Newmarket and Valley Rovers drew, 1-6 to 0-9 in the semi final of the intermediate football league, Division 3, played in horrendous conditions at the superb Cloughduv GAA complex on Friday evening.
Heavy rain in the hours that preceded the game made for extremely difficult underground conditions but the playing surface remained in remarkably good order. Newmarket, playing the recently crowned intermediate champions began brightly and made light of the elements when Bart Daly swept over an excellent point from distance in the second minute after some fine approach play. Valley Rovers gained parity two minutes later but yet again some intricate build up play from Newmarket saw team captain David O’Flynn register another memorable point.
As conditions deteriorated, Newmarket edged further in front when the lively John Lane slotted over a free in the eighth minute. Valley Rovers reduced the arrears within a minute and a further point in the seventeenth minute brought the sides level at 0-3 apiece. Valley Rovers enjoyed a fruitful spell of dominance aided by a strong breeze and increasingly heavy rainfall, they proceeded to add on three quickfire points. Newmarket withstood the uneasy spell and they were rewarded when John Lane pointed from a difficult angle. Valley Rovers ended the half with a point and they turned over in front by 0-7 to 0-4.
The second half and the end of the first half was played in incessant, heavy, driving rain making a complete lottery of the contest and at times visibility was very poor. Credit is due to both teams who still managed to conjure up a football game and indeed the handling and footing of both sides was excellent under the circumstances.
John Lane pointed a free for Newmarket when upended after four minutes but Valley Rovers responded when they got forward in their next attack. Newmarket were considerably boosted when they scored the games only goal, eighteen minutes into the half, in which the conditions played a significant part, as impressive substitute Shane Anthony Murphy kicked a speculative shot goal wards from distance, it somehow managed to squirm over the goalline. The sides were now level and buoyed on by this; Newmarket proceeded to dominate the remainder of the contest. It was Valley Rovers however, who edged in front again as the game entered the final ten minutes. Newmarket surged forward but ultimately scoring proved illusive until yet again John Lane was on hand to tie the sides for a fourth time. The game came to a conclusion and few would argue that a draw was a fair result given the torrential conditions.
The Newmarket team was…
|Brian O’Riordan||Barry O’Leary||Mark Reidy|
|Pa O’Brien||Denys O’Brien||Robert Stack|
|Gerard Casey||Bart Daly (0-1)|
|John Ryan||T.J. Bodie||David O’Flynn (0-1)|
|John Lane (0-4)||Timothy Murphy||Tony O’Keeffe|
|SUB: Shane Anthony Murphy (1-0)|