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Newmarket and St. Colums must meet again

Newmarket and St. Colums must meet again after serving up a gripping draw in the County Minor C Hurling Championship Final played in arctic conditions despite splendid sunshine at a well turned out Macroom venue on Sunday, the sides ending deadlocked at 3-3 to 2-6.

Newmarket withstood an early flurry by St. Colums and in the third minute scored in their first attack of the game, when the outstanding David Enright sent a long delivery towards David Quinlan and he duly gained possession and pointed for the games opening score. Three minutes later the prominent Vinny Molloy was very alert in picking out Gavin Forde in space and he split the posts from distance for a second Newmarket point. St. Colum’s registered their first point of the game in the eighth minute, but Donal Hannon responded with a pointed free for Newmarket a minute later. The first goal of the game arrived in the tenth minute to the Muskerry side courtesy of a fine individual goal. They strengthened their position on adding a further two points to take a three point lead by the twenty first minute.

Both goalkeepers were in sparkling form with Shane McAuliffe producing a series of excellent saves while his opposite number made a wonder save from Timmy O’Keeffe in the twenty third minute from close range. Newmarket stepped up the pressure and they eventually found a breakthrough four minutes from half time when once again David Enright set an attack in motion and when Timmy O’Keeffe gathered possession he did very well to find Vinny Molloy who found the roof of the net from twenty yards to tie the sides for the first time of the game. St. Colum’s finished the half in the ascendancy and two quick fire points gave them a slender interval lead of 1-5 to 1-3.

The second half warmed the supporters from both sides as great endeavour and effort was shown throughout the pitch from each team. Defences were particularly outstanding in keeping their opponents at bay. For Newmarket, Paudie Allen, David Enright, Gavin Forde and David Enright were inspirational figures who hurled superbly. The first score of the second half eventually came in the eleventh minute courtesy of a St. Colum’s free.

As the third quarter came to a conclusion, Newmarket were awarded a twenty yard free from a slight angle. With scores at a premium, Newmarket’s talisman Donal Hannon stepped up and crashed the ball home for an equalizing goal. The tempo of the game increased further and once more the St. Colum’s goalkeeper produced a miraculous save from a well struck shot from Donal Hannon. As the game entered the final ten minutes, St. Colum’s scored a second goal and appeared to take a significant advantage. However, little over a minute later Newmarket were awarded another close in free when impressive substitute Jacko Flaherty was upended. Incredibly, Donal Hannon struck for goal again and somehow found the net for a second time to once again gain parity. An enthralling eight minutes followed and despite several close calls for both sides the remainder of the game remained scoreless. As the referee brought the contest to a conclusion both sides were happy to come away with a second shot at glory next week.

The Newmarket team was…

 Shane McAuliffe
  Michael O’Leary    Paudie Allen   
 Alan Ryan   Jack Birtley    David Enright 
     Gavin Forde (0-1)    
 Vinny Molloy (1-1)   Timmy O’Keeffe     Nicky Barrett
   Donal Hannon (2-1)    David Quinlan (0-1)  
 SUBS: Jacko Flaherty, Ivan King

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