Late Mullaney points secure championship title for Newtown
Newtownbutler captain Gareth Fox with the cup.
Newtownbutler 3-12; Devenish 2-12;
NEWTOWNBUTLER secure the double after seeing off Devenish in a pulsating finish to their Minor B Championship match at Brewster Park.
In a game that saw the victors on top for large parts of the contest, Devenish were perhaps unlucky not to at least salvage a draw, after an inspired comeback late on was quelled by Newtown, who held on to secure a league and championship double.
Newtown started the better as they raced into an early four point lead. Caolan Sweeney was the first on the scoreboard when he finished off a flowing move with a well taken goal, with Ciaran Caghey following up with a point.
Devenish took a while to settle, but eventually they did get off the mark and it was very much nip and tuck for the next ten minute juncture, as both sides traded points, Jason Flanagan with two frees for Newtown while Ruairi Maguire, Ruairi Doherty and JJ. O'Brien all landed first half points for Devenish.
Newtown then stepped it up again as the half progressed, and were rewarded with a second goal when Jonathan Courtney's fine run set up Sean Mullaney who fisted to the net. The same player then added a free to leave eight points between the teams approaching half time. Devenish did respond with a point, but they would need a big second half to get themselves back in contention.
The interval seemed to benefit Devenish, as they came out very strongly in the second period, scoring a goal and a point without reply like Newtown had done in the first half. Peter Leonard was on hand to fire the ball home for the goal, and the same player added on another point to bring them within three points.
Newtown replied instantly though, and added a third goal ten minutes into the second half. A fine team move was finished off by Jonathan Courtney; Devenish again had it all to do.
To their credit, they fought their way back into it again with three points without reply, JJ O'Brien and Leonard on the score-sheet. Both sides then traded a handful of points apiece to leave Newtown up by four points with only a few minutes remaining. Devenish battled hard in the dying minutes, and when Paul McCaffrey swooped for a goal it left just one point between the teams to set up a grandstand finish, but Sean Mullaney kept his cool to slot over two late points to round off a fine personal performance, and a well deserved team win in the end after a hard fought encounter.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 12 Jul 12