An exciting climax ensured Newmarket and Banteer drew 1-13 to 2-10 in the second round of the EPS Bison Duhallow hurling championship, played in splendid sunshine at Millstreet on Tuesday evening last.
After a tense tight opening, Banteer took the lead with a seventh minute point and doubled their advantage three minutes later. Newmarket got off the mark thanks to John Lane while Kevin O’Sullivan tied the sides at the end of the first quarter. Banteer regained the lead after landing two points in succession. Barry O’Leary scored a fine point for Newmarket but Banteer responded with a brace of points. As the half concluded both sides exchanged four points as both attacks enjoyed more success against tight defensive units, who proved difficut to breach, throughout the half. Kevin O’Sullivan and Tony O’Keeffe were on target for Newmarket but the reigning Duhallow champions finished the half with a brace of points to turnover in front by 0-8 to 0-5.
Newmarket resumed in some style. Banteer missed a number of opportunities in the opening exchanges but eventually Newmarket found their feet and the unerring Kevin O’Sullivan converted frees in the sixth and eleventh minute of the half.
From the resulting puck out, he made a spectacular catch in his own half back line and found Barry O’Leary, who in turn landed a sensational long range point that lifted the crowd and tied the sides for a second time at 0-8 apiece.
Team captain Tony O’Keeffe then added a fine individual score to give Newmarket the lead for the first time in the game. It got better for Newmarket, a move involving Kieran Hayes, the ever industrious Michael Kenneally and Maurice Feehan ended with the latter tucking the ball home from close range.
With Kevin O’Sullivan landing another free, it left Newmarket in front by 1-10 to 0-8 after forty seven minutes, having scored a goal and five points in succession after a memorable spell of fine hurling.
The champions responded in true fashion and had a goal within two minutes. Newmarket refused to be deterred and Kevin O’Sullivan was again on target before John Lane finished neatly to restore a four point advantage with little over five minutes to play. With a thrilling conclusion unfolding, the drama took another twist with Banteer firing in a second goal and an equalizing point to wipe out Newmarket’s lead in the closing stages. As the game entered injury time, Newmarket were awarded a free and yet again Kevin O’Sullivan stepped forward to find the target, but there still remained time for Banteer to surge forward and get another levelling score and they nearly clinched the contest, before the final whistle was blown and the lucky patrons present were left to reflect on an entertaining contest and a replay fixed for Saturday, August 18th at 6:45pm.
Newmarket will again reflect on another excellent team effort. Nicky Flanagan was in fine form ably assisted by John McSweeney, Pa O’Brien and Anthony Crowley. The midfield duo of Kevin O’Sullivan and Barry O’Leary contributed nine points while in attack Tony O’Keeffe and Michael Kenneally worked tirelessly throughout.
The Newmarket team was…
|Pa O’Brien||John McSweeney||Nicky Flanagan|
|Niall O’Connor||Brian Daly||Anthony Crowley|
|Kevin O’Sullivan (0-7)||Barry O’Leary (0-2)|
|Maurice Feehan (1-0)||Kieran Hayes||Colin O’Sullivan|
|John Lane (0-2)||Tony O’Keeffe (0-2)||Michael Kenneally|
|SUB: Shane Anthony Murphy|