Newmarket’s minor hurling team qualified for the County Minor C Hurling Championship Final for the second time in the clubs history and for the second time in six years after a fine semi final victory away to Clondrohid on Saturday afternoon.
Newmarket began brightly but nervously hit four early wides in succession. They eventually got off the mark thanks to a fine effort from ultimate match winner, Donal Hannon in the sixth minute. In their first significant attack, Clondrohid quickly gained parity a minute later before edging in front courtesy of a second point. Newmarket were back on terms after a well taken score from the impressive Gavin Forde and Alan Ryan regained a slender lead for Newmarket on landing a fine point from long distance.
Once again the sides were level for a third time within twelve minutes on the home side pointing. As the entertaining contest developed, Newmarket playing with the aid of a favourable breeze, ended the opening quarter with a two point advantage, 0-5 to 0-3 thanks to the scoring exploits of Nicky Barrett and Donal Hannon. Newmarket’s ace marksman, Donal Hannon doubled the lead on converting two frees before Clondrohid responded with a point. Gavin Forde restored Newmarket’s four point advantage before the most significant score of the half arrived in the closing minutes. The opening goal of the game owed much to the industry of Vinny Molloy, who sent a probing ball dangerously towards the Clondrohid goalmouth and from the resulting breaking ball, Donal Hannon gathered and finished smartly to the corner of the net. Newmarket finished the half with a pointed free from Gavin Forde and at the turnover enjoyed an eight point advantage, 1-9 to 0-4.
The contest took a significant twist, immediately upon the resumption. Clondrohid struck for a goal within seconds of the restart and buoyed on from this tonic score, three further points followed within five minutes to suddenly reduce the deficit to just two points, 1-9 to 1-7. Newmarket were on the back foot at this stage, but playing against the significant breeze, Newmarket’s defence settled and withstood their opponents onslaught.
Newmarket needed a score at this stage and nine minutes into the half it arrived in the best possible manner. Gavin Forde worked tirelessly to dispossess an opponent by the sideline on the halfway line and delivered the ball into the corner towards Donal Hannon. On gathering possession, the corner forward somehow engineered a goal scoring opportunity after a superb solo run and he finished clinically to the net for his second goal.
As the third quarter of the game came to a conclusion, Gavin Forde scored his fourth point of the afternoon as Newmarket established a six point lead, 2-10 to 1-7. Newmarket took a further stranglehold on proceedings with twelve minutes to play. An excellent team goal was the result of some fine build up play involving Ivan King, Vinny Molloy and Nicky Barrett who placed Donal Hannon in on goal and he duly completed a memorable hat trick. To their credit, Clondrohid refused to relent and despite Donal Hannon answering a point from the home side with a converted free, they went on to dominate the final ten minutes of the game. Newmarket again soaked up a lot of the pressure but were struggling without the injured Gavin Forde at this stage. A second goal for Clondrohid ensured a close finish and a further point brought the deficit to five points. In the end the clock ran down to a conclusion and Newmarket were rewarded for their endeavours with an appearance in a county final.
The Newmarket team was…
|Michael O’Leary||Paudie Allen|
|Alan Ryan (0-1)||Jack Birtley||David Enright|
|Ivan King||Gavin Forde (0-4)||Nicky Barrett (0-1)|
|David Quinlan||Donal Hannon (3-5)|
|SUBS: Jacko Flaherty, Patrick Kelly, Billy Lane, Luke McCarthy|