Newcastle regained the Garrabridge sponsored South Tipperary JFC â€˜Aâ€™ title with comprehensive 1-17 to 0-5 victory over a disappointing Ardfinnan in the decider in Clonmel on Sunday last with captain Tommy Oâ€™Dwyer receiving the John Egan Cup from South Board Chairman Joe Brennan.
They dominated this contest from the start against an Ardfinnan side which never got to grips with the game and whose cause was not helped by the loss of midfielder Thomas Ryan to an early injury as well as an injury that curtailed Brendan Cummins from an early stage.
Ardfinnan were also guilty of missing a number of gilt edged goal chances, including two penalties, especially at a crucial stage of the first-half when they were struggling to stay in the match. Despite this they will be the first to admit Newcastle were the far better side and richly deserved their victory.
Newcastle will now contest the county series with renewed hope but will be concerned with giving up a number of clearcut goal chances which could be costly on another day.
Both sides showed changes from the selected teams, Newcastle with Cormac Flynn replacing Caoimhin McGrath at wing back. For Ardfinnan, Steven Landy returned to goal and Tom Kirwan came in at wing forward with Gerry Croinin and John Darmody losing out.
Newcastle settled better and hit the first five points from an Andrew Fitzpatrick free. Michael Kennedy, a Brian Sweeney free, James Lonergan and Will Devaney by the 15th minute.
Michael Phelan opened the scoring for the losers with a 16th minute point, which was to be their only score of the half. They now began to come into the game but failed to take their chances with Newcastle goalkeeper Darren Goonan saving well, twice from Paul Kennedy, one a penalty, as well as denying Michael Hally. The latter was also unlucky when he struck the upright with another effort.
Newcastle then struck for the last two scores of the half from Diarmuid Devaney and Daniel Kennedy to leave the half-time score 0-7 to 0-1.
The losers needed a good start to the second half but it was Newcastle who opened scoring with a Daniel Kennedy point and this was followed by the score that finished the contest when Barry Hickey found the net after his first effort rebounded off the crossbar and the Ardfinnan defence failed to deal with the rebound.
Michael Phelan, M Goonan (A) and Brian Sweeney (N)3, 2 frees and a 45, exchanged scores before further scores from Brian Hyland and Daniel Kennedy pushed the score out to 1-12 to 0-3 by the 45th minute.
The losers also suffered when Brendan Cummins was forced to retire injured and his replacement Kieran Quirke was forced off immediately with what looked like a serious knee injury. The losers were now playing for pride and were given their second penalty in the 48th minute but again Darren Goonan was equal to Alan Wardâ€™s effort, saving at the expense of a 45.
Newcastle added further scores from Daniel Kennedy, sub John McCarra and Barry Hickey. Michael Goonan and Michael Phelan from a free had the losers last points while Daniel Hickey and Brian Sweeney had Newcastle points to complete the scoring.