Newmarket’s hopes of retaining the Duhallow minor B hurling championship were crushed when a last minute Banteer goal snatched victory in a gripping final at Kanturk on Sunday evening by 2-9 to 0-13.
It proved to be a titanic struggle from beginning to end. Nicky Flanagan travelling at pace struck the crossbar within a minute. The sides shared the opening four points with John Lane twice replying to Banteer scores. John Lane then edged Newmarket in front adding two further points. Banteer responded with a point but the influential Kevin O’Sullivan pointed instantly for Newmarket. Banteer came to the fore hitting over three points which left them in front by 0-6 to 0-5 at half time.
Banteer made a dream start to the second half with a point quickly followed by a goal within three minutes. Newmarket however dug deep and showed emmense character to enjoy a long period of dominance. Ace marksman John Lane knocked over three points before Kevin O’Sullivan pointed. When John Lane pointed at the end of the third quarter, it left the sides level for the fourth time, 0-10 to 1-7 and all to play for.
Newmarket kept the momentum going with their large support in full voice when corner forward Danny Quinlan showed great improvisation, in clipping the ball over the bar from the tightest of angles to regain a slender lead. This was followed by an inspirational long range converted free from Conor Cronin with just six minutes remaining. However, Banteer rallied and quickly added two points to once more ensure parity. Newmarket nudged ahead again through John Lane with time rapidly closing in. However, there was to be one last dramatic late twist when Banteer claimed the title with the all important second goal.
Newmarket’s players can be proud of their efforts and contribution to a fine contest but ultimately the spoils go to a fine Banteer side.
|William O’Flynn||John Scanlon||Brendan Stack|
|David Guiney||Conor Cronin (0-1)||David Kelly|
|Kevin O’Sullivan (0-2)||Brian O’Riordan|
|Ian Flanagan||Nicky Flanagan||John Lane (0-9)|
|Richard O’Flynn||Robert Stack||Danny Quinlan|
|SUBS: Brian O’Connell|