Newmarket’s junior hurlers recorded a league victory over near neighbours Meelin by 2-13 to 2-9 in perfect conditions before a fine crowd at Newmarket on Thursday evening.
Meelin began brightly and took an early two point lead. Newmarket were guilty of hitting a succession of wides during the half and were made to pay as Meelin added a third point in the eleventh minute. Newmarket eventually got off the mark a minute later when John Lane pointed after forging out a chance for himself. John Ryan converted a free before Meelin added to their tally after nineteen minutes. Conor Cronin pointed spectacularly from an impossible angle before John Lane tied the sides for the first time at 0-4 apiece after twenty two minutes. The sides again traded points as Conor Cronin restored parity for Newmarket as the half came to a conclusion. Meelin forged in front again before Newmarket received a major boost in the last moments of the half. Colin O’Sullivan launched a high dropping ball that fell on the edge of the Meelin square and John Lane was on hand to supply a finish to the net as Newmarket took the lead for the first time, 1-5 to 0-6 at the end of the opening half.
Newmarket resumed with John Lane pointing smartly from play before John Ryan added a sublime point from distance with a sideline cut in the sixth minute. Meelin had the next score but a John Ryan free restored a four point advantage for the home team. Meelin added the next point but as the game entered the final quarter, Newmarket assumed the ascendancy and the scores followed as a result. John Lane and John Ryan pointed before Newmarket were awarded a penalty with eight minutes remaining. John Lane pointed the resultant penalty to stretch the lead to five points. A minute later, Newmarket having seen a few previous goal scoring chances come to nothing, found the net for a second time when Conor Cronin whipped the ball superbly to the bottom corner of the net from fourteen yards. The confidence flowed as substitutes Tony O’Keeffe and Niall O’Connor made telling contributions as they both added to the scoreboard.
As the game came to a conclusion Meelin replied with a whirlwind finish as two quickfire goals found the net before the home side held on for the win.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
John Lane (1-5), Conor Cronin (1-2), John Ryan (0-4), Tony O’Keeffe (0-1), Niall O’Connor (0-1).