Tuesday night’s local derby failed to live up to expectations as Newry City, flying high at the top of Mid Ulster Intermediate football, were rarely extended to run home very comfortable 4-0 winners in their league match with Camlough Rovers at The Showgrounds. The scene for the night was set after only three minutes, Sean McMullan tussled for a high ball inside the box, chesting the ball down perfectly in front of Jimmy Walker who blasted low into the Camlough net for his third goal in as many games to open the scoring.
The next chance also came Newrys way, Chris McMahon taking the opportunity to move up field before crossing to the back post where Stephen McCabe rose highest but couldn’t keep his headed effort below the crossbar. For their part Camlough were seeing plenty off the ball but were unable to penetrate Newry’s defence, their only foray into the Newry penalty area in the first quarter being a Declan Monaghan run which was snuffed out by Neil Mullen. The home side almost doubled their advantage after 20 minutes, a long throw in from Graeme Edgar helped into the box by Decky Carville and amidst shouts for handball by a Camlough defender Paddy Mooney’s out stretched boot lobbed the ball over Joe Goodwill, hit the inside of the post and bounced back along the goal line before being cleared by a relieved Camlough defence.
In possession Newry were getting through the Camlough rear guard, on 35 minutes Mooney held the ball up on the right wing before slipping a pass to Kevin McArdle who continued his run inside the box, Goodwill fast off his line to block McArdle’s shot with his legs. At the other end the only threat to the Newry goal came near the end of the half when Peter Murphy did well to grasp a high bouncing ball with Monaghan lurking, the half ending with Newry a goal to the good.
Having scored early in the first half Newry repeated the trick early in the second, Carville laying the ball to the feet of McMullan, the big man pitching the return ball into Carville’s path as he entered the box allowing him to round Goodwill without breaking stride, the Camlough keeper left with little option but to take the legs from under Carville for a penalty. The perfect chance for the league’s top goal scorer McMullan to notch goal number 36 for the season which he took with ease.
There was to be little respite for the Camlough rear guard in the second half as Newry upped their game. On 50 minutes sustained pressure ended with a Walker corner which Ian Curran powered back across goal, the ball missing the post by inches. And then on the hour mark the game was over as a contest with a goal which owed most to the quick thinking of McMullan and Mooney. Awarded a free kick outside the box, while others switched off, McMullan grabbed the ball and played a quick free kick to Mooney who had found space wide on the right. Now with time to pick his pass Mooney found McCabe at the back post, the winger giving Goodwill little chance with a powerful finish to put Newry 3-0 up .
Ten minutes later and it was 4-0. Started by McMahon winning a crunching tackle outside the box the Newry captain regained his feet to float a ball over the Camlough defence to McCabe on the far wing. In a rich vein of form McCabe knocked the ball past his marker taking the ball to the by line before drilling a low ball across the face of goal perfect for McMullan to turn in from close range for the final goal of the night.
There was still time for a further chance for each team. For Camlough Monaghan raced down the left wing before pulling the ball back for Paddy Magill who had kept pace but was unable to get his shot on target. And the final chance went the way of Newry, Thomas McCann picking a hole in the Camlough defence giving Keith Johnston a one on one with Goodwill, the Camlough keeper winning the contest with a fine block.
After the game Newry manager Darren Mullen was satisfied with his team’s performance ‘We couldn’t have wished for a better start with Jimmy’s goal but failed to build on it for most of the first half. Our play was too stretched and although they never really tested us we were giving them too much time and space. The second half was a different story and the early goals put paid to any chance they had. We were more composed and kept the ball a lot better. Once we moved the ball quicker they struggled and we were well worth our victory. We were very solid with some good performances, Chris McMahon and Graeme Edgar in particular showing up well. Graeme epitomises what we are about this season. He has bided his time on the bench without a cross word said and has grasped his chance with both hands. We are on a good run of form at the minute but we know that if we are to achieve our goals this season then the standards we have set must continue to be met. There is a break from league action this weekend with our cup match away to St Mary’s but as far as we are concerned it’s every bit as important as a league fixture and will be treating it as such.’
Camlough Rovers Team: Joe Goodwill, Paddy Mackey, Paddy Magill, Gavin Moan, Lee Lennon, Seamus Hughes, Shane King, Greg McCabe, Declan Monaghan, David McCabe, Jordan King. Subs: Paddy McCormack, Barry McKeown, Gerard Mooney, Adrian Mee, Declan Magee.
Newry City AFC Team: Peter Murphy, Chris McMahon, Graeme Edgar, Neil Mullen, Ian Curran, Kevin McArdle, Jimmy Walker, Decky Carville, Sean McMullan, Paddy Mooney, Stephen McCabe. Subs: Mark Patton, Thomas McCann, Keith Johnston, Timmy Grant, Sean Hand, Ben Wilson.