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Newtown Prevail in Enthralling U15 Championship Encounter
May. 31, 2018
U15 'A' CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER FINAL: Belcoo 4-7 v 4-12 Newtownbutler
Belcoo may have exited the Championship this evening but it was their best display of the season against Division 1 League Champions Newtownbutler as the O’Rahilly’s produced a performance full of heart, guts and determination. Eleven down at the interval and a man less with a sun stroked Emmett McGuinness being forced off without a substitute to replace him, Belcoo displayed fantastic character to battle back in the second half to within two points before a late Newtown goal secured their victory.
It was a second period full of pride and passion as the young O’Rahilly’s stood firm while working hard on and off the ball to create chances they would take. It was 2-8 to 0-3 at the interval. Belcoo having registered their three points in the first six minutes of the tie to lead 0-3 to 0-1. Emmett McGuinness, Oisin O’Loughlin and Cian White the scorers after some slick passages of play.
The hosts got a bit sloppy in possession as Newtown grew into the contest, two really soft goals were conceded on 10 and 14minutes as uncleared balls were flicked to the net. Michael Burns deputising in goals as he was carrying an injury had done well throughout the tie, his kickouts, pinged to sky blues on all occasions.
The O’Rahilly’s had a few good openings to add to their tally but couldn’t hit the target. Josh Killilea, Patrick Martin and Oisin O’Loughlin were getting through plenty of work with Jamie Ray and Conor McKeown proving outlet on the wings with Eoin Corrigan and Cian White showing well in attack. McGuinness was forced off on 22minutes while Dara Flanagan had been involved in a great move up the left wing but seen a shot for goal blocked by a defender as the half ended 2-8 o 0-3.
Newtown would extend their lead upon the resumption but Belcoo were in resilient form this evening and battled back. Cian White flicked a high ball into the net for a morale boosting three pointer. Oisin O’Loughlin followed up with a long range free while Eoin Corrigan tapped over a close range one. Belcoo were hungrier to the loose balls, well up for the challenge and starting to believe.
Killilea, Martin, O’Loughlin and Flanagan were driving things forward as Belcoo remained on the front foot despite the numerical disadvantage. Jamie Ray was having a tremendous game also powering forward out of the defence while cutting out several balls with Sean Boylan now winning his battle with his opposite number to thwart Newtown attacks.
Belcoo would net a second goal on 42minutes. Oisin O’Loughlin rifling a penalty to the net after a foot block on Dara Flanagan. 2-9 to 2-5, the game was now tightening up. Newtown would get downfield to land two points for a six point lead but Belcoo weren’t done. A great full length move involving Nathan McGovern, Gerry Nolan, Jack Greene and the returning Emmett McGuinness seen Cian White get through and tuck the ball into the corner.
Moments later Dara Flanagan popped over a point. 8minutes to play, it was a two point game, 2-11 to 3-6. Newtown though would steady themselves as they broke forward for a goal and point. Again Belcoo weren’t done as they worked possession upfield and following a foul on Eoin Corrigan, Oisin O’Loughlin clipped the free for a five point game.
It was soon to be just two points between them again as another Belcoo penalty was duly dispatched by O’Loughlin with 57minutes played, 3-12 to 4-7. Newtown again just found enough to counter and rattle a final blow two minutes from the end with their fourth goal and progress to the Championship Semi Final with the Double still on the cards.
Belcoo can be incredibly proud of their display, as they took the hard hits, stood up to the challenges and gave a great account of themselves for a tough hour. It was a very positive way to end what had been a disappointing season for the side but it is a performance this group of players are well capable of producing. Pride restored in the sky blue jersey and heads can be held high. We wish all our players well as they move on to their respective U13 & U17 seasons and thank the management for their time and effort with this group of U15s this season.
Team: (15 a side): Michael Burns, Jamie Ray, Dara Flanagan (0-1), Sean Boylan, Josh Killilea, Gerry Nolan, Conor McKeown, Oisin O’Loughlin (2-3), Patrick Martin, Eoin Corrigan (0-1), Emmett McGuinness (0-1), Jack Greene, Patrick Magee, Cian White (2-1), Nathan McGovern.
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