Newmarket fell agonisingly short when narrowly defeated by St. Vincent’s in the Evening Echo Premier Intermediate Football Championship semi final game played on a splendid surface at Mallow on Sunday evening by 1-9 to 1-8.
St. Vincent’s, champions in the grade two years ago, started in whirlwind fashion and had built up a three point lead in impressive fashion within the first four minutes. Newmarket eventually settled and got off the mark thanks to a fine point from the superb T.J. Bodie who was immense during the first half. A fine contest developed and flowed but it was St. Vincent’s who proved more economical in front of goal and two points within a minute gave them a four point advantage after nineteen minutes.
Newmarket, enjoyed considerable possession and split open their opponents defence on a few occasions but to their cost, failed to convert a number of fine scoring opportunities. However, Newmarket were grateful to centre half forward T.J. Bodie who was in prolific form and he kicked two excellent points within a minute, to bridge the gap to two points, 0-5 to 0-3 after twenty three minutes. The city side were next to point but as half time approached Newmarket produced a wonderful free flowing move which ended with T.J. Bodie setting up corner forward John Lane, who burst through the rearguard and when he found himself one on one with the goalkeeper, he kept his composure and drilled a sublime shot to the corner of the net for a memorable equalizing goal. As the half entered injury time, Newmarket were hit by a sucker punch when St. Vincent’s struck with another goal thanks to another fine finish. An amazing conclusion to the half left St. Vincent’s in front by 1-6 to 1-3.
Newmarket reduced the deficit within two minutes of the restart when full forward Tony O’Keeffe raced in on goal and punched a fine point. St. Vincent’s restored their three point advantage on converting a free two minutes later. Newmarket grew in confidence and played some excellent football in their approach play. John Ryan kicked a superb point from a difficult angle in the sixth minute. Newmarket had to wait seven minutes for their next score when John Ryan was on target from a free. When Bart Daly stepped forward to convert a long range free at the end of the third quarter, the sides were level for a second time at 1-7 apiece. When John Lane was upended two minutes later, he duly stepped up and kicked an excellent point from a narrow angle and a rampant Newmarket took the lead for the first time in the contest.
Amazingly in the context of what followed, this proved to be Newmarket’s final score of the game. St. Vincent’s responded and two quickfire points regained them the lead with ten minutes left to play. Newmarket piled on the pressure in the final ten minutes but despite their best efforts and great disciplined defending from St. Vincent’s, they fell short as efforts either fell short or on the wrong side of the uprights. The game eventually concluded and Newmarket were left to reflect on what might have been despite a terrific team effort.
The Newmarket team was..
|Pa O’Brien||Mark Reidy||Mark Murphy|
|Conor Cronin||Barry O’Leary||Kevin O’Sullivan|
|Denys O’Brien||Bart Daly (0-1)|
|David O’Flynn||T.J. Bodie (0-3)||Maurice Feehan|
|John Ryan (0-2)||Tony O’Keeffe (0-1)||John Lane (1-1)|
|SUBS: Timothy Murphy, Seanie Francis O’Connor|