Newcastle were full value for their five points winning margin, a tally fairly reflecting their superiority over the hour, in this County Junior ‘A’ football quarter-final at New Inn on Friday night last.
Now in to the second half of October it could be a busy end of year for Newcastle with their South final v Ballingarry still to be played and at least one, and hopefully two, more fixtures on the county stage ahead of them.
But it didn’t look quite so promising in the early minutes of Friday night’s encounter against Inane Rovers under the floodlights. The Roscrea side had the better opening with the first two scores through David McNamara and a free from full-forward Redmond Coffey.
Seven minutes had elapsed before Brian Hyland had Newcastle’s first score to settle them and three further points in quick succession from Barry Hickey (2) and Brian Sweeney had the South division side ahead 0-4 to 0-2 after 12 minutes.
A Redmond Coffey free narrowed the gap for Inane Rovers almost immediately but the Roscrea side wouldn’t score again in the first half.
Newcastle finished out the half stronger with Sweeney and Hyland scoring for an 0-6 to 0-3 interval advantage.
The second half was a little livelier with Newcastle always protecting their lead to at least two points. They stretched it to four in the early stages of the second half with the best point of the game - a 35m effort from Conor Grant.
Jason Fitzpatrick and Keith McMahon had Inane’s best points in the second period as they tried hard to keep the game alive.
Over the hour goal chances were few and far between but credit to both keepers, Darren Goonan and Jim McDonnell, for excellent saves and the satisfaction of not being beaten on the night.
Brian Sweeney finished top scorer with five points while others to do well for Newcastle were Niall Morrissey, Caoimhin McGrath, Shane Hickey, John O’Halloran and Cormac O’Flynn.
Roscrea gave it their best but came up short in the end but were best served by an excellent David Buckley and the likes of Paul Breen, Joe Carroll, Keith McMahon, Jason Fitzpatrick and Liam England.
Newcastle: D. Goonan, N. Morrissey, T. O’Dwyer, E. Prendergast, C. McGrath, S. Hickey, J. O’Halloran, C. Grant (0-1), C. O’Flynn, B. Hickey (0-2), B. Hyland (0-2), M. Kennedy (0-1), A. Fitzpatrick (0-1), B. Sweeney 0-5 (0-3F), D. Kennedy (0-1).
Subs: O. Smyth for Kennedy; A. Condon for Sweeney.
Inane Rovers: J. McDonnell, P. Breen, D. Fitzgerald, R. Teehan, D. O’Connor, M. Campion, R. Ryan, J. Carroll, K. McMahon (0-1), J. Fitzpatrick (0-3, 0-2F), L. England (0-1), C. Phelan, D. Buckley, R. Coffey (0-2), D. McNamara (0-1).
Subs: S. Fitzgerald for Coffey (inj), B. Kealy for D. Fitzgerald; P. Kirwan for Ryan.
Referee: David Grogan (Aherlow).