by Colm Murphy, Newry City U14 Manager
Newry City Under 14’s travelled to Kilkeel on Saturday morning to play local side Valley Rangers. This was Newry’s seventh league match and sixth away game due to unavailability of the back pitch at Showgrounds but the team were to put in their best display of the season in almost storm like conditions against a strong Valley Rangers line up.
Right from the start Newry were playing some close controlled football and kept the ball on the ground, making some fine passes against a strong wind. Around 15 minutes into the match Newry were in front after a great through ball from Shea Morgan released Tiarnan Murphy through on goal and he slotted the ball past the ‘keeper to put Newry one up. Soon after it was again the same two players linking up in a carbon copy move with Murphy hitting the ball low and hard to the far corner to make it 2-0. The third goal came right from the back and started with Newry keeper James Keenan passing the ball to Right back Matthew McGinn. He sent Midfielder Joe Connolly surging forward who in turn set a neat ball through to Sean Mc Conville who shot to the back of the net in true striker fashion, 3-0. Valley responded with some fine play and James Keenan was called into action a few times making some fine saves. Eventually their pressure paid off and after a neat pass to their front man they pulled a goal back to make it 3-1. This spurred Newry back to life and again after some fine passing Connolly sent Murphy running through again only this time he lobbed the ball over the advancing Valley keeper to make it 4-1 Newry and complete a first half hat-trick.
Both teams were glad of the half time break and the second half started the same as the first with Newry attacking right from the kick off. Shea Morgan was having a fantastic game in midfield and after winning the ball he sent Joe Connolly on a run, who in turn sent a neat pass to Murphy again who beat the defender to rattle the best of his goals into the top corner to make it 5-1. A few moments later Murphy was to finish off a fine individual performance by striking an excellent free kick over the Valley Rangers wall into the net to make it 6-1 and 5 goals for the little winger. Newry made a number of substitutions and one of these Nathan Crudden was unlucky on a number of occasions not to add to the Newry tally. In defence Newry were strong with Russell and Oveson controlling the centre and Mc Ginn and Murphy doing well in right and left back positions. The midfield pairing of Connolly and Morgan really showed their ability throughout. The front line of Trainor and Mc Conville worked hard to create openings assisted by Caolan Reavey and Tiarnan Murphy who ended up with one of his best performances to date in a Newry Jersey with five goals.
A big thanks must go to the parents who helped with transport and weathered the elements to support the team. It was also great to see our top goal scorer Tiernan Reilly who is out injured at the moment, shouting his team mates on. All in all a good day out and a great team performance from a vastly improving group of lads. Well done all!!