A wonderful display of football in the final quarter enabled Newmarket to progress to the semi final of the Evening Echo Premier Intermediate Football Championship following a fine quarter final replay victory over Naomh Aban by 2-11 to 1-7 in perfect conditions at sun drenched Dromtariffe on Saturday afternoon.
The contest had a lot to live up to following a thrilling draw at the same venue six days previous, but the game began in whirlwind fashion. Naomh Aban struck the opening point within seconds of the throw in and from the resultant kickout, Bart Daly won primary possession at midfied leading to Kevin O’Sullivan being on hand to kick an equalizer seconds later.
Naomh Aban edged in front again with a fifth minute point but Newmarket settled much quicker into the game on this occasion and received a major boost in the ninth minute. Kevin O’Sullivan intercepted possession for Newmarket and a move leading to the excellent David O’Flynn closing down on goal resulted in a penalty as his goal bound shot was stopped with a foot block. Corner back, Brian O’Riordan who also had an outstanding game, stepped forward to dispatch the kick expertly to the corner of the net.
Naomh Aban replied with a point but Newmarket grew in confidence as they extended their advantage. In the twelfth minute a sweeping move ended with David O’Flynn placing an exquisite cross field pass perfectly in front of the on running John Ryan who sent the ball over the bar for a memorable score. Seven minutes later a point resulted in similar vein thanks to the industry of John Ryan and Tony O’Keeffe with Nicky Flanagan on hand to point. Newmarket stretched their lead as Nicky Flanagan converted a free to leave the score at 1-4 to 0-3.
Naomh Aban set a comeback in motion with two quickfire points and in a three minute spell fortunes turned completely as a goal forged them ahead by a single point. Newmarket ensured parity at the break as T.J. Bodie slotted over a pointed free from a difficult angle, and the sides remained deadlocked at 1-5 apiece at half time.
Upon the resumption, with the game so delicately balanced both sides endeavoured to take a grip of the contest. In spite of the efforts of both teams a scrappy spell followed and a scoreless period of fourteen minutes elapsed. At this stage, Newmarket gathered momentum as their terrific balanced team effort began to pay dividends. Nicky Flanagan ended the barren scoring spell in what proved to be the beginning of a five minute scoring purple patch for Newmarket. David O’Flynn doubled the advantage before team captain, Barry O’Leary surged forward from his half back position to kick an inspirational point. A rampant Newmarket side were clinical in front of goal at this stage as talisman Nicky Flanagan and midfieder Colin O’Sullivan gave the side a commanding five point lead in a matter of minutes.
Naomh Aban tried to recover from this flurry of scores and did register two excellent points within a minute to cut the deficit to three points. The momentum was with Newmaket however, and the decisive score of the game arrived with seven minutes remaining. Full back, Denys O’Brien burst forward to place a well struck pass in the direction of John Lane who performed admirably in his position, especially in the second half. With plenty still still to do, John Lane engineered himself into a scoring position to plant the ball into the corner of the net, despite the attention of several defenders.
Newmarket capped a memorable result in the final moments as John Lane kicked a final point to complete an outstanding team effort. Newmarket now advance to the semi final on Sunday next in Ballyclough where they will meet St. Vincents in a repeat of a game at the same stage in 2008.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Nicky Flanagan (0-4), John Lane (1-1), Brian O’Riordan (1-0), Barry O’Leary (0-1), John Ryan (0-1), Colin O’Sullivan (0-1), David O’Flynn (0-1), Kevin O’Sullivan (0-1), T.J. Bodie (0-1).
|T. J. Brosnan||Denys O'Brien||Brian O’Riordan|
|Barry O'Leary||Timothy Murphy||John Ryan|
|Bart Daly||Colin O'Sullivan|
|David O’Flynn||Kevin O'Sullivan||Tony O'Keeffe|
|T.J. Bodie||Nicky Flanagan||John Lane|
|Subs: Mark Reidy|