Defending Duhallow under 21 football champions Newmarket had to dig deep when two late points from John Lane and John Ryan helped them edge past Kanturk by 1-12 to 0-13 at the end of a gripping semi final played at Boherbue on Saturday evening to duly qualify for a fourth successive Duhallow final in the grade.
Newmarket playing into the breeze, took the lead thanks to the accurate freetaking of John Ryan, who proved unerring during the hour. Kanturk levelled in the fifth minute before they added two more scores. John Ryan found the target in the thirteenth minute but Kanturk enjoyed the better of the possession and two points gave them a three point advantage by the eighteenth minute.
Newmarket had to up their performance and this was typified by the industrious Nicky Flanagan and an improved effort saw Kevin O’Sullivan crash a bullet of a shot off the Kanturk crossbar after some fine approach play. Bart Daly scored a much needed point with a classy individual score but Kanturk soon restored their three point lead. As the half finished Newmarket crucially surged forward for a few precious points. Bart Daly once more, scored a memorable effort from distance with John Ryan chipping in with his third point of the half. This left Newmarket trailing by just a solitary point 0-6 to 0-5 having endured a difficult first half.
Kanturk were boosted when they resumed with two early points in six minutes but Newmarket settled with John Ryan once more on target from a placed ball. In the eighth minute of the half the game took a significant twist. Ian Flanagan did extremely well to gain possession at midfield and a probing pass set Nicky Flanagan in motion and when John Lane set John Ryan through on goal his delicate chip rattled off the crossbar but Newmarket were alert to the situation and John Lane laid the ball off to John Scanlon who kicked the ball low to the back of the Kanturk net.
Kanturk answered with a point, as the tempo of the game went up a couple of gears. John Scanlon edged Newmarket in front again but a Kanturk point ensured parity for a third time at the end of the third quarter. Newmarket hit the front again through John Ryan and John Lane did well to increase the lead when punching a point after carving out a chance from a difficult angle. Kanturk halved the arrears but once more Bart Daly popped up with a crucial contribution in scoring his third point of the evening.
As the game entered the final moments Kanturk pointed to leave just a solitary point between the sides and they duly followed up with a fine equalizer as the game came to an epic conclusion, similar to last years drawn final between the two sides. However, a resolute Newmarket side found enough in reserve to surge forward in the next phase of play and at the end of a defence splitting move, John Lane did extremely well to keep his nerve to punch over his second point from a difficult angle. A buoyed Newmarket again gained possession from the kickout and John Ryan added another crucial point. This proved to be the final score and Newmarket emerged from a titanic struggle with a two point victory, 1-12 to0-13.
The Newmarket team was…
|David Guiney||Brian O’Riordan||Michael O’Leary|
|Conor Cronin||Paul Cashman||Robert Stack|
|Bart Daly (0-3)||Kevin O’Sullivan|
|Anthony Lynch||John Ryan (0-6)||Jerry McCarthy|
|John Lane (0-2)||John Scanlon (1-1)||Nicky Flanagan|
|SUB: Ian Flanagan|