Nenagh Guardian North Intermediate Hurling Championship Group 1 Round 2

November 8, 2018

Newport 0-13 Silvermines 0-11

Sunday 2nd July 1.00pm Nenagh

An early throw in on Sunday bought 2 great rivals together for this second round clash of the North Intermediate Championship. The Mines who had won their opening game getting the better of Shannon Rovers while Newport had shown indifferent form against Ballinahinch a defeat which hurt the team badly and many wondered where the Newport fight which teams down through the years had gone. Scoring 1-16 in their opening game which would be nearly enough to win was a huge disappointment as was conceding 1-19 at the other end. Silvermines were favourites after their win against the Rovers with Willie Keogh shooting 2-03 in a man of the match display. Newport last beat the Mines in the 2003 Senior Championship by 0-16 to 0-8 but the Mines won this fixture last year with a bit to spare. Not a lot of action in this game where scores were at a premium and where defence was the match winner.

The Mines started brightly and after only about 5 seconds they had a free which was converted from the middle of the field. Newport started slow and their backs were under pressure but coped well. The Mines had opened up a 3 points to no score lead after 10 minutes with Newport’s shooting letting them down on several occasions. Players going for long distance points when passing to a colleague or letting the ball into the forward line seemed the easier option. Finally Newport got a break in play after some dogged work and Eoin Shinnors pointed. Newport plugged away and found themselves getting on top. The score of the game was arguably Dinny Ryan’s sideline cut that flew over the bar. Newport led at half time 0-7 to 0-6 but could have been further ahead only for some aimless shooting.

Whatever was said in the dressing room showed after half time. Again a free within 7 seconds of the restart this time going to Newport. Eoin Shinnors obliged with another wonderful score and over the course of the next 4 minutes Newport scored 3 points and led by 0-11 to 0-6. Some excellent points from play and it seemed Newport might walk away with this one. The Mines being the Mines quickly stopped the on-slaught and started to come alive. They got some good points but like Newport in the first half missed reasonable scoring chances. Newport backs were under pressure in the last 10 minutes but Conor O’Mahony, Richard Shinnors & Mike Ryan Ban held firm. Newport were just doing enough to keep their noses in front but at 0-13 0-10 up the Mines needed a goal to save the game but they never created any real goal scoring opportunity mainly due to Newport hunting down the attackers. At one stage Christy Doyle was seen in the corner back position clearing a ball. Great work rate by the wing forward. The Mines were only able to pull back one more point and with the Newport supporters screaming for the referee to blow his whistle as the game seemed never ending it looked as if the Mines could pull this one out of the fire but it took an O’Mahony interception once again to break the Mines attack and the referee finally blew his whistle for end a few seconds later.

The Newport management were very happy with the result but a few positions need to be ironed out. The team looked strong, fit & played with heart. When the chips were down they never gave up the ghost and came out on top. Backline was the strongest part of the team Sunday while the 2 midfielders Cooper & Hickey hurled with supreme confidence. The forwards are a bit of concern. Too over reliant at times on young Shinnors but he never disappoints and is always 99.9% accurate from free’s or be it from play. Christy Doyle again worked hard as did PJ O’Rourke and Kieran McCabe but the right ball just never came his way. Christy Koyce got a point but had to come out from corner forward to the half forward line to get his score.

This win most certainly puts the Ballinahinch defeat behind them. Newport must not lose focus when playing Shannon Rovers who are the league champions by the way. Newport will probably enter as favourites but if they get complacent they could be heading for the exits. A win is needed no matter what happens in the Ballinahinch vs Shannon Rovers match & the Silvermines vs Ballinahinch games. Newport are well capable of beating Shannon Rovers and getting runner up spot in the group but a lot of hard work is needed. Best of luck to the team in their quest to get back up to the Senior ranks. Word has it the team are putting in a lot of hard work in training and this is showing on the field. Well done to Timmy Floyd, Liam Doyle & Noel Galvin for preparing the team.