A supreme opportunist goal by Donal Hannon late in the game, capped a superb Newmarket comeback in which they overturned an eight point half time deficit to clinch victory over Valley Rovers by 2-7 to 1-9 at Brinny on Sunday afternoon.
Valley Rovers were dominant for long spells of the opening half and by the end of the first quarter this was reflected on a sequence of four unanswered points. Newmarket registered their first point with the impressive Bart Daly on target from a long distance free after sixteen minutes. A persistent shower dampened proceedings on an otherwise fine day and excellent playing surface during the middle section of the game. Valley Rovers strengthened their position with two further points before
Daniel Culloty kept Newmarket in touch with a point late in the half. Valley Rovers responded with a seventh point before Newmarket were dealt a blow on the stroke of half time as the home side cut through the defence to find the net and take a commanding lead of 1-7 to 0-2 at the half time whistle.
Newmarket set about their sizeable task immediately upon the restart. Kevin O’Sullivan was a prominent figure and led by example on pointing within a minute of the throw in. Seven minutes into the half, Newmarket’s challenge gathered momentum. Barry O’Connor won possession in his corner forward position and his expertly executed cross field pass found Kevin O’Sullivan in space, and bearing down on goal, he duly kept his composure to slot a fine shot to the corner of the net.
Newmarket were now reinvigorated and a second Bart Daly free and a well worked score executed by Eddie Allen brought the deficit to just two points, 1-7 to 1-5, twelve minutes into the half. Valley Rovers pointed midway through the half to stem the comeback. Newmarket enjoyed numerical supremacy for the remainder of the game. They pushed forward, led by excellent displays from Colin O’Sullivan and John Ryan. Upfront Kevin O’Sullivan continued to influence proceedings as Newmarket had to be patient, up against a well marshalled home defence.
Shane Murphy pointed a free as the game entered the closing five minutes. John Ryan was rewarded for his endeavours with a fine point to reduce the gap to a solitary point. As the game entered injury time, Valley Rovers were awarded a free out from deep inside their own half. Donal Hannon intercepted the attempted short pass, and with superb vision and an exquisite execution, he chipped the ball into the net. With the game now into injury time, Newmarket led for the first time in the game. Valley Rovers rallied and had a few chances to rescue the spoils.
One point followed, but Newmarket held out for a memorable win following a quite magnificent comeback. Newmarket will now face Castletownbere in the next round.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Kevin O’Sullivan (1-1), Donal Hannon (1-0), Bart Daly (0-2), Shane Murphy (0-1), Eddie Allen (0-1), Daniel Culloty (0-1), John Ryan (0-1)
|Michael O’Leary||Paudie Allen||Alan Ryan|
|Stephen Stokes||Pa O’Brien||John Ryan|
|Kevin O'Sullivan||Bart Daly|
|John Lane||Shane Murphy||Donal Hannon|
|Eddie Allen||Daniel Culloty||Barry O'Connor|
|Subs: Colin O’Sullivan, Jeremy Murphy|