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2013 North Minor 'A' Football Final

posted 16 Jun 2013, 14:56 by Unknown user
Newport Gaels
A fAntAstic second half performance helped Newport Gaels win their first North Tipperary Minor 'A' Football title in 42 years when they defeated Ballina in an exciting final in Portroe last Thursday evening.
It completes a remarkable treble with the combination of Newport and Ballinahinch now having won the North titles at under 16, minor & under 21 'A' football so far in 2013.

The threatening showers held off to make conditions ideal for football in what was a proverbial game of two halves. In the opening half, Newport Gaels looked anything like winners as they played second fiddle to a free flowing and skilful Ballina side who had fifteen-year-old Thomas McGrath in goal in place of their Tipperary minor goalkeeping star, Jack Brady.

Changes in personnel did not deter the lakesiders as they began controlling the game from the start, scoring two early goals. They continued to do everything right bar put scores on the board and on reaching half time led 2-1 to 0-3.

However, the Newport/Ballinahinch combo, with the help of astute change began the second half, responding with two quick goals before storming onto victory by producing a well organised display of skilful football.

Jack Brady was introduced in the last quarter for Ballina and his superior kickouts helped but missed opportunities at the other end curbed their progress while Newport Gaels continued to string their scores together with a display of heart and passion. There is no doubt that this was a game that Ballina should have won. Their first half display was one of a very polished side with the strongly built Aidan Hanley giving an exhibition at centre back, and was well supported by corner back Bill Floyd and Eamon Hanley at full while Phelim O'Hagen carried the battle at centre forward and James Murtagh did well at right wing forward.
Peter O'Leary's early goal set the game in motion for Ballina. Displaying some nice touches, they pressurised the Newport goal but failed to increase their lead. Responding Newport broke into the opposition half and came away with a Brian McAulliffe point. But it was all Ballina as they continued to play the possession game and ten minutes in, a speculative shot from Phelim O'Hagen dropped under the crossbar for a goal much to the surprise of Newport keeper, Corry Mooney.
It looked only a matter of how much Ballina would win by but despite the concession of those early goals, the combination side managed to gain territorial advantage and in the lead up to the interval, worked their way into the game with the assistance of Aidan Moloney, Conor Floyd, Kevin Mulcahy, Pa Ryan and Liam Duffy before the later, their best forward, scored two points from play to leave four points separating the teams at the break.
Newport Gaels made smart moves at half time in moving centre back Aidan Moloney to midfield in a switch with Conor Floyd, a move which saw both players impress. They also moved the fast moving Pa Ryan to centre forward, allowing the high scoring Liam Duffy to create problems out on the wing. NewportGaelsscoredthesecondhalf opener through Brian McAuliffe followed by another point by Liam Duffy. A few minutes later Duffy blasted from close range for their opening goal before Dara McGrath added a point in a blistering five minute spell.

Ballina rallied but poor options were made worse by wasteful shooting which seemed to drain their confidence. Newport Gaels held their nerve and at the end of another well-worked attack corner forward, Brian McAuliffe pounced on a loose ball to strike home goal number two.
Confidence now played a key part in Newport Gael's play as they increased their lead through McAuliffe and Dara McGrath from a free - their only score from a placed ball.

Ballina managed to hit back but could only muster two points from substitute Ben Kilkenny and James Murtagh. Ballina then introduced Jack Brady who did not start much to the surprise of many. But despite his best efforts the Newport Gaels continued to keep their hand on the ball and when they hit for home they finished the day with two more points through Liam Duffy and Aidan Moloney.

P.S. In 1971, Newport and Ballinahinch under the name Sean Treacys defeated Kilruane MacDonaghs in the North Minor 'A' Football Final by 1-3 to 0-5. The same teams met in the final the following year and the result was overturned.

 Team: Corry Mooney; Harry Reid, Robert Houlihan, Martin Shinnors; Matthew Connolly, Aidan Moloney (0-1), Michael Quigley, Kevin Mulcahy (Ballinahinch), Conor Floyd; Pa Ryan, Liam Duffy (1-4), Daniel Carew; Evan Gleeson, Dara McGrath (Ballinahinch 0-2), Brian McAuliffe (1-2). Subs: Jack Delahunty for Gleeson, Oisin O'Reilly for Carew, Keelan Floyd for O'Reilly.