Newmarket’s under 21 hurlers progressed to the quarter final of the championship when they defeated Meelin by 3-14 to 4-9 in a thrilling contest at Meelin on Sunday.
Newmarket began brightly when Ian Flanagan clipped over a neat point in the second minute. Despite an encouraging start Newmarket were rattled in the fourth minute when a speculative Meelin effort ended in the back of the net and this was followed by a seventh minute point. Newmarket regained their composure and two John Ryan frees reduced the deficit but Meelin had the next two points to establish a 1-3 to 0-3 lead by the seventeenth minute. Newmarket hurled well throughout the field and were rewarded with a string of scores. John Lane pointed a free before Ian Flanagan added his second point. John Lane tied the sides for the only time with a fine point from play following some neat teamwork, at 0-6 to 1-3 by the twenty second minute. John Ryan gave Newmarket the lead and a minute later and their endeavour was further rewarded when Kieran Lehane finished to the net from the edge of the square. Meelin replied with a point but the excellent Robert Stack added a fine point for Newmarket. The sides exchanged points before the break with a John Lane point leaving Newmarket in front by 1-9 to 1-5 following an entertaining half of hurling.
Robert Stack finished well for the first point of the second half before Meelin got the next two points. Conor Cronin converted a long range free to re-establish a four point advantage. A turning point came twelve minutes into the half when John Lane on taking a close in free, elected to shoot for goal and he found the net for a crucial second Newmarket goal which he followed up with two more points. Meelin responded to this nine point deficit by gaining a second goal which was supplemented with a point. Newmarket were further boosted when some clever play from the inside forward line left Ian Flanagan bearing in on goal and he finished neatly for a third goal. A brace of points were exchanged as once more John Lane was on target. However, Meelin as expected came with a storming finish and two quickfire goals added to a climactic finish but Newmarket just held out and an excellent all round performance was rewarded with victory.
The Newmarket team was…
|William O’Flynn||John Scanlon||Timmy O’Keeffe|
|Brendan Stack||Kevin O’Sullivan||Nicky Flanagan|
|Conor Cronin (0-1)||John Lane (1-6)|
|Billy Daly||Robert Stack (0-2)||John Ryan (0-3)|
|Kieran Lehane (1-0)||Denis McCarthy||Ian Flanagan (1-2)|