A brace of points, late in each half proved crucial as Ballingeary edged out Newmarket by 0-9 to 0-7 in the opening series of games of the Division 2 Football League played on an excellent playing surface at Ballingeary on Sunday afternoon.
Newmarket opened the scoring when Nicky Flanagan slotted over a second minute free. A tight, even encounter unfolded but both defences were resolute and scores were hard earned. Ballingeary equalized on pointing a tenth minute free but Newmarket regained a slender advantage two minutes later.
The excellent Brian O’Riordan, operating at full back, intercepted possession well up the field and laid the ball on towards T.J. Bodie. He in turn found John Lane who applied a sublime finish with his right boot from a difficult angle.
Ballingeary tied proceeding for a second time midway through the half as they converted a second scoreable free. T.J. Brosnan was outstanding at midfield and on one of several surging solo runs he found the target from distance for a third Newmarket point.
Ballingeary were on terms once again, when scoring a pointed free, as the half entered the final ten minutes.
As the opening period came to a conclusion, Ballingerary hit the front for the first time as two fine scores in quick succession enabled them to turn over with a lead of 0-5 to 0-3.
Newmarket resumed with invigorated energy and on overturning possession, Nicky Flanagan made the most of being awarded a free, to close the deficit within two minutes. Newmarket held Ballingeary at bay with some exemplary defending while they were also left off the hook on two occasions as two presentable frees ended in the hands of David Quinlan in the Newmarket goal.
At the other end, Newmarket had limited opportunities close in on goal but Nicky Flanagan eventually found parity on pointing, thirteen minutes into the half. Ballingeary replied with their first point of the half at the end of the third quarter.
With the game entering the final ten minutes, John Lane kicked a fine point as once again the sides were deadlocked at 0-6 apiece. However, within a minute Ballingeary re-established a narrow advantage. Newmarket worked tirelessly to find an equalizer and when Tony O’Keeffe applied the finishing touches to a seventh Newmarket point, the sides were level for the sixth time with little over two minutes of normal time remaining.
The home side were able to find the extra reserve and two pointed frees in injury time ensured Newmarket went down to a narrow defeat.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Timothy Murphy, Nicky Flanagan (0-3), John Lane (0-2), T.J. Brosnan (0-1), Tony O’Keeffe (0-1)
|Barry O'Leary||Brian O’Riordan||Paudie Allen|
|John Ryan||Kevin O'Sullivan||Matthew Fitzpatrick|
|Colin O'Sullivan||T. J. Brosnan|
|Michael Kenneally||T.J. Bodie||Tony O'Keeffe|
|John Lane||Timothy Murphy||Nicky Flanagan|
|Subs: Michael Cottrell, Gavin Forde|