Newmarket had to endure defeat for a second successive year in the Duhallow Junior B Hurling League Final to Freemount by three points, 2-11 to 2-8 in an entertaining game played in ideal conditions at Meelin on Sunday morning.
Newmarket were quick off the mark when Ian Flanagan pointed in the second minute having being upended in the build up play. In the fifth minute, Newmarket stretched their advantage when another Ian Flanagan free dropped dangerously in the Freemount goalmouth and Donnacha O’Dea was on hand to apply the finishing touch to the back of the net. Freemount opened their account with a point in the eleventh minute.
Both defences soaked up periods of pressure as scores were scarce for a period of the half before the sides exchanged points within a minute with an Ian Flanagan free, keeping Newmarket a goal in front. Another brace of points were shared with Ian Flanagan pointing from play as the half entered the closing five minutes. An amazing sequence of play in the concluding minutes changed the shape of the contest. Newmarket went into a clear two goal lead in the thirtieth minute when the impressive Timothy Murphy picked out Michael Kenneally and he set off on a blistering solo run goalwards before off loading to John Scanlon who crashed home a second goal. From the resultant puck out Freemount attacked the Newmarket rearguard and replied with a quickfire goal. A point followed immediately and remarkably Freemount struck for a second goal in as many minutes to incredibly go into the half time break with a single point advantage, 2-4 to 2-3, having only moments earlier trailed by six points.
The second half resumed with Ian Flanagan converting a free to tie the sides for the only time in the contest. Freemount responded with two points as the tempo of the game increased significantly. The next four points were shared as Ian Flanagan twice converted from placed balls, with Newmarket trailing 2-8 to 2-6 at the end of a tight and even third quarter. Freemount increased their advantage as the game entered the final ten minutes but Newmarket replied with points from the inspiring Timothy Murphy and Denis McCarthy to cut the deficit to a solitary point. Freemount withstood whatever Newmarket could offer in attack and concluded strongly. The victors regained the title on adding two late insurance points to leave Newmarket disappointed for a second successive year.
The Newmarket team was…
|Michael O’Leary||Brendan Stack||Donnacha Fitzpatrick|
|David Enright||Brian Daly||Robert Stack|
|Timothy Murphy (0-1)||Niall O’Connor|
|Bryan O’Connell||John Scanlon (1-0)||Nicky Barrett|
|Ian Flanagan (0-6)||Michael Kenneally||Donnacha O’Dea (1-0)|
|SUBS: Denis McCarthy (0-1), Jack Birtley|