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2010 North IHC vs Newport

posted 7 Jan 2011, 14:10 by Unknown user

Champs back in the race for top four     

Newport 2-08 Ballinahinch 0-04

Nenagh Guardian report

Newport’s return to form continued as they saw off a meek Ballinahinch challenge and left themselves every chance of making the top four.            

Played in Friday evening’s constant rain both sides struggled to implement any game plan but it was a physically stronger Newport side that adapted best to the testing conditions.

The opening exchanges were frantic with both teams struggling for rhythm. Both free takers, Ballinahinch’s Donnacha McGrath and Newport’s Christopher Doyle, were given plenty of chances but the driving rain ensured that free taking was a lottery.

Tipperary star Conor O’Mahony was excellent all through and indeed he had a major hand in the opening score. In the ninth minute his huge sideline cut caught the Ballinahinch fullbacks flat footed and as the ball sailed over their heads Christy Doyle was quickest to react and his first time pull flew low past Sean Berkery to give Newport a deserved lead.

   Doyle added a free minutes later to extend his sides advantage after Ballinahinch’s Marcus Ryan was adjudged to have over carried. Newport’s halfback line of Sean O’Brien, O’Mahony and Paddy Ryan were rock solid and with the experience of Tom Moylan at midfield they ensured that Ballinahinch chances were few.

   Newport were unlucky not to have a second goal on twenty minutes when Darren Moore pulled first time on an O’Mahony free but it flashed past the post. They soon got the goal that effectively ended the game as a contest when midfielder Vincent Moloney’s strong run was spotted by Mike Coffey and with a clever hand pass Moloney didn’t need to break stride before blasting high to the net.

Ballinahinch rallied, halfbacks Alan Kelly and the excellent Ger Grace battled hard and eventually Donnacha McGrath linked up with John Foley and fired over. Indeed Mike Flannery in the Newport goal had to be alert after Brendan Ryan’s pull squirted dangerously on the greasy surface.

 Christy Doyle had the final say of the first half converting a close in free after Ballinahinch’s Marcus Ryan was penalised for a dangerous swing as he charged from defence.

To their credit Ballinahinch started the second half strongly and broke even in the possession stakes but such were the conditions that the ball needed to be worked in close, but here the Newport fullback line of Mark Harrington, Andrew Hickey and the excellent Patrick Jones ensured there was no respite for Ballinahinch.

Ger Griffin took over the frees for Ballinahinch and he converted the first after Andrew Hickey pushed Griffin himself. Soon after Newport’s Sean O’Brien was penalised for a late challenge on Brendan Ryan and again Griffin made little of the conditions to reduce the deficit to five.

Newport upped their intensity and Christy Doyle added another free before Vincent Moloney hit the best score of the game. Sean O’Brien and Doyle combined down the left before Doyle spotted the unmarked Moloney and he pointed from all of forty yards.

Ballinahinch, without the suspended Shane McGrath, can feel a bit hard done by as time and again they were penalised for marginal challenges that on another day may have been deemed okay. Newport’s Christy Doyle was the main beneficiary as he landed a further three frees as the game faded as a contest.

Ballinahinch’s Donnacha McGrath grabbed his second point of the night and his sides final score after substitute Michael Fitzgerald combined with John Ryan before releasing McGrath who pointed in some style.

The impressive Vincent Moloney rounded off a good individual display with another well taken point after teammate Christopher O’Connor’s run into the heart of the Ballinahinch was halted by the resilient Alan Kelly who was unable to prevent Moloney from getting his shot away.

Ballinahinch: Sean Berkery (7), Thomas Grace (6), Marcus Ryan (8), Brendan Healy (6); John Ryan (6), Alan Kelly (7), Ger Grace (8); Raphael Ryan (6), Shane Healy (7); John Foley (7), Cathal Bourke (6), Mark Kelly (6); Brendan Ryan (5), Donnacha McGrath 0-2 (6), Ger Griffin 0-2 (7).