Newmarket and Freemount ended deadlocked at 3-9 to 2-12, after extra time in an exciting EPS Bison Duhallow junior hurling championship game played at Meelin on Sunday last.
Freemount got off to an ideal start with a goal in the fourth minute and two points in quick succession. Newmarket got off the mark in the tenth minute with a long range point from Barry O’Leary. Freemount took a decisive lead when they converted a fourteenth minute penalty to leave the score 2-2 to 0-1. Shane Anthony Murphy pointed a free but Freemont then added two further points. Newmarket were then awarded a penalty in the twenty fourth minute but struck it wide, they did however get right back into the game when Tony O’Keeffe set up Barry O’Leary and he finished expertly to the net for a fine goal a minute before the interval. This proved to be the final score of the half which left the score 2-4 to 1-2.
Newmarket were guilty of hitting a number of wides throughout the game but especially missed some guilt edged chances in the third quarter. Freemount edged into an eight point lead thanks to three points during this period. Kevin O’Sullivan eventually got a point from midfield and Tony O’Keeffe also found the target. This reignited Newmarkets challenge and eleven minutes from time a well placed ball into the square from Anthony Crowley was doubled to the net superbly by Tony O’Keeffe. Freemount pointed next but Newmarket maintained their momentum. Maurice Feehan pointed to reduce the deficit to three points and he then somehow managed to squeeze the ball to the net from a packed square for an equalizing score to tie the sides for the first time in the game, with just three minutes to play. Freemount regained the lead but a hugely spirited Newmarket side got a deserving equalizer when Kevin O’Sullivan pointed from long distance. This score ensured extra time as the game ended 3-6 to 2-9.
Once more Freemount edged in front but team captain Tony O’Keeffe again led from the front and found an equalizing score. As the first period of extra time drew to a conclusion both sides exchanged points with Maurice Feehan getting Newmarket back on level terms.
A tense second period followed with both sides giving every ounce of remaining energy to find a winner. Both backlines defended resolutely but Maurice Feehan pointed for Newmarket to give them the lead for the first time in the contest with little over two minutes to play. However, there was one final twist and from the final puck of the game Freemount converted a free to ensure another game after a pulsating eighty minutes.
Newmarket produced an excellent all round performance and their best championship result for a number of years. The backline were outstanding with Pa O’Brien superb throughout. He was ably assisted by the prominent displays of John McSweeney, Brian Daly, Niall O’Connor, Anthony Crowley while Kevin O’Sullivan and Barry O’Leary were excellent at midfield contributing a goal and three points between them. In attack Tony O’Keeffe was potent throughout while Maurice Feehan grew in stature throughout and finished with an impressive goal and three points from play.
The Newmarket team was…
|David Guiney||John McSweeney||Pa O’Brien|
|Niall O’Connor||Brian Daly||Anthony Crowley|
|Kevin O’Sullivan (0-2)||Barry O’Leary (1-1)|
|Shane Anthony Murphy (0-1)||Kieran Hayes||Maurice Feehan (1-3)|
|John Lane||Colin O’Sullivan||Tony O’Keeffe (1-2)|
|SUBS: Nicky Flanagan, Donnacha O’Dea|