Newmarket’s exciting junior hurling championship campaign came to a disappointing conclusion at Tullylease on Saturday evening, when a fine Kilbrin side stormed into the Duhallow final by 3-15 to 0-6, as a blitzing second half display put paid to Newmarket’s dreams of a long awaited showpiece appearance.
A sticky surface and strong cross field breeze made for testing conditions as the reigning Duhallow champions took a two point lead after seven minutes play.
Newmarket settled and got on the scoreboard with Donal Hannon pointing a free in the tenth minute. Both sides hit numerous wides as the breeze proved difficult to judge but Kilbrin added a third point midway through the half.
Newmarket enjoyed their best spell of the game in the following ten minutes. Kevin O’Sullivan placed a ball into space for John Lane to latch onto and he soloed in on goal before flicking over a second Newmarket point.
The Newmarket defence stood up well to the challenge and saw out numerous Kilbrin attacks during this phase of the game. At the other end, Donal Hannon was on target to tie the sides for the only time in the contest at 0-3 apiece after twenty five minutes.
However, late in the half Newmarket suffered a double blow that seriously hindered their prospects. In a matter of minutes Kilbrin struck for two clinical goals, the second despite a stunning block by goalkeeper Barry O’Leary as suddenly Newmarket faced an uphill task. Kilbrin also added a point but late in the half Newmarket substitute, Barry O’Connor made an immediate impact with a fine point and the sides turned over with Kilbrin leading by 2-4 to 0-4.
Newmarket tried to rally early in the second half and again Barry O’Connor obliged on pointing after three minutes. Kilbrin pointed in their next attack but Donal Hannon scored a free to bring Newmarket back to within five points, 2-5 to 0-6 after five minutes of the second half.
This however proved to be Newmarket’s final score of the game as Kilbrin gradually turned the screw on the Newmarket challenge. Six points followed by the end of the third quarter as the champions relentlessly hammered home their superiority.
Newmarket tried to create openings by dropping the ball short but the Kilbrin defence dealt with everything that came their way. An overworked defence visibly tired under the increasing pressure and the final scoreline does not reflect a fantastic season from such a youthful and upcoming panel of players.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Donal Hannon (0-3), Barry O’Connor (0-2), John Lane (0-1)
|Ian Flanagan||Robert Stack||Paudie Allen|
|Alan Ryan||Brendan Stack||Gavin Forde|
|Kevin O'Sullivan||John Ryan|
|Jacko Flaherty||Anthony Crowley||Donal Hannon|
|John Lane||Tony O'Keeffe||Michael Kenneally|
|Subs: Barry O’Connor, Colin O’Sullivan, Timothy Murphy|