Newmarket’s intermediate football team preserved their Premier Intermediate status when a late flurry of scores including a match winning goal from team captain Tony O’Keeffe, enabled them to defeat a shell shocked Mayfield side by 1-9 to 0-9 in a poor relegation play off semi final played in perfect conditions at Ballyclough on Saturday evening.
The city side opened the scoring with a free in the fifth minute before Newmarket replied when Tony O’Keeffe cut through the Mayfield rearguard to kick a point. Mayfield restored their advantage in the eighth minute but Newmarket tilted the scales in their own favour thanks to two well finished scores from John Ryan and Bart Daly. Some fine individual approach play from John Lane enabled him to punch a point from a narrow angle to give Newmarket a two point lead. Mayfield responded with a point but T.J. Bodie pointed from distance for Newmarket. Both sides were guilty of basic errors and squandering excellent scoring opportunities throughout as a nervy encounter developed. It was Mayfield who finished the half the better and they scored three points in succession to turn over in front with a slender advantage, 0-6 to 0-5.
A scrappy second half followed where only three points were scored in the first twenty two minutes. John Ryan converted a free in the eighth minute and Maurice Feehan regained Newmarket the lead with a neatly taken point. At the end of the third quarter Mayfield scored their first point of the half and the sides were level for the fifth time during the hour at 0-7 each. With the game firmly in the balance and so much at stake both sides pressed to gain the upper hand.
Seven minutes from time Mayfield gained the upper hand with a pointed free and appeared to have gained a winning position when they doubled this lead with three minutes of normal time remaining. To their great credit, Newmarket dug really deep and showed exceptional character to completely turn the tables in unlikely circumstances. Bart Daly was central to this turnaround and he kicked a superb point to leave just a point between the sides. With the game well into injury time a long delivery into the edge of the square from Conor Cronin was well fielded by Kevin O’Sullivan and he laid the ball off to the on rushing Tony O’Keeffe who showed great composure and character to crash the ball to the back of the Mayfield net. Newmarket were buoyant and were very close to scoring a second goal before T.J. Bodie kicked an insurance point and Newmarket were relieved to hear the final whistle as their opponents had no time to respond to the late drama.
The Newmarket team was…
|Pa O’Brien||Brian O’Riordan||Barry O’Leary|
|Mark Reidy||Timothy Murphy||Bart Daly (0-2)|
|Kevin O’Sullivan||Denys O’Brien|
|David O’Flynn||T.J. Bodie (0-2)||Tony O’Keeffe (1-1)|
|John Ryan (0-2)||John Lane (0-1)||Maurice Feehan (0-1)|
|SUB: Conor Cronin|