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Hurlers progress to Singleton Cup final

A high scoring return at the end of each half enabled Newmarket’s junior hurlers to overcome the challenge of Lismire by 2-20 to 0-11 in the Singleton Cup semi final played at Newmarket on Monday evening.

John Lane was in sparkling form in the first half and scored the first of five well taken points from play in the second minute. Lismire’s response was immediate and they levelled on converting a free on four minutes. Gavin Forde was on target from a long distance free but again Lismire were on terms for a second time within a minute. John Lane edged Newmarket in front with a brace of fine individual points and midway through the half, Newmarket enjoyed a slender lead of 0-5 to 0-3 as Gavin Forde once more obliged on pointing a free. Lismire scored their fourth point of the half before the dynamic and prolific John Lane again slotted between the posts. A fifth Lismire point cut the deficit to a minimum after twenty minutes of play. The sides once more exchanged a couple of points with Anthony Crowley on target for Newmarket. At this stage Newmarket were able to step up their performance and they were rewarded with a productive ten minutes in terms of points on the scoreboard. Anthony Crowley supplied the finish after an enterprising solo run by Tony O’Keeffe, who dashed along the sideline before off loading a pass to the scorer. John Lane added his fifth point of the half before Michael Kenneally executed a neat finish to bisect the uprights. Shane Murphy got in on the scoring before a Gavin Forde free at the close of the half and a five point return in seven minutes, gave Newmarket an advantage of 0-12 to 0-6 at half time.

Newmarket resumed in similar fashion with Eddie Allen sharp from the throw in, placing the ball in front of Michael Kenneally and he made no mistake on pointing. Gavin Forde converted his fourth free of the game five minutes into the half. Lismire responded and three unanswered points left the score at 0-14 to 0-9 at the three quarter mark. The introduction of substitutes added impetus to the Newmarket team. Donal Hannon made a significant contribution as he drilled a free from the sideline over the bar. As the game entered the final ten minutes, Donal Hannon cut a superb sideline from distance, dangerously towards the square and Tony O’Keeffe flicked the inviting ball in fine fashion to the back of the net. Lismire were next to score before Nicky Flanagan hit a memorable point from a difficult angle and limited space. Lismire pointed once more, but Newmarket were now in full flow and produced a devastating finish. Donal Hannon, Michael Kenneally and Anthony Crowley all pointed impressively. The highlight of the game came in the closing moments with Donal Hannon gathering possession out on the left hand sideline. He set off on a solo run goalwards and from an acute angle he smashed an unstoppable shot to the top corner of the net for a brilliant goal. Paul Verling ended proceedings with a neatly taken point as Newmarket progressed to the Singleton Cup final for the third time in four years.

The Newmarket team and scorers…

John Lane (0-5), Donal Hannon (1-2), Gavin Forde (0-4), Michael Kenneally (0-3), Anthony Crowley (0-3), Tony O’Keeffe (1-0), Shane Murphy (0-1), Nicky Flanagan (0-1), Paul Verling (0-1).

Barry O'Leary
Michael O’Leary Robert Stack Alan Ryan
Gavin Forde Brendan Stack John Ryan
Colin O'Sullivan Eddie Allen
John Lane Anthony Crowley Tony O'Keeffe
Donnacha Fitzpatrick Shane Murphy Michael Kenneally
Subs: Donal Hannon, Nicky Flanagan, Billy Daly, Paul Verling.

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