Newmarket – Cork County Intermediate Football Champions 2011!!!! Over 7,000 spectators witnessed the most momentous, memorable, historic occasion in Newmarket GAA Club in the mecca of Cork GAA, Pairc Ui Chaoimh on a truly unforgettable day, Sunday, October 16th, 2011. Twenty seven heroes and a management trio of the already legendary Danny Culloty, Donal O’Sullivan and Danny Hourigan are etched into folklore forever more. What a momentous day for everybody lucky enough to witness a perfect day as Newmarket captured the Billy Long Cup for the first time and scaled the heights to senior club status on defeating the formidable Clyda Rovers by 3-6 to 1-10.
The splendid weather conditions and awesome Newmarket support ensured the players took to the field in ideal circumstances. The magnificent John Lane settled early nerves and stamped his authority and class on proceedings by skilfully blitzing his opponents to punch a point in the fourth minute. A well fancied Clyda Rovers side showed their immense calibre by responding with three points in the following five minutes.
Bart Daly struck an unforgettable placed ball from over fifty yards for Newmarket’s second point in the eleventh minute. Newmarket were rewarded for their trademark teamwork and slick passing game in the fourteenth minute as the ever industrious David O’Flynn was impeded as he closed in on goal and a penalty was awarded. Brian O’Riordan strode up from his corner back position and as he has done so regularly and consistently in his career to date dispatched a perfect kick to the corner of the net to the raptures of the black and red brigade.
Clyda playing with the aid of a significant breeze recovered and in the twentieth minute a probing ball on the edge of the square was flicked to the net past an otherwise miserly Newmarket rearguard. Clyda established a two point advantage but Newmarket remained composed led from the back by club stalwarts Denys O’Brien, Barry O’Leary and Mark Reidy. Newmarket received the perfect tonic prior to the interval in the twenty seventh minute of the contest as Bart Daly delivered a dangerous ball into the goalmouth and the excellent Kevin O’Sullivan was on hand to pick up the break and crash the ball home to the roof of the net. This ensured Newmarket went into the break leading by 2-2 to 1-4.
Despite now playing with the advantage of the wind, it was Clyda Rovers who resumed the sharper side and two points within four minutes swung the scoreboard in their favour. The championships top scorer Nicky Flanagan ensured parity seven minutes into the half as a gripping skilful encounter progressed. Clyda Rovers edged ahead again eleven minutes into the half before another club legend Tony O’Keeffe rewarded an efficient Newmarket forward unit on pointing an equalizing point with twelve minutes remaining. Newmarket seized the initiative at this stage of a long rewarding campaign as their remarkable fitness and teamwork bore fruition in their finest hour. Nicky Flanagan edged Newmarket in front as the game entered the final ten minutes.
Seven minutes from time the dream was becoming reality when John Lane once again provided the spark and closing in on goal from a difficult angle he expertly placed a pass into the danger zone and the predatory Tony O’Keeffe was on hand to provide the finishing touch and the net bulged for a third time to the euphoria of the majority of patrons at the famous sporting venue. True to form Clyda Rovers dispelled the comfort of a four point margin on halving the deficit within a couple of minutes to ensure a compelling conclusion. Newmarket’s exemplary discipline and composure engineered a critical free and T.J. Bodie perfectly bisected the posts with an inspirationally struck left footed kick from underneath the covered stand.
As so often throughout the campaign the Newmarket rearguard answered the ominous onslaught and as the gap was reduced to two points, Newmarket support endured a painstaking wait for the final whistle. The resultant kick out proved to be final act of a truly remarkable fairytale as the field became engulfed in a sea of black and red in acknowledgement of their heroes who had just added the proudest chapter in the history of Newmarket GAA Club.
The most worthy of team captains, Barry O’Leary, an inspirational clubman, five years on from suffering an horrific career threatening injury overcome solely for his incredible affection for Newmarket GAA Club rightfully took his place on the podium of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and graciously accepted the cup amidst unforgettable scenes.
The team were greeted to incredible support led by the ever obliging and appreciated Newmarket Pipe Band amongst historic images at the West End. Club Chairman Victor Lane, Fr. Herlihy, Richard Murphy (Chairman, Duhallow Board), Tony McAuliffe (Duhallow Board), Danny Culloty and Barry O’Leary reflected on the remarkable success story before John Cronin capped the proceedings with a perfect rendition of our famous anthem Up Up Newmarket!!!. Congratulations to one and all.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Tony O’Keeffe (1-1), Kevin O’Sullivan (1-0), Brian O’Riordan (1-0), Nicky Flanagan (0-2), Bart Daly (0-1), T.J. Bodie (0-1), John Lane (0-1)
|T. J. Brosnan||Denys O'Brien||Brian O’Riordan|
|Barry O'Leary||Mark Reidy||John Ryan|
|Bart Daly||Colin O'Sullivan|
|David O’Flynn||Kevin O'Sullivan||Tony O'Keeffe|
|T.J. Bodie||Nicky Flanagan||John Lane|
|Subs: Kevin O’Connor, Timothy Murphy, David Quinlan, Michael O’Leary, Sean Doody, Gerard Casey, Mark Murphy, Eddie Allen, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Gavin Forde, Luke McCarthy, Pa O’Brien|