For the second successive year, Newmarket suffered a heavy defeat to near neighbours and defending Duhallow champions, Meelin in the opening round of the EPS Bison championship by 3-15 to 1-4 in a contest played in an incessant downpour of rain in Newmarket on Thursday evening last.
The opening exchanges were tight and even but Meelin eventually took the lead in the fourth minute. Two further points followed before John Lane slotted over a free for Newmarket after ten minutes and he cut the arrears to a point in similar fashion from distance minutes later. Meelin regained the initiative on scoring the next two points but Barry O’Leary kept Newmarket in contention with a point from play after twenty two minutes. Newmarket were well served by their defensive rearguard with Robert Stack and Ian Flanagan prominent and full back John McSweeney also performing well. Newmarket missed a couple of scorable opportunities as the half concluded while a brace of Meelin points gave them an advantage of 0-7 to 0-3 at the turnover.
Within two minutes of the restart, the game swung clearly in Meelin’s favour. They were awarded a penalty which was duly converted to the net and the game ended as a contest when in the fourth minute a long deliver was brilliantly doubled to the net for a second goal. This double blow clearly shattered Newmarket and they struggled badly for the remainder of the game. Meelin added four points in succession by the end of the quarter before Kevin O’Sullivan raised a white flag for Newmarket on converting a free. The terrible conditions failed to deter Meelin’s hurling ability and a further three points followed. Newmarket gained some consolation when Kevin O’Sullivan goaled from a penalty but for good measure Meelin also goaled with their next score before rounding off a comprehensive win with a final point. Newmarket will now face Tullylease in a bid to remain in the championship.
The Newmarket team was…
|Ian Flanagan||John McSweeney||John Ryan|
|Shane Murphy||Pa O’Brien||Robert Stack|
|Niall O’Connor||Barry O’Leary (0-1)|
|Tony O’Keeffe||John Scanlon||Anthony Crowley|
|John Lane (0-2)||Colin O’Sullivan||Kevin O’Sullivan (1-1)|
|SUBS: Conor Cronin, Nicky Flanagan, Michael Kenneally, William O’Flynn.|