Newmarket qualified for the final of the Singleton Cup when they defeated Freemount in a semi final contest played in difficult, wet conditions at Newmarket on Saturday evening by 2-11 to 3-6.
Newmarket opened the scoring when Kevin O’Sullivan surged forward and popped the ball over the bar in the third minute. Freemount responded immediately as they struck for a fine goal. Newmarket recovered and the lively John Lane converted a couple of frees to tie the sides for the first time in the ninth minute. Freemount regained the lead when they pointed a free from well within their own half. Kevin O’Sullivan restored parity and Newmarket hit the front again with John Lane pointing after an excellent team move that spanned the full length of the field. Newmarket hurled well against the elements during the half with John Scanlon and Pa O’Brien commanding in defence but they suffered a setback when Freemount scored a second goal within a minute of the interval and they turned over in front by 2-1 to 0-5.
Newmarket resumed aided by an advantageous breeze and into the driving rain, Anthony Crowley hit a super long range point in the second minute on receiving a short taken sideline puck. A turning point for Newmarket arrived in the next minute. John Ryan hit a huge free from deep within the Newmarket square with Donnacha O’Dea reading the delivery perfectly, he set off and struck a superb goal to the roof of the Freemount net. John Lane added a point and suddenly Newmarket enjoyed a three point lead.
Freemount then scored their first point of the half but Brian Daly replied with a fine long range effort. Newmarket further strengthened their advantage at the end of the quarter when the ball broke in the Freemount goalmouth and Shane Murphy struck from the edge of the square for a second goal. Freemount replied with a point but Donnacha O’Dea restored Newmarket’s six point lead, 2-9 to 2-3. Freemount hit back with a third goal and another point ensured an exciting finish to a contest that was keenly competitive throughout. Brian Daly converted a wonderful free from distance by the sideline as the sides exchanged points. Another brace of points followed with Shane Murphy sending a memorable effort sailing high between the posts. As the game entered the dying moments, Newmarket’s rearguard withstood the Freemount attack and they held on for a two point winning margin.
The final will represent Newmarket’s first hurling final at junior level in the division since 1985.
The Newmarket team was…
|Michael Kenneally||John Scanlon||Donnacha Fitzpatrick|
|Kevin O’Sullivan (0-2)||Pa O’Brien||Anthony Crowley (0-1)|
|Barry O’Leary||Colin O’Sullivan|
|John Lane (0-4)||Brian Daly (0-2)||Tony O’Keeffe|
|Robert Stack||Shane Murphy (1-1)||Donnacha O’Dea (1-1)|
|SUB: Conor Cronin|