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MATCH REPORT: Belcoo 2-9 Newtownbutler 2-9
Apr. 23, 2009
Newtown shake off poor start to earn draw
Belcoo 2-09; Newtownbutler 2-09;
Belcoo goalscorer Kieran Leonard breaks free from the grasp of Shane Leonard on Sunday.
Newtownbutler recovered from a terrible opening 20 minutes, which saw them fall six points behind, to finish level with Belcoo in their Division One encounter on Sunday.
Goals from Kieran Leonard and Stephen Maguire had helped Belcoo into a 2-04 to 1-01 lead ten minutes before half time but Brendan McBrien converted a penalty prior to half time, his second goal of the game, and with Newtown also tagging on a couple of points it left only two points between them at the break.
Newtown then went on to have the better of the second half and with Ryan Carson in fine form at midfield they managed to get back on level terms. Both teams wasted opportunities in the final five minutes to snatch the victory but in the end a draw was probably a fair result with this providing the two sides with a second draw each from two outings.
It was the home side who were to the fore in the opening minutes and with only four minutes on the clock, Belcoo bagged the first goal of the contest. Kieran Leonard latched onto a ball over the top of the defence and after playing a one-two with Stephen Maguire he dispatched a shot to the back of the net.
And five minutes later, the same two players combined again but on this occasion Leonard blasted his shot wide of goal.
At this stage it was Belcoo who were in control of matters having built up a 1-03 to 0-01 advantage but Newtown had the perfect response as Brendan McBrien skipped past a couple of challenges before chipping the ball over the top of the Belcoo goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
However, it was Belcoo who were to strike the next blow of the game when a long range free from Ryan Dolan came back off the post and fell kindly to full forward Maguire who poked it home from close in to make it 2-04 to 1-01.
Back again though came Newtown as they fired home their second goal of the game two minutes later. Niall McGovern was guilty of touching the ball on the ground close to goal and McBrien stepped up to calmly slot the ball to the net from the resulting penalty to pull Newtown back to within three points. The sides then traded points before the break as Newtown managed to get back to within two points of the home side, 2-06 to 2-04.
Kieran Leonard, Ciaran Flaherty, Maguire and Declan Leonard accounted for the Belcoo points in the first half while the Newtown points came from Colum Monahan, McBrien, Raymond Johnston and Kevin Connolly.
With Carson getting a firm grip on proceedings in the middle of the park in the second half, Newtown began to get on top and Carson went on to rattle over three points for his side during the half while James Connolly and Sean Monahan also notched points.
However, with impressive centre half forward Flaherty, clipping over two scores and Kieran Leonard adding to his tally, the sides had to settle for a point each from an entertaining contest.
For Belcoo Niall Leonard, Emmett Scollan and Ryan Leonard worked hard in defence while Flaherty and Kieran Leonard both shone in attack.
As already mentioned, Carson showed plenty of quality at midfield for Newtown. At the back James Melarkey was excellent at wing half back while McBrien looked very sharp in the forward line.
TAKEN FROM THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER 23/04/09
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