On the 12th of August both Sammy Shiels and Gary Peebles said goodbye to the Showgrounds as they left for Ards F.C. while Barry Tumilty left to join with former manager Nigel Best at Ballymena United. On the previous day the signing of Dean Fitzgerald, Shelbourne midfielder was completed. Trevor Smith has left the club and so too has Alan Byrne in order to play football "closer to home". Perhaps the worst blow Newry received during the closed season was the departure of John Kenney who left to join League of Ireland side Finn Harps. Chris Coffey and John White also waved goodbye to sign for Larne and Dundalk respectively.

Today in front of a massive crowd Newry Town put on one of the greatest displays of football the Showgrounds has ever seen. Against all on the odds and expectations Newry fought tooth and nail showing excellent displays of real European football to triumph over the Bundes League side MSV Duisburg (the Lucky Zebras). In the twenty eighth minute Robbie Casey cleared the ball away from a German attack. The ball was picked up by John Drake who crossed the ball into the MSV box where Marko rose up to head it into the back of the net following a slight deflection from Duisburg's Martin Schneider. Newry were not content with this however so they continued to battle to get another goal. One of the closest other chances Newry had was in the twenty sixth minute when a John Kenney cross fell too short for a Dessie Gorman header. The discontent German side fought on and towards the end of the match they were the dominant side making the fans fearful of an equalizing goal in the final moments of the match. Thankfully this was not the case and Newry can now hold their heads high and call themselves champions even though they failed to qualify for the third round in Turkey.

On Saturday the 3rd of July the Newry Town squad flew out from Belfast airport to meet a team that achieved eighth position in one of the world's best soccer leagues, the Bundes League. MSV Duisburg (the Zebras) have only recently come on form as they played very poorly for most of the season but they did manage to win their last seven league matches which enabled them to qualify for the Intertoto Cup and also get a bye directly into the second round.
9 minutes into the match and Newry, although playing in a very defensive formation, had the first goal-scoring opportunity of the game. Mark Rutherford took a corner and the ball landed at the feet of Barry Tumilty who was waiting in the box. He shot on his first touch but was unlucky as a Duisburg player blocked the shot and played the ball out of danger.
At eleven minutes Adrian Larkin made a run up the wing from the half way line outrunning several MSV Duisburg players and crossed the ball into the box where the Hawk was prowling but Larkin's cross fell short. In the seventeenth minute the Zebra's launched their first proper attack of the game when Uwe Spies took a shot from inside the box only to hit the crossbar, the lose ball landed at the feet of another Duisburg player but he was blocked by his team-mate Spies who was lying on the ground at this stage. Then a third Duisburg player took a shot from the resulting lose ball which failed to trouble Town keeper Kevin McKeown. Another shock came in the thirty-sixth minute when Mark Rutherford received a yellow card for tripping a Duisburg player. This was closely followed by a yellow for Shane Reddish who made a bad foul on Wohlert. Kevin McKeown then made a terrific save from a Duisburg free kick. Half time score was 0-0.
In the 49th minute a shot was deflected by Kevin McKeown and Uwe Spies caught the ball on the rebound with a terrific header deceiving keeper McKeown.
The Zebras scored again in the 56th minute but it was disallowed as it was offside. Six minutes later Stefan Emmerling took a tremendous shot from outside the box but Kevin McKeown made a terrific dive to make a clean catch.
In the 63rd minute Chris Coffee replaced Barry Tumilty.
At 74 minutes a high powered shot by Emmerling was deflected by McKeown and substitute Markus Beierle knocked the ball into the net on the rebound.
42 minutes after the interval Seamus Kane replaced Dessie (The Hawk) Gorman who was complaining about a tight hamstring in his left leg.
In the 87th minute Thomasz Hajto fouled Stuart McLean badly and so he received the final yellow card of the game.
There were about one hundred Newry supporters in the ground and the final gate was 11850, including press and sponsors this was brought up to 13000.
For more information please see the Intertoto (UI) page.

On a dreary cold and wet summers day at the Showgrounds history was made. After the narrowest of defeats in the first leg the Newry fans were confident that their team would perform well. Within the team however, there was another driving force - the previous day's news that their chairman Joe Rice was considering his position within the club for personal reasons. The absence of Hrvatski Dragavolijac's key player and the wet weather gave Newry the edge they needed and they were not afraid to show off their skill. In the opening five minutes Newry were nearly ahead when a superb over head kick by Dessie Gorman whistled past the post. After 19minutes a precise cross found Robbie Casey's head which knocked the ball off the post and into the net. The 'Croatian Volunteers' were not going to settle for an aggregate draw and so the battled on with great skill and persistence. But the day belonged to Newry when Dessie Gorman was substituted by Adrian Larkin and the 19 year old local boy's first touch from a John Kenny pass shot past the keeper who was rumored to be the best keeper in the Croatian league. Joe has now reconsidered his decision and will remain at Newry. Newry will now play German side Duisburg on Sunday next for the first leg of the second round and the possibility of German television coverage of the second leg at the Showgrounds.

Newry Town F.C. flew out from Ireland on Thursday unaware of the ability of their opponent's ability. Armed only with the knowledge that the team had four international players on their side and finished fourth in the Croatian league, Newry advanced into battle. Kevin McKeown was a great asset to the team as he managed to pull off three stunning saves. Dessie Gorman made an outstanding effort which was narrowly blocked by keeper Sihynio Kakarlo. In the dying moments substitute Trevor Smith made a glancing header from a well taken corner which whistled narrowly past the post. This means that Newry had to settle for a 1-0 defeat and the fat lady will sing at the Showgrounds on Saturday next.

Newry will today flyout to Croatia to play Hrvatski Dragovoljac. They play their match on Saturday at six o'clock. If they win they will play the German side MSV Duisburg from Bundesliga.
However, misfortune struck the club when they were made aware that midfielder Alan Byrne would be suspended for this European match because of a red card he received four years ago. "Alan was playing for Shelbourne in Europe in 1995 when he was sent off in a game against an Icelandic team and unfortunately we have been told his suspension still holds," stated Mr Rice.
In order to compensate this the club have made a move to sign right sided player Shane Reddish from Dundalk. Former Newry joint manager Ollie Ralph who is now with Dundalk allowed the temporary release of this player for Newry's Inter-toto matches.

It has been officially announced that Newry will play the Croatian side Hrvatski Dragovoljac who finished 4th in the Croatian league this year on the 19th (away) and 26th (home) of June. Club chairman, Joe Rice is confident that the Town have a realistic chance against this European offensive.
"They don't appear to be much better equipped than ourselves perhaps a little step higher but we are approaching this positively intent on reaching the next round"
When asked about preparation, Mr Rice replied,
"Obviously he will now be formulating our plans. We have obtained some background and are hoping to get a video on them... we are taking a party of around 40. We travel to Gatwick, stay overnight and then catch an early morning flight to Zagreb. Travel- wise we have everything in place."

Grimsby Town are to play Newry in a friendly game on the 22nd July at the Showgrounds. There are no signs yet of any bigger teams coming in the close season.

Local forward Robbie Casey is to come to Newry Town on a free transfer after he refused to sign a new contract with Portadown. This is ahead of the UEFA registration deadline so he will be eligible to play in Europe with Newry.

Paul Stranney, Newry's injured goalkeeper has had to be readmitted to hospital after an infection had set into his leg. This, however, has not made him any less determined to get back to training which he hopes to restart at Christmas. The man who accidentally injured Paul, Glen Hunter, visited him in hospital bringing him a gift and they both enjoyed each others' company.

Newry could be set for a bigger sum of money than they expected thanks to their first opponents in the Inter-Toto Cup. Newry have been drawn to play a side from Croatia, but due to the continued conflict in the Balkans football in the surrounding countries cannot be played. Therefore, Newry may be given a bye into the second round where a German side (probably Werder Bremen) will face them. This game may be broadcast on Irish or/and German television and should attract a large crowd.

Due to the mid-week victory of Cliftonville over Linfield in the Bass Irish Cup, a place in the UEFA cup was out of reach for Newry as they traveled to Solitude today. However, they were not left on their own as a vast Newry support led them to a two-nil win. Cliftonville who are fighting relegation were not about to give Newry an easy match as their strength and persistence was eminent throughout the first half. They put Newry keeper John Connolly to the test with many great shots but Connolly kept his cool to the frustration of the Cliftonville supporters. Unfortunately, the first half also saw Anto Mitchell being stretchered off with a leg injury bringing uneasy memories to the Newry players.
The second half saw a fine display from the Newry squad with exceptional play from both Mark Rutherford and John Kenny. Alan Byrne found the roof of the net in the 65th minute and Mark Rutherford was fouled in the box. A penalty was converted to a goal by Smith. Final result Newry 2-0 Cliftonville.

After a minutes silence for those who died at Hillsborough ten years ago, the Ballymena and Newry sides got down to business, although Newry were without stalwart Dessie Gorman - suspended after receiving a red card in a reserves match. Only five minutes into the game the Ballymena forwards were stressing the Newry defense, Stranney called for a ball which McDonnell was defending and in the resulting clash with Ballymena's Glenn Hunter the keeper suffered a broken leg. Play stopped for almost five minutes and Paul was removed, obviously in shock, to the clubhouse, from where he was later taken to the Royal Hospital. Early indications are that his right leg has been broken in two places and it is hoped he will be back playing again by Christmas. Adrian Larkin then replaced the injured Stranney and with his Gaelic football experience proved an asset in goals.
After 44 minutes Stuart McLean hit home following a beautiful cross from Mark Rutherford putting Newry in the driving seat. In the second half the Town weakened and Ballymena struck several shots just wide of the target. Adrian Larkin pulled off some fine saves and attacks from Trevor Smith and Sammy Shiels were cleared off the line at the other end of the pitch.
Crusaders lost at Mourneview meaning that if Crus lose their final match with Linfield and Newry overcome Cliftonville then the Town have a chance of slipping into the UEFA Cup. Its all down to the final match at Solitude !

10 April 1999Disappointing Reserve Match
The Town today fielded an almost complete first team squad for this reserves match with Distillery. Newry treated the match with all the seriousness of a training match - this was reflected in the 3-2 victorious result. Despite the good scoreline some players became over ambitious in the heat of competitiveness and goal scorer Dessie Gorman was sent for an early shower seeing red after clashing with a Distillery player. This may cause him to miss next Saturday's league match against Ballymena.

A sigh of relief was let out by NTFC today as Glenavon could only manage a draw with Linfield. This result means that Newry are through to the Inter-Toto Cup and they will play their first legs on 19th and 26th of June. It is rumored that the Town will be travelling to Croatia.

A UEFA Cup place is almost out of sight with only two games remaining for the Town. Today's confrontation with Coleraine shows that the club are not really ready to enter Europe losing as they did 3-0 at Coleraine Showgrounds. It looks as though the European dream is only a dream as Crusaders should snatch the final spot.

A dismal display from Crusaders kept hopes of a UEFA cup spot alive for the Town today. Crusaders a three tough fixtures remaining against Glentoran, Linfield and Glenavon, while Newry visit Coleraine, Ballymena and Cliftonville. The odds were against the Town who have lost management duo Ralph and Fay however a superb goal from Sammy Shiels put Newry in the driving seat. Crusaders have been Newry's bogey team this season however Chris Coffey made it 2-0 just after half-time. A slapstick comedy occurred four minutes later when the ball struck the Crues goalpost to be headed into the net for an OG by a Mellon.

Today saw, not only a dismal match for Newry against Linfield (2-1) but also the shock resignation of the two Newry managers, Ollie Ralph and Harry Fay. They broke the news just minutes after the match ended. In an interview, Ollie Ralph commented, "..we were just totally worn out". He also added (in relation to Joe Rice and Trevor Anderson's feelings), "Those boys are totally appreciative of our position and they know where we are coming from, they know our feelings. There is no animosity what so ever." When asked of the possibility of Trevor Anderson taking over he replied, "He has been more of a help to our staff, but I think Trevor's managerial days are over, to be honest!" Now the search is on to find a new manager for Newry Town.

20 March 1999Town Slip
At this crucial stage of the season, Newry have so-far failed to prove themselves with their mid-week draw with Omagh Town and today's defeat by second placed Linfield. Two goals from Linfield's Ferguson overpowered the Newry defense as the team could only salvage one goal after a great through ball from Larkin to Rutherford was crossed into the box and chested into the net by Trevor Smith who was subsequently shown the red card for talking back to the referee. Final score, Newry 1-1 Omagh.

13/2/99Major blow leaves Newry with an uphill struggle
Portadown proved themselves a premiership outfit this week despite transfer listing three of their top players. The opening goal for the Ports came after 35 minutes from Philip Major and the second, a 25 yard lob, only nine minutes later from Dwyer Hill. A 30-yard strike from Alan Hall in the second half wasn't enough to save face. NEWRY; McKewon, Drake, Scappaticci (Larkin 63), McDonnell, McLean, Kenny, Tumilty, Hall, Shiels (Martin 85), Gorman (Kane 68), Rutherford

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DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this page are those of the originator and in no way represent the views or opinions of  Newry Town Football Club 1997 Ltd.