Newmarket, in their second outing in four days, collected their first victory of the junior B hurling league as they held off a late Dromtariffe rally to win by 2-10 to 1-10 at Dromtariffe on Thursday evening.
Facing into a stiff breeze, Newmarket were under pressure from the outset as Dromtariffe built up a two point lead within three minutes. Newmarket defended resolutely while in the ninth minute they added a morale boosting goal. Eddie Allen and Paul Verling combined and as the latter’s goal bound shot was superbly blocked by the Dromtariffe goalkeeper, influential full forward, John McSweeney was on hand to lash the rebound to the back of the net.
Dromtariffe’s response was instant and two points turned the lead back into their favour on twelve minutes.
For the remainder of the half, Newmarket produced their best spell of the game as they overcame the strong elements. Nicky Flanagan was outstanding throughout in a well marshalled defence and at the other end, Newmarket’s industrious effort began to pay dividends. Paul Verling tied the sides midway through the half with a neatly taken point from play. Jack Birtley regained the lead for Newmarket with a massive point from a sixty five. Barry O’Connor made several darting solo runs which caused concern for the home side and he brilliantly combined with Eddie Allen as the midfielder increased the lead before the free scoring Paul Verling put a clear goal between the sides.
In the closing moments of the half, Barry O’Connor was upended after another scintillating solo run and from the resultant penalty, Paul Verling found the net for a second Newmarket goal. The prolific corner forward added a point from play and Newmarket enjoyed a sizeable lead of 2-5 to 0-4 at half time.
Dromtariffe were on target within two minutes of the restart but Paul Verling answered from a free for Newmarket. As the second half progressed, again, it was the team playing into the breeze, this time Dromtariffe, that handled conditions the better. Three points in quick succession from the home side brought them to within four but Newmarket were grateful at the other end to Paul Verling as two more converted frees put two clear goals between the sides, 2-8 to 0-8 with twelve minutes remaining.
The momentum was with Dromtariffe and Newmarket came under increasing pressure. A point followed before the home side struck for a goal with six minutes remaining to ensure a grandstand finish. Another Dromtariffe point left just a solitary point the difference but Newmarket rose to the challenge. The forwards, on limited possession earned two late frees and again Paul Verling obliged on hitting two points to ensure a hard fought win.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Paul Verling (1-8), John McSweeney (1-0), Jack Birtley (0-1), Eddie Allen (0-1)
|Alan Forde||Nicky Barrett||Nicky Flanagan|
|Michael O’Leary||Eamon Murphy||David Enright|
|Jack Birthley||Eddie Allen|
|Barry O'Connor||Anthony Crowley||Colin O'Sullivan|
|Paul Verling||John McSweeney||Shane Murphy|
|Subs: Billy Lane, John McSweeney, Robert Stack, Brendan Stack.|