Newmarket went down to a sharper more clinical Rockchapel team in the Duhallow Cup Final played in ideal conditions, in front of a sizeable crowd at Knocknagree on Sunday afternoon. Rockchapel’s ability to find the net was decisive as they claimed the honours on a 3-10 to 1-10 scoreline.
Newmarket began in whirlwind fashion as the impressive Barry O’Connor clipped over a fine point within the opening minute. Rockchapel equalized in the fifth minute but Newmarket regained the lead through a superbly struck point by Daniel Culloty and another fine effort from Barry O’Connor.
Rockchapel added a second point as a flurry of action unfolded in the first eight minutes of the game. From the resultant kickout Newmarket fashioned a well worked goal. Michael Cottrell fielded superbly and an intricate move involving some accurate passing from T.J. Brosnan and Shane Murphy ended with Eddie Allen picking his spot in slotting his shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Newmarket maintained their impressive form as John Ryan pointed a free and Michael Cottrell finished off another fine move instigated from corner back Matthew Fitzpatrick. This score gave Newmarket a lead of 1-5 to 0-2 after twelve exhilarating minutes. Rockchapel recovered and three points by the nineteenth minute halved the deficit.
Daniel Culloty pointed a close in free but Rockchapel still involved in championship action, began to make their greater level of fitness and sharpness tell, as they assumed control. A point brought the margin to three points again before a speculative delivery into the Newmarket goalmouth found the net for an equalizing goal. Barry O’Connor added his third point of the half to nudge Newmarket in front but a minute later Rockchapel evaded the Newmarket rearguard to set up a second goal from close range.
The half ended with a Rockchapel point and they turned the contest around to lead by 2-7 to 1-7 after an excellent first half.
The opening exchanges of the second half were tight but after six minutes, Rockchapel broke the length of the pitch and an overlap enabled them to strike for a third goal. John Ryan responded with a point but Rockchapel answered by similar means moments later.
Newmarket battled gamely with Mark Reidy a prominent figure throughout while John Ryan was also central but time and again they came up against a teak tough Rockchapel defence. The scoring rate dipped as points were exchanged midway through the half.
John Ryan was on target for a second time from a free to keep Newmarket within six points. The game ended with two points shared in the final quarter as again John Ryan found the range.
Rockchapel closed out for the win as the final ten minutes brought glory to the victors but Newmarket can reflect on a positive contribution to an entertaining game.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
John Ryan (0-4), Eddie Allen (1-0), Barry O’Connor (0-3), Daniel Culloty (0-2), Michael Cottrell (0-1)
|Jeremy Murphy||Brian O’Riordan||Matthew Fitzpatrick|
|Paudie Allen||Mark Reidy||Alan Ryan|
|John Ryan||T. J. Brosnan|
|Michael Cottrell||Daniel Culloty||Donal Hannon|
|Eddie Allen||Shane Murphy||Barry O'Connor|
|Subs: Barry O’Leary, Tony O’Keeffe, Pa O’Brien, Nicky Flanagan, Robert Stack|