by Colm Murphy, Newry City U14 Manager
Newry City U14 3-0 Ballyvea U14 – Feb 7th
Newry had their first game since before Christmas away to Ballyvea in Kilkeel on Saturday Feb 7th.
The team were missing a number of regulars due to illness and were lucky to have the bare 11 players. This put extra pressure on some of the fringe players who stood up to the mark when called upon. Although played in extreme conditions, some great football was played and Newry eventually opened the scoring with a fine goal from some excellent play.
Ballyvea came more into the match after this goal but Newry stepped up a gear and added a second goal shortly after half-time and finished off a fine display with a third goal just before the end of the match to record another away victory. A well-deserved victory considering the circumstances.
Newry City U14 0-2 Ballybot Celtic U14 – Feb 14th
Two of the top teams in the league met at the Showgrounds on Saturday. The previous encounter ended in a 2-2 draw and both teams were keen to achieve victory this time. Newry started off really well with a number of attacks and should have been at least a goal up after 10 minutes but for some fine defending and goal-keeping by Ballybot. Shortly after this Newry had another chance when the ball broke free to Sean McConville who hit a shot that rebounded off the ‘keeper only for the follow up to be cleared off the line again. Totally against the run of play Ballybot took the lead. On one of their first attacks a shot was taken and heading wide only for it to hit one of their players and deflect into the Newry net. A cruel blow to the Newry lads!
True to form the Newry team never give up and again had an opportunity to level but some poor finishing was to prove costly. After half time another rare Ballybot attack resulted in the second goal. From a corner the ball broke loose to a player on the edge of the box who finished clinically to put Ballybot in control. Newry had numerous opportunities to get themselves back in the match but some fine defending and goalkeeping kept the score in favour of Ballybot.
This was the team’s first defeat of the season but there is still a long way to go and time for this ever improving team to bounce back. Credit most go to a very sporting Ballybot team for an excellent match and both teams should be commended for a very high standard of football.