Newmarket’s footballers got their league campaign off to the best possible start with an impressive victory away to fellow senior outfit St. Nicks by 1-14 to 3-5 after a very entertaining encounter on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the city.
Newmarket were dealt an early blow when the home side were awarded a second minute penalty which gave David Quinlan no chance as it billowed the net. This setback did not deter a confident Newmarket side and they got off the mark thanks to an excellently taken point by energetic midfielder T.J. Brosnan in the fourth minute.
The impressive John Lane was upended moments later and he duly found the target from the resultant close in free. Newmarket gained parity in the seventh minute as John Lane was again impeded and the majestic T.J. Bodie stroked over his first point of the contest.
At the other end, the Newmarket defence appeared brittle in the opening half as a rare foray by St. Nicks into an attacking position carved open the space as a second goal was dispatched to the net for another sucker punch. John Lane reduced the arrears and as a flowing game of football ebbed, Newmarket fashioned a breakthrough when John Lane placed Kevin O’Sullivan in on goal but his goalbound shot was well stopped by the St. Nicks goalkeeper.
St. Nicks were guilty of several indescressions in defence and T.J. Bodie punished them accordingly with two textbook points from resultant frees to leave the score reading 2-1 to 0-6 after nineteen minutes of play. Amazingly, Newmarket were breached at the back for a third time when an opposing forward made light of the defence to travel a long way before finding the net and despite an excellent display, Newmarket found themselves trailing by four points.
Newmarket maintained their game plan and a move instigated by a fine catch from a St. Nicks kickout by Barry O’Leary led to Tony O’Keeffe offloading to T.J. Bodie and he split the uprights with a superbly taken point. Newmarket were again denied a goal when T.J. Brosnan found himself one on one but his effort was thwarted by a second excellent stop by the home goalkeeper. The sides went on to exchange points before the interval as T.J. Bodie was again unerring from a free to leave the score reading 3-2 to 0-8 at the halfway point.
St. Nicks stretched their lead three minutes after the restart as the game maintained its high standard of quick flowing and slick football. T.J. Bodie pointed from play eight minutes into the half before he once again raised a white flag from a well struck free to leave the score at 3-3 to 0-10. Newmarket’s graft and endeavour was duly rewarded with a decisive goal at the end of the third quarter. A terrific move bore down on goal with Tony O’Keeffe and T.J. Brosnan exchanging passes before the latter placed T.J. Bodie in position and he eventually found a way past the St. Nicks goalkeeper in dispatching his shot to the bottom corner of the net.
St. Nicks were next to score and the sides were level with twelve minutes remaining. Newmarket were now in a position to seize the initiative and with Kevin O’Sullivan a central figure throughout, this was achieved in fine style. The dynamic David O’Flynn brilliantly edged Newmarket in front after a surging solo run ended with a fine point before the excellent John Lane sensibly punched a point from a difficult angle. St. Nicks reduced the arrears to a single point but were also guilty of missing a few very presentable scoring opportunities. A very even Newmarket side pressed on for victory and John Lane again came up trumps on kicking a fine point. Victory was eventually earned with T.J. Bodie fittingly on target again before a much more resolute Newmarket defence withstood a late flurry to earn an impressive opening day victory.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
T.J. Bodie (1-8), John Lane (0-4), T.J. Brosnan (0-1), David O’Flynn (0-1).
|Brian O’Riordan||Denys O'Brien||Paudie Allen|
|Sean Doody||Barry O'Leary||John Ryan|
|T. J. Brosnan||Colin O'Sullivan|
|Eddie Allen||Kevin O'Sullivan||David O’Flynn|
|T.J. Bodie||Tony O'Keeffe||John Lane|
|Subs: Nicky Flanagan, Conor Cronin|