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Newmarket hurlers knock out defending champions

Newmarket’s junior hurlers recorded a really notable victory when they disposed of defending champions Kilbrin in the EPS Bison Duhallow hurling championship by 0-17 to 0-16 after a very entertaining contest at Tullylease on Friday evening, with the sides level on no less than nine occasions during the hour.

Newmarket began brightly and took an early lead through the prolific Kevin O’Sullivan and a super effort by the excellent Denys O’Brien. Kilbrin pointed in the sixth minute but Newmarket maintained their good start thanks to further points from Kevin O’Sullivan to take a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after the first quarter. Kilbrin responded briskly and quickly attained level terms for the first time after three successive points. John Lane edged Newmarket in front but Kilbrin tied the game again at 0-5 apiece. An even contest developed with the sides exchanging four further points, Kevin O’Sullivan and Denys O’Brien edging Newmarket ahead on both occasions. A confident Newmarket side turned over in front thanks to another point from the influential Denys O’Brien and a fine team effort yielded a 0-8 to 0-7 advantage at this stage.

Newmarket resumed in similarly impressive fashion with Kevin O’Sullivan converting a free and the ever industrious Robert Stack rounding off one of Newmarket’s fine flowing movements with another point. Kilbrin pointed next but Newmarket responded instantly when the impressive Tony O’Keeffe restored a three point lead. Kilbrin, however came back in brisk fashion and three points in as many minutes had the sides level for the fifth time at 0-11 apiece after forty one minutes. A resilient Newmarket came back again and Tony O’Keeffe finished a free flowing move by pointing but Kilbrin hit two points as the lead changed hands. In keeping with the nature of the game Newmarket replied in similar fashion thanks to two more Kevin O’Sullivan frees to lead by 0-14 to 0-13 with thirteen minutes remaining. Kilbrin hit back yet again and three points gave them their biggest advantage of the hour as they led by two points, seven minutes from time.

Newmarket dug deep for the remainder of the contest, Kevin O’Sullivan halving the deficit three minutes from time before regaining parity in the closing minute. Newmarket to their credit maintained their hunger to finish even stronger and were rewarded when Maurice Feehan landed a memorable point from distance. They were awarded a seventy deep into injury time and this resulted in the final piece of action and Newmarket heralded a super result.

It was a huge result for the team, eventually making a championship breakthrough having come so close in recent years, especially last year having drawn with Freemount and Banteer. A terrific effort saw a number of notable excellent individual performances. Team captain Pa O’Brien led by example at corner back as the six backs all gave memorable displays, Kevin O’Sullivan’s scoring and general play was immense while Denys O’Brien and Tony O’Keeffe threatened throughout in attack.

The Newmarket team was …

John Ryan
Pa O’Brien Brian Daly Nicky Flanagan
Niall O’Connor John McSweeney Anthony Crowley
Kevin O’Sullivan (0-9) Barry O’Leary
Tony O’Keeffe (0-2) Denys O’Brien (0-3) Colin O’Sullivan
John Lane (0-1) Robert Stack (0-1) Seanie Francis O’Connor
SUBS: Maurice Feehan (0-1), Shane Anthony Murphy

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