Newmarket deservedly progressed into Round 4 of the Evening Echo Senior Football Championship as a typically outstanding team effort ensured victory over Aghada by 0-10 to 0-8 and another historic feat for the team, at Killavullen on Saturday night. As well as progression in the championship the second round victory also ensures the club’s senior status for a further twelve months at least.
Given the incessant rain showers in the days preceding the game, the surface of the Killavullen pitch was in remarkable condition.
Newmarket started brightly and as the lively John Lane was upended in the opening stages, T.J. Bodie duly obliged with a well struck free from the right hand side. Aghada’s response was immediate as they swept forward to equalize immediately. Newmarket were dealt a severe blow at this early stage as midfielder Bart Daly had to depart the action due to a hand injury. The Newmarket rearguard had to withstand a period of pressure before a converted free edged Aghada in front in the tenth minute.
Newmarket restored parity two minutes later as T.J. Bodie again converted following a foul on Nicky Flanagan. Newmarket proceeded to takeover, due in no small way to the endeavours of their midfield and the respective half forward and half back lines who gathered vital possession.
The outstanding David O’Flynn put Newmarket into the lead again with a finely executed point having being put in possession by John Lane. Nicky Flanagan increased the advantage with a monstrous kick from close to the left hand sideline that glided between the posts. It got even better for Newmarket when John Lane superbly dispossessed his opponent before dispatching a fantastic point for an inspirational score. Aghada ended an eighteen minute spell without a score on pointing two minutes from the interval. This did not deter Newmarket and though they would not have been flattered by a bigger advantage at the break, T.J. Bodie made up for a few missed Newmarket scoring opportunities on slotting over his third point of the half to ensure a lead of 0-6 to 0-3 at the turnover.
Aghada stormed into action from the restart but failed to add to an early second minute point, as again Newmarket settled into their commendable work rate and elegant stylish football.
Five minutes into the half Nicky Flanagan linked up with John Lane and for a second time, on this occasion with the left boot, the Newmarket number fifteen landed a superb point from distance. Newmarket were efficient up front as they built up possession intelligently into scoring positions. The drive of David O’Flynn was to the fore and he punished a lapse in the Aghada defence as he intercepted and picked out Kevin O’Sullivan on the edge of the square and the latter settled on punching a point to stretch the lead to four points. Newmarket were rampant and midway through the half, two of teams most experienced campaigners Tony O’Keeffe and David O’Flynn, who were immense throughout, combined as yet another impressive point resulted.
At the other end, Newmarket were composed in defence while at the same time, Aghada were particularly wasteful and rash in front of goal as they recorded nine second half wides.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, inevitably Aghada laid siege on the Newmarket goal as the level of intensity and work rate began to tell on a herculean effort. Aghada ended another long spell without a score with a point but crucially for Newmarket, T.J. Bodie replied to restore a five point advantage with six minutes remaining. With time ebbing away Aghada eventually found their scoring touch and three points in as many minutes cut the deficit to a dangerous two point margin going into injury time. Not for the first time, Newmarket held firm in defence and the shrill of the final whistle was greeted with great approval by the black and red contingent.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
T.J. Bodie (0-4), David O’Flynn (0-2), John Lane (0-2), Kevin O’Sullivan (0-1), Nicky Flanagan (0-1)
|John Ryan||Denys O'Brien||Brian O’Riordan|
|Barry O'Leary||Mark Reidy||Paudie Allen|
|Bart Daly||Timothy Murphy|
|David O’Flynn||Kevin O'Sullivan||Tony O'Keeffe|
|T.J. Bodie||Nicky Flanagan||John Lane|
|Subs: Colin O’Sullivan, Daniel Culloty|