Defending champions Newmarket began the defence of their Duhallow under 21 football championship with a fine victory away to Knocknagree on Sunday, a game in which they finished victorious by 1-11 to 0-6, on a fine afternoon for football.
Newmarket got off to a flying start when the upended John Lane stepped up and converted an early free. Early exchanges were tight and the home side levelled the contest on scoring a tenth minute free. Newmarket edged in front when John Ryan kicked a fine effort between the posts but a determined Knocknagree regained parity by the thirteenth minute. Once more Newmarket took the lead, this time the impressive Jerry McCarthy was on hand to clip the ball over the bar. Newmarket gained the initiative at this stage and a brace of points from John Lane and another from John Ryan confirmed their productive spell as they gained a 0-6 to 0-2 advantage by the twentieth minute. Knocknagree pointed next but Kevin O’Sullivan powered forward to kick his sides seventh point. Newmarket ended the half with a five point advantage, 0-8 to 0-3, as John Ryan kicked another good score in the dying moments of the half.
Newmarket increased their lead with Kevin O’Sullivan striding forward to kick a fine point from play in the third minute. Knocknagree added their first point of the half but this was answered by Newmarket when once more, Kevin O’Sullivan was on hand to kick another excellent point. As the game entered the final twelve minutes John Lane gave Newmarket a seven point cushion before the decisive score of the game came with nine minutes to play. A probing ball kicked into the edge of the square by Nicky Flanagan once again found Kevin O’Sullivan in the right position and he was on hand to aid the ball to the back of the Knocknagree net. The home side finished with the final two points of the hour but Newmarket ran out deserving winners.
Newmarket will look back on a number of fine individual performances. Michael O’Leary was outstanding in defence, with Brendan Stack an excellent sweeper while Conor Cronin and team captain Brian O’Riordan were also prominent. Kevin O’Sullivan had a huge role to play at midfield ably assisted by Bart Daly while in attack; John Ryan, Jerry McCarthy and John Lane were very effective.
Congratulations to Bart Daly who lined out at wing back on the Cork under 21 football team that defeated Kerry by 1-17 to 0-9 in the Munster championship at Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday.
The Newmarket team was…
|Brendan Stack||Brian O’Riordan||Michael O’Leary|
|Conor Cronin||Paul Cashman||Robert Stack|
|Kevin O’Sullivan (1-3)||Bart Daly|
|Anthony Lynch||John Ryan (0-3)||Ian Flanagan|
|Jerry McCarthy (0-1)||John Lane (0-3)||Nicky Flanagan|
|SUBS: John Scanlon, Bryan O’Connell, David Guiney, Kieran Lehane|