New Oak Boys are on course for an unprecedented quadruple this season.
They have had an impressive collection of accolades all ready this season, coming away with a 3-1 win over Slaney Rovers in the KCLR Carlow Shield final.
New Oak Player Conor Byrne says their run so far has set the pace going into the premier division.
“Getting that early trophy really did set the tone for us in the Premier division. We set ourselves goals, we came together at the start of the year and said what do we want to achieve here?”
“We knew we had a good squad and a great bunch of players with a good attitude. So we said why not set our goal and try to win everything this year and we are still on track to doing that.”
The second trophy to be put into the cabinet was the Carlow Premier Division, going through the whole season undefeated. With a miserly defence and devastating goalscoring records, it would be tough for any team to keep pace with them.
It hasn’t all been easy sailing though. There have been some hard-fought battles along the way. But woaks grow strong in contrary winds. The LFA quarter-final against Kilkenny’s Freebooters springs to mind.
Losing at halftime, an eventual second-half equaliser brought the game to extra time. New Oak then went ahead with a second from Dean Kelly, before a red card for New Oaks goalkeepers resulted in a converted penalty by Paddy Cahill of Freebooters. Roy Byrne stepped in between the sticks and wrote his name into folklore after saving three penalties to put New Oak through.
“It had everything. Freebooters brought their A-Game, they were really on it. It was just so competitive, and enjoyable to be part of it. To be given a jersey to go out and play was just a huge honor.”
“There was a huge crowd were there, the sun was out, Freebooters are a cracking side. It is Roy of The Rovers stuff.”
There was no rest for the wicked though as games keep coming thick and fast when you are playing at the top. In the Paul Keating Memorial Cup, the premier division cup competition in Carlow, Crettyard awaited them in the semi-final. It seemed like a disaster when after 20 minutes another sending-off could of been New Oaks undoing, but a Jamie Murphy goal and two Kealan Gaffney penalty saves set up a final against an opponent yet to be decided between Dolmen Celtic and Parkville.
Their opponents for the next game are decided though. North End United stands between New Oak and the LFA final. That game kicks off on Sunday at 2 pm, with Kilkenny’s Evergreen playing on Saturday in the other semi-final against Kilbarrick.
It goes without saying we here at KCLR Scoreline will be hoping for Kilkenny Carlow final!
You can listen back to the full interview with Conor Byrne at around 7 minutes 30 seconds in on Scoreline Extra below :