Newmarket advanced to the final of the Duhallow Junior B Hurling league when they travelled to Meelin on Sunday morning and defeated the hosts in a close contest by 2-8 to 0-11.
Newmarket took the lead on a greasy day for hurling, when Shane Murphy pointed sublimely from the sideline in the second minute. Meelin tied matters within a minute and quickly went into a two point lead as they posed a major threat to the Newmarket rearguard. Shane Murphy converted a free for Newmarket before the superb Robert Stack hit a fine effort to tie the scores for a second time, 0-3 apiece after twelve minutes. Meelin gained the ascendancy again on gaining two points before Shane Murphy cut the deficit for Newmarket. Another brace of points increased Meelin’s advantage to three points but Newmarket finished the half well with two well worked scores from Robert Stack and Conor Cronin. Meelin went into the break by adding a further point and led at the halfway mark by 0-8 to 0-6.
A few switches to the Newmarket team worked in their favour six minutes into the second half, when Michael Kenneally was on hand to pounce on a loose ball from a dropping sixty five to rattle the net and gain Newmarket the lead. Meelin were on terms again within a minute as a very even second half developed. Billy Daly was rewarded for some great industry throughout, when he clipped over a fine point to edge Newmarket in front but by the end of the third quarter a Meelin point had the sides’ level for fourth time, 1-7 to 0-10. Both sides tried valiantly to gain the upper hand as a neat finish from Paul Verling gave Newmarket a slender advantage once more. There followed a ten minute scoreless period, with some great endeavour throughout the pitch with Brendan Stack and Pa O’Brien prominent in defence while Conor Cronin came to the fore at midfield. Fittingly, for Newmarket it was Robert Stack who delivered the crucial score of the game, three minutes from time when he was alert to a Michael Kenneally effort that rebounded off the Meelin upright and crashed the ball home for a second goal, a very worthy goalscorer given his immense contribution. Meelin pointed to ensure a tense climax but Newmarket held firm and came through to claim victory.
The Newmarket team was…
|William O’Flynn||John McSweeney||Donnacha Fitzpatrick|
|Michael Kenneally (1-0)||Pa O’Brien||Brendan Stack|
|Colin O’Sullivan||Conor Cronin (0-1)|
|Billy Daly (0-1)||Timothy Murphy||Robert Stack (1-2)|
|Paul Verling (0-1)||Shane Murphy (0-3)||Sean Irwin|
|SUB: Denis McCarthy|