A sensationally converted Kanturk sideline kick, which was the final piece of action in an enthralling contest, ensured Newmarket and Kanturk must meet again in the Duhallow under 21 football final. A memorable final ended 1-13 to 2-10 under the floodlit Knocknagree venue on Friday evening.
Kanturk were much the hungrier side in the first half and this was evident from the very start when they scored three points in rapid time. Newmarket got off the mark when John Lane converted a fifth minute free with John Ryan reducing the deficit by similar means in the tenth minute. A determined Kanturk were next to score before a John Lane point left Newmarket trailing by 0-4 to 0-3 at the end of the first quarter. Kanturk maintained their superiority with two more points in quick succession before Newmarket eventually got to grips with their opponents and gradually forced themselves into the contest. Kanturk, however were resolute in defence and Newmarket’s only reward was when Ian Flanagan did extremely well before slotting over a point. This proved to be the final score of the half and Kanturk went in at half time in front by 0-6 to 0-4.
A converted free within two minutes of a terrific second half increased Kanturk’s advantage before a different Newmarket side emerged. John Lane pointed for the defending champions and Nicky Flanagan also found the target. Ten minutes into the half a long delivery from Kevin O’Sullivan was fielded superbly by Nicky Flanagan twenty yards from goal and he raced towards the Kanturk goal before unleashing a wonderful shot to the corner of the net. This inspiring goal gave Newmarket the lead for the first time in the contest and they went on to produce some magnificent football in the next ten minutes. Brian O’Riordan surged forward and dissected the posts from long range with Kevin O’Sullivan landing a similarly fine effort from range. John Lane then added a free as Newmarket excelled all over the field. Kevin O’Sullivan again produced another massive point before Kanturk added their first score for eighteen minutes.
With little over ten minutes remaining, Robert Stack struck yet another glorious long range point and Newmarket had a substantial lead of 1-11 to 0-8. However, a resolute Kanturk side turned the game completely on its head when they struck for two quickfire goals in as many minutes to regain the initiative. A thrilling contest ebbed and flowed in the remaining minutes as both sides gave everything they had to clinch the title. John Lane edged Newmarket in front again but within a minute Kanturk wiped out the lead in their next attack. The game entered injury time and a draw seemed likely, however Nicky Flanagan somehow found the target with a sublime kick from the narrowest of angles, practically on the Kanturk endline and Newmarket took the lead again. The final piece of drama ensued and fittingly another outstanding score under intense pressure from a Kanturk sideline kick brought an end to a dramatic contest.
The Newmarket team was…
|John Scanlon||Brian O’Riordan (0-1)||David Guiney|
|Conor Cronin||Bart Daly||Robert Stack (0-1)|
|Kevin O’Sullivan (0-2)||Timothy Murphy|
|T.J. Bodie||John Ryan (0-1)||Michael Kenneally|
|Ian Flanagan (0-1)||John Lane (0-5)||Nicky Flanagan (1-2)|
|SUBS: Jerry McCarthy|