuke, Danny Byrne, Cian O’hannain and Fiachra O’hannain were all superb. However, James Byrne was immense. Dominant at the back and the ball to set up Cullen’s goals was sublime.
Callum Percy of Avonmore is tackled by Brandon Feehily of Newtown United.
Adam Tuke of Avonmore is tracked by James Synnott of Newtown United.