Newpark United 5
Lions B 0
A DELUGE of top class goals flowed as Newpark United delivered a five-star performance to leave the Lions B shell-shocked on Easter Sunday.
Having come up agonisingly short in the drive for promotion – and losing a Maher Shield semi-final through the concession of a last-gasp goal – the Division One city side went full throttle as they raced past Lions B in the quarter-finals of the McCalmont Cup.
Mark Ryan’s side were determined to get off to a good start, but even they must have been surprised at how quickly they took control of their tie.
There was little over 60 seconds on the clock when the hosts went in front. Started by a long ball from back to front, Sean Falsey’s backheel flick sent the ball spinning into Henry O’Neill’s path.
The Lions defence parted in front of O’Neill, who steadied himself and curled a peach of a shot into the far right corner of Mark White’s net.
The visitors regained a little of their composure when White’s long kick-out was flicked on by Eoin Clancy, but Ger Alley’s ninth minute volley flew over the bar.
White was the busier of the two goalkeepers, and was in action again on 18 minutes after O’Neill was fouled on the edge of the box. Dusting himself down O’Neill let fly with a thundering free-kick, but White did well to finger-tip the shot on to the crossbar.
White and O’Neill added another chapter to their duel four minutes later after Ger Wall’s delivery took a wicked bounce in front of the box. O’Neill was on it in a flash, but White was off his line quick to smother the chipped attempt.
O’Neill made amends 60 seconds later when he doubled his and Newpark’s tally.
The Lions failed to deal with Sammy Johnson’s throw-in, the attempted clearance falling in front of O’Neill. Given half a second to react he pulled the trigger, drilling a low shot inside the far post.
The game looked to be beyond the Lions when they went three down inside half an hour. Sean Falsey created the opening, knocking down a high ball into the path of Sammy Johnson. The attacking full-back sped in from the right, pausing only to beat White with a deft chip from the edge of the box.
The sides continued to create chances in a free-flowing game. Shane O’Neill almost grabbed a goal when he collected Henry O’Neill’s great cross, but White and James Larkin combined to clear the danger.
The Lions also went close to getting on the scoresheet themselves in the seconds before half-time. Eoin Clancy had the chance when he got on the end of Shane Walsh’s corner, but his ambitious half-volley was blocked en masse by the Newpark defence.
It took three second half minutes for goal number four to arrive. Kevin Morrissey profited, making space in the centre of midfield before hammering a wicked shot to the right.
The winners saved their best goal for last. As with the first strike Sean Falsey was the provider, whipping in a ball from the left flank towards Shane O’Neill with 54 minutes on the clock.
The midfielder killed the cross on his instep then, as the ball popped up, delivered a powerful volley that flew into the top left corner of the Lions net.
Newpark United: Bobby Meagher, Sammy Johnson, Gerry O’Brien, Ray Meagher, Keith Fleming, John Demez (Eamon Conway, 63 mins), Shane O’Neill, Ger Wall (Richie Drennan, 63 mins), Sean Falsey (Paul Carroll, 63 mins), Kevin Morrissey, Henry O’Neill.
Lions B: Mark White, Aidan McCann, Eoin Lalor, Gar Campion, Michael Freeman, Kieran Freeman, Shane Walsh (James Donohoe, 55 mins), James Larkin (Michael Vaughan, 69 mins), Ger Alley, Eoin Clancy (Colm Dunphy, 60 mins), Darren Maher.
Referee: James Nolan.