26 January 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

With the 2012 Premier Division season 6 weeks away, Roddy Collins sent out a team of old favourites and newcomers to take on Newry City in the first pre-season game at the Showgrounds. The experimental nature and manager’s instructions to not worry about results and to treat the game as a training session was a factor in the 2-1 defeat.
The back four had a familiar feel with Conor McMahon back from his long layoff due to injury and he was joined by Keith Quinn, Aidan Collins and Alan Byrne as they gave new goalkeeper Chris Bennion a solid line of defence.
Eric Foley, Willo McDonagh and Jordan Keegan were the other faces on the team that were recognisable from last year, who along with new signings Darragh Reynor, Robbie Bayly and trialist Tony Griffiths, fleshed out the midfield and attack.
Monaghan United started brightly by attacking early but Gareth Buchannan in the Newry nets easily contained the threat. Newry relaxed into the game and it was clear to see that they were in the middle of their season as they played with cohesion, squeezing United. With only 2 minutes on the clock they won a free on the edge of the box and it took Mons a few attempts to avert danger.
Newry seemed to smell blood and went in for the kill again 2 minutes later but McMahon, showing why he was missed badly last season, confidently cleared the ball.
It took about 10 minutes before Mons seemed to find their groove somewhat and they went on an attacking spree but with little effect. The midfield started to work better together and were soon stringing some passes together in the manner that was much admired last season.
City stepped up again and managed to get …

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