Second placed Newtown Rovers took all three points in this must win Moore’s Builders Providers Division 1 game against Liffey Celtic who are hot on their heels.
They opened up at seven point gap between second and third spot, Newtown having a game in hand, while table toppers Portlaoise Celtic were 3-1 victors over Newbridge Hotspurs earlier in the day, which leaves no change at the top.
The first half started at a great pace with chances at both ends, Newtown’s Owen Cox testing Jason Thorpe in the Liffey goal after just two minutes and soon after the visitors Jonathan Murphy brought an excellent save from Newtown netminder Rowland Duggan.
The home side took the lead after five minutes when Neil Barnby headed home from close range following some good work down the wings from Francis Foran and Darren Conway.
However Newtown’s joy was shortlived when Liffey got back on terms after ten minutes when Neil Howe was deemed to have fouled Jonathan Murphy in the box, Murphy dusted himself off and made no mistake from the spot to equalise.
Rovers took the lead again after thirty minutes through Darren Conway when he converted an excellent header at the back post following a corner by Owen Cox.
The visitors were not to be outdone and equalised for a second time just before the break when Ray Jarvis shot past Duggan in the home goal from close range following excellent work down the wing by Brian Murphy to leave the sides going in 2-2 at the break.
The second half saw the home side take control in midfield and the took the lead for the third time after 55 minutes when Man of the match Neil Barnby fired home from close range and five minutes later Stephen Browne made it 4-2 when he scored from a corner following good work from Francis Foran.
Barney completed his hat trick with ten minutes remaining with the goal of the game smashing home a volley as the ball came over his shoulder to seal it for Rovers at 5-2.
Newtown were best served by Neil Barnby who was man of the match ably assisted by Neil Howe in defence and Michael Tracey in midfield, in what was an excellent team performance.
Best for the visitors were Liam Davis and Brian Murphy in midfield and Conor Donovan in defence.
Rowland Duggan, Neil Howe, Stephen Murray, Stephen Browne, Eoin O Mahoney, John O Connell, Michael Tracey, Owen Cox, Neil Barnby, Francis Foran, Darren Conway, TJ Kavanagh, David Stanford, Gareth Doyle, John Philips, Gary Loakman.
Jason Thorpe, Stephen Martin, Conor Donovan, Barry Hyland, Sean Higgins, Ray Jarvis, Brian Murphy, Liam Davis, David Murphy, Jonathan Murphy, Mikey Fitzgerald, Danny Keogh, Graham Fogarty, Shane Dunne, James Delaney, Sean Barry.