Newmarket’s minor footballers withstood a late barrage of Knocknagree pressure to hold out for a 2-14 to 2-11 league victory at Knocknagree on Thursday evening. It was a win fashioned out of a terrific second half performance as Newmarket turned around a half time deficit of six points in a resounding manner.
Newmarket started the sharper side and the influential and effective Barry O’Connor was upended for a penalty in the fourth minute. Despite a fine effort by the Knocknagree goalkeeper, who managed to get a hand to the kick, Alan Ryan’s penalty nestled into the corner of the net. Patrick Kelly and Gavin Forde pointed in the next couple of minutes to give Newmarket a five point lead. Knocknagree settled into the contest and opened their account with a point in the ninth minute. The home side took a firm grip on proceedings and three further points reduced the gap to a minimum, midway through the half. Knocknagree were relentless in their dominance of possession and territory and inevitably they struck for a goal after seventeen minutes. They went on to add another two points which yielded an unanswered tally of one goal and six points in a devastating thirteen minute spell. Newmarket recovered and were grateful to Barry O’Connor for ending a scoreless period of eighteen minutes for the team. However, it was Knocknagree who kept the momentum going as a point and a fine individual goal stretched their lead to seven points. Newmarket ended the half with a point from a free dispatched by Gavin Forde and the home side led by 2-7 to 1-4 at the turnover.
Once the ball was thrown in for the second half, Newmarket resumed in whirlwind manner. Barry O’Connor pointed within a minute and in the fifth minute, Newmarket were awarded a second penalty. Alan Ryan, once more obliged on stepping forward and crashing the ball to the net. Points from Barry O’Connor and Gavin Forde ensured that Newmarket were on level terms within eight amazing minutes. Newmarket were now in full flow and two of their outstanding performers, Paudie Allen and Gavin Forde regained the lead for their team, the second point resulting from the majestic fielding of Daniel Culloty at midfield. Newmarket added another point from an outrageous and monstrous kick by Daniel Culloty to equal Knocknagree’s earlier return of one goal and six points in succession and in twelve remarkable minutes, Newmarket had now established a three point lead, 2-10 to 2-7. Knocknagree replied with a point at the end of the third quarter but Newmarket piled on the scores with Gavin Forde excelling with two more points and other scores from Barry O’Connor and Daniel Culloty. Knocknagree turned the pendulum in the remaining ten minutes. Three points followed as the clock ran down but Newmarket came under increasing pressure. Last gasp defending and narrow escapes resulted before ultimately Newmarket were grateful to their goalkeeper, Eoin O’Connell, for producing a match winning save with a stunning stop from a rasping goal bound shot. Newmarket saw out the contest to the end and were grateful to hear the shrill of the final whistle as they clung on to a fine victory.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Alan Ryan (2-0), Gavin Forde (0-6), Barry O’Connor (0-4), Daniel Culloty (0-2), Patrick Kelly (0-1), Paudie Allen (0-1).
|Damien O'Keeffe||Jamie Hayes||Jeremy Murphy|
|Patrick Kelly||Paudie Allen||Daniel O'Doherty|
|Alan Ryan||Gavin Forde|
|Peter Lynch||Daniel Culloty||Michael Cottrell|
|Danny O'Connell||Barry O'Connor||Tadhg Ryan|
|Subs: Joseph Murphy|