Newmarket’s hurlers were defeated by Meelin in an excellent Singleton Cup final played in perfect conditions at Newmarket on Sunday evening by 3-13 to 2-14.
John Lane set the tone on pointing a second minute free but Meelin replied within a minute. Brian Daly restored Newmarket’s lead before Shane Murphy found the target with a fine effort. Meelin had three points in succession to claim the lead for the first time on fourteen minutes. An even contest ebbed and flowed with Newmarket pointing through Barry O’Leary and a John Lane free. Meelin responded in turn and the sides went on to exchange another brace of points, John Lane on target for a third time before the sides were deadlocked for the fifth time in the half. A crucial turning point developed in the closing moments of the half as firstly Meelin edged ahead before they scored the first goal of the contest to suddenly enjoy a four point lead, 1-7 to 0-6 at the turnover.
Newmarket turned over in highly impressive fashion that produced their best period of the game. Shane Murphy landed his second superb point in the fourth minute before John Lane was once more on target from a placed ball two minutes later. Barry O’Leary pointed from distance before once more John Lane pointed to gain parity ten minutes into the half.
Newmarket maintained the momentum when some terrific play in defence resulted in a quick flowing move and the ever industrious Tony O’Keeffe pointed from distance to give Newmarket the lead again, 0-11 to 1-7. Crucially, Meelin responded in the best possible fashion and when a goalbound shot rattled the crossbar they reacted fastest to the rebound to plunder a second goal. This was followed by two quickfire points and suddenly Meelin enjoyed a four point lead again.
Kevin O’Sullivan reduced the arrears but Meelin hit back with two further scores. Once more Shane Murphy hit a fine point from play for Newmarket but a free flowing Meelin put daylight between the sides with five minutes remaining with their third goal. Newmarket’s endeavour was rewarded within a minute when Donnacha O’Dea struck for a goal and the issue was right back in the balance when an overhead pull from Robert Stack ended in the back of the Meelin net to leave just two points the margin in the closing minutes. When John Lane pointed in injury time the game was on a knife edge but Meelin sealed a thrilling contest in their next attack with the final score of an excellent tie.
The Newmarket team was…
|Michael Kenneally||John Scanlon||Donnacha Fitzpatrick|
|Kevin O’Sullivan (0-1)||Pa O’Brien||Anthony Crowley|
|Tony O’Keeffe (0-1)||John Lane (0-6)|
|Colin O’Sullivan||Brian Daly (0-1)||Robert Stack (1-0)|
|Donnacha O’Dea (1-0)||Shane Murphy (0-3)||Barry O’Leary (0-2)|
|SUBS: Conor Cronin, Ian Flanagan|