Newmarket maintained their challenge to qualify for the semi finals of the Duhallow junior hurling league when Donal Hannon converted a late free into a stiff breeze from a difficult angle, to overcome Banteer by 2-11 to 1-13 at Banteer on Sunday afternoon. It regained Newmarket a lead they held since the second minute until they were pegged back with a late equalizing Banteer goal.
Despite long spells of splendid sunshine, a strong blowing wind gave Newmarket considerable assistance in the opening half. Gavin Forde struck a long distance free in the second minute and Newmarket maintained a bright start with well taken points from Donal Hannon and John Scanlon. Banteer found their range with a point in the tenth minute and added a second midway through the half. Newmarket were grateful for a well marshalled defence with Jack Guiney particularly outstanding and Robert Stack and Jamie Hayes commanding in the central positions. Banteer were also guilty of very erratic shooting which particularly hindered them in the first half. Barry O’Connor found the target but Banteer replied to keep the minimum of margins between the sides. Newmarket were desperate to make use of the elements and pointed frees through Donal Hannon and Gavin Forde aided their quest but Banteer with two sublime efforts were again within a point on the scoreboard. Kevin O’Sullivan added one more Newmarket point but once more the home side were swift with a reply which gave Newmarket a slender lead of 0-7 to 0-6 at the halfway mark.
Newmarket resumed in the ascendency and a close in free resulted with Donal Hannon pointing. Banteer were instantly on target with a point from the next phase of play. Newmarket significantly managed to score two brilliantly crafted second half goals, the first which arrived in the third minute. Substitute John Lane placed a super pass into Donal Hannon and he turned on the defensive rearguard to bear down on goal before finishing sublimely to the net. A Banteer point left a clear goal between the sides but a reorganised Newmarket dealt superbly with the second half pressure. Kevin O’Sullivan and Tony O’Keeffe led by experience and Jack Guiney capped his performance with a goalline clearance. In attack every score would prove critical and Donal Hannon pointed a free and while Banteer hit two points, Newmarket held a lead of 1-9 to 0-10 with little over ten minutes of play remaining, thanks to a resilient all round performance from the defensive unit in particular. Donal Hannon pointed a timely free but under increasing pressure Banteer clipped over three successive points to tie the sides for the first time in the fifty seventh minute. Newmarket for a second time produced another memorable goal. Kevin O’Sullivan played the ball forward towards Tadhg Ryan. With plenty of distance to cover, the young substitute set off on a run towards the Banteer goal and as he evaded the challenges, he created the space to send a fine shot crashing to the net for a super goal. Banteer stepped up to the challenge and Newmarket were eventually breached for a levelling goal. Once again the team showed commendable qualities as they surged forward and were awarded an injury time free. Donal Hannon split the posts with unerring accuracy and this time it proved enough to clinch a narrow win.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Donal Hannon (1-6), Tadhg Ryan (1-0), Gavin Forde (0-2), John Scanlon (0-1), Kevin O’Sullivan (0-1), Barry O’Connor (0-1).
|Paudie Allen||Robert Stack||Jack Guiney|
|Alan Ryan||Jamie Hayes||Gavin Forde|
|Ian Flanagan||Pa O’Brien|
|John Scanlon||Kevin O'Sullivan||John Ryan|
|Barry O'Connor||Tony O'Keeffe||Donal Hannon|
|Subs: John Lane, Jonathan Flaherty, Tadhg Ryan|