Newmarket went down to a narrow defeat against Aghada in the second round of the Cork County Senior Football Championship at Mourne Abbey on Saturday evening. A very strong breeze dictated the manner of the game, with the East Cork side holding out for a slender 1-8 to 0-9 victory.
Newmarket played with the aid of the driving wind in the first half and began in whirlwind fashion. Daniel Culloty opened the scoring on converting a close in free in the fourth minute following a challenge on Kevin O’Sullivan. Team captain Tony O’Keeffe excelled in attack and he probed an opportunity for Daniel Culloty who used the elements to swing a fine kick over the bar after five minutes.
Newmarket pinned Aghada within their own half and found the target for a third time, when John Lane carved out a chance for himself and found the target as the wind guided the ball between the posts. Corner back Barry O’Leary found himself playing well up the field and he increased the Newmarket lead with another wonderful point from distance. This stretched the Newmarket lead to four points, all within eight minutes of the throw in.
In what would turn out to be a major turning point, Newmarket were dealt a blow in the tenth minute. Aghada swept forward and a dangerous move was patiently put in place before a goalbound effort nestled into the top corner of the net.
At the end of the first quarter Tony O’Keeffe kicked a fine point to leave the score reading 0-5 to 1-0. Newmarket withstood a few trying moments in defence and were inspired by the driving runs of half back Paddy O’Toole who finished one such run with a superb point in the twentieth minute. Aghada regrouped and two points cut the Newmarket advantage to just a solitary point by the twenty third minute. With the half coming to a conclusion, it was becoming evident that Newmarket would require a greater advantage given the force of the wind. An opportunity arose in the twenty seventh minute. Barry O’Leary burst forward as Newmarket hit on the break and as he linked up with Michael Kenneally and Tony O’Keeffe he found himself closing in on goal. As he let his goalbound shot leave his boot, the advancing Aghada goalkeeper produced an outstanding save as he smothered the effort and Newmarket were denied a crucial score.
The half ended with Paddy O’Toole inspiring again with a superbly taken long range point and Newmarket went into the break with a lead of 0-7 to 1-2.
The game was obviously going to take on a different complexion in the second half as Newmarket now faced the brunt of the elements as well as an Aghada onslaught. Two points by the seventh minute had the sides level for the only time during the hour. Newmarket built patiently from defence with their excellent half back line of Paddy O’Toole, T.J. Brosnan and John Ryan central to the positive aspects of the team.
It was Aghada however, who dominated territorial advantage in the third quarter and an additional four points, despite several wides, had them looking in a strong position on a lead of 1-8 to 0-7. Newmarket kept chipping away and were eventually rewarded in the attacking sector when John Ryan bisected the posts with an exquisite effort from a relatively long distance given the conditions. This spurred a Newmarket revival and moments later T.J. Brosnan sent a piledriver of a shot from thirty yards that barely grazed the crossbar but reduced the deficit to two points.
A frantic conclusion followed and despite getting into several promising positions, Newmarket failed to take advantage while Aghada also failed to add to their tally. A spirited effort just fell short as the final whistle sounded and Newmarket now enter a Round 3 draw in order to keep their championship campaign alive.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Daniel Culloty (0-2), Paddy O’Toole (0-2), Barry O’Leary (0-1), T.J. Brosnan (0-1), John Ryan (0-1), Tony O’Keeffe (0-1), John Lane (0-1)
|Matthew Fitzpatrick||Brian O’Riordan||Barry O'Leary|
|Paddy O'Toole||T. J. Brosnan||John Ryan|
|Bart Daly||Colin O'Sullivan|
|Kevin O'Sullivan||Mark Reidy||Tony O'Keeffe|
|John Lane||Michael Cottrell||Daniel Culloty|
|Subs: Michael Kenneally, Padraig Allen, Timothy Murphy|