Newmarket withstood a very strong Castlemagner challenge to claim a 2-14 to 1-14 victory in an entertaining junior B hurling league contest played at Newmarket on Wednesday evening.
Newmarket were first off the mark when full forward John McSweeney saw his goalbound effort narrowly graze the crossbar for a point in the fourth minute. Castlemagner replied instantly within seconds, from the puckout as they struck for a fine goal and added a further two points to establish a four point lead.
Newmarket had their second point courtesy of David Quinlan before Conor Cronin who gave a superb display from long distance placed balls had his first point of the night. Newmarket were in full flow at this stage of the game and they made their dominance show on the scoreboard. Gavin Forde scored two fine points from play either side of two converted frees from distance by Conor Cronin as Newmarket forged into the lead. Paul Verling added Newmarket’s seventh point in succession to give the home side a lead of 0-8 to 1-2 by the nineteenth minute. Castlemagner ended their scoreless spell with a point but again, Conor Cronin was unerring with another two well struck points. As a high scoring first half came to a conclusion, Castlemagner struck three points in rapid time before Conor Cronin pointed for the sixth time in the half. A closing point to Castlemagner left the minimum of margins between the sides at the turnover as Newmarket held a slender lead of 0-11 to 1-7.
Castlemagner pointed within two minutes of the restart to tie the contest for a second time but significantly, Newmarket responded with Paul Verling on hand to finish to the net from close range following a goalmouth scramble in the next minute. The sides traded points as Gavin Forde maintained a three point advantage for Newmarket. The crucial moment of the contest came six minutes into the half as Newmarket were awarded a close in free. Gavin Forde stood up and drilled the resultant free to the roof of the Castlemagner net despite a posse of defenders on the goal line. When Gavin Forde again found the target from a free, Newmarket enjoyed a seven point advantage, 2-13 to 1-9 after eleven minutes of the half.
Faced with an uphill task, Castlemagner proceeded to slowly take control of the game for the remainder of the contest. Four points followed but luckily for Newmarket despite the heroic efforts of their defensive rearguard led by the leadership of Brendan Stack and Paudie Allen, Castlemagner also saw a succession of efforts waved wide. As the pressure of the challenge escalated, Newmarket manfully held firm and a grateful respite came courtesy of a Paul Verling point as the game entered injury time. There was still time for Castlemagner to muster a few more attacks and a close in free resulted in a late point but Newmarket had just done enough to hold out for a fine win.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Gavin Forde (1-4), Conor Cronin (0-6), Paul Verling (1-2), David Quinlan (0-1), John McSweeney (0-1).
|Paudie Allen||Brendan Stack||Michael O’Leary|
|Billy Daly||Michael Kenneally||Robert Stack|
|Eddie Allen||Conor Cronin|
|Jonathan Flaherty||David Quinlan||David Enright|
|Paul Verling||John McSweeney||Gavin Forde|