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  • GAA

Can second time be a charm for Newport?

Friday, 4th September, 2020 10:00am
Can second time be a charm for Newport?

Newport's Conor O'Mahony

Can second time be a charm for Newport?

Newport's Conor O'Mahony

 

By Shane Brophy

 

NEWPORT v MULLINAHONE

Semple Stadium, Thurles

Saturday 5th September

Throw-in @ 1.30pm (E.T. & Pens)

Referee: Seamus Delaney

 

Newport justified their favouritism for the O Riain Cup with a merciless destruction of Silvermines in last Sunday’s quarter final.

However, the draw hasn’t fallen kindly for them as it sets up a group stage rematch with Mullinahone who will have the motivational advantage to make up for the defeat in Golden last month.

Four first half goals set Newport on their way to a 4-15 to 2-17 win over the South Tipp side who did mount a strong second half comeback and will feel if they can tighten things up at the back, they can overturn that defeat and reach a first ever O Riain Cup final.

Mullinahone followed the defeat to Newport with a comfortable win over Clonakenny before impressively accounting for South rivals Carrick Swan in the quarter final last Saturday. While Eoin Kelly was to the fore again with ten points, they aren’t solely reliant on then as Mikey O’Shea and Michael Dunne help make up a potent full forward line while Enda Keane, Graham Horan and Sean Curran can contribute scores from further out.

However, the key to deciding the outcome of this game is how the Mullinahone defence cope with a livewire Newport attack who have shown they can score goals and points in equal measure.

They would have liked a stiffer test from Silvermines last time out but manager Tom Moylan but have been happy with how they never eased up despite the game being well in hand from a long way out, finishing with 1-29. The full forward line remains the potent sector with the pace of Daniel Carew, Colin Floyd, and Pa Ryan.

Tipp senior provides great leadership at centre forward along with free-taker Darragh Carroll, while further back the field Kealon Floyd and Conor O’Mahony man the heart of the defence strongly.

The majority of the Newport team comes from the 2014 minor team that reached a county ‘A’ final and six years on they are maturing nicely but this will be their stiffest test to date against a Mullinahone side that were caught cold in their group stage clash and now know what is coming. The open spaces of Semple Stadium will be to Newport’s liking and they might just shade it and reach a first O Riain Cup final. Verdict: Newport.

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