A committed and dedicated team effort enabled Newmarket to advance to the Fourth Round of the Premier Intermediate Football Championship for the first time in three years following a well earned victory over Grenagh by 1-11 to 1-8 in the Third Round encounter played at Mourne Abbey on Monday evening.
Newmarket put together several excellent passing movements during the game and as early as the second minute this yielded a point with Nicky Flanagan on target. T.J. Bodie doubled the lead two minutes later on slotting over a free and while at the other end Newmarket survived a few scares, notably one goal bound effort that came crashing off the crossbar, the forward line was unerring when presented with opportunities. Tony O’Keeffe added a third point for the efficient Newmarket attack. Grenagh came blazing into the contest midway through the half. An opening point in the thirteenth minute was followed with another in quick succession before a goal changed the complexion of the scoreboard in favour of the Muskerry side by two points. Newmarket responded immediately with the rampaging David O’Flynn pointing a fourth point for his side.
The sides were level for the first time when Mark Reidy surged in on goal to fist an equalizing point in the twenty second minute. Grenagh took the lead again by scoring the next two points but Newmarket swung the pendulum around with a brilliant goal in the twenty seventh minute. Timothy Murphy launched a huge kick into the danger area which evaded the Grenagh defence but was read expertly by Newmarket corner forward John Lane. He closed in on goal before offloading superbly, which was a feature of his game throughout, to pick out Nicky Flanagan with a defence splitting pass and he made no mistake on crashing the ball home to the back of the net. This enabled Newmarket to turn around in front by 1-5 to 1-4 at half time.
Newmarket resumed in a confident manner. David O’Flynn was upended after another fine solo run close in on goal and T.J. Bodie made no mistake from the resultant free with Nicky Flanagan on target in similar fashion a minute later.
The intensity of the contest grew as defences tightened up. Grenagh pointed seven minutes into the half before a scoreless ten minute spell followed. As the game entered the final quarter Grenagh pointed twice in a minute to tie the sides once more at 1-7 apiece with thirteen minutes remaining.
Newmarket were dealt a blow as team captain Barry O’Leary had to retire with a knee injury but in adversity to this setback the team rose to the challenge at hand.
Newmarket, despite a long spell without a score began to turn the screw. The excellent distribution of T.J. Bodie and Timothy Murphy was to the fore while the forward line worked well as a unit. Crucially for Newmarket they regained the lead thanks to the accuracy of Nicky Flanagan with little over three minutes of normal time remaining. They regained the impetus as Kevin O’Sullivan kicked an excellent point moments later. True to form Grenagh came back with a point but Newmarket were not going to be denied on this occasion and as the game entered injury time further ventures into their opponents half yielded dividends as Nicky Flanagan was on hand to convert two late frees and seal an excellent win.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Nicky Flanagan (1-5), T.J. Bodie (0-2), Mark Reidy (0-1), David O’Flynn (0-1), Tony O’Keeffe (0-1), Kevin O’Sullivan (0-1).
|Sean Doody||Brian O’Riordan||John Ryan|
|Barry O'Leary||Timothy Murphy||Michael O’Leary|
|Mark Murphy||Mark Reidy|
|David O’Flynn||Tony O'Keeffe||Kevin O'Sullivan|
|T.J. Bodie||Nicky Flanagan||John Lane|
|Subs: Gerard Casey, Colin O’Sullivan|