Robert Emmetts through to their second successive semi final after a thrilling contest with Knocknagree.
Played under in lights in knocknagree the visiting team came flying out the blocks and were 3 points to the good after points from Daniel Culloty (2) and Conor O Keeffe before Knocknagree opened their account from a placed ball. Playing with aid of a strong breeze, Emmets continued to dominate and good work from midfielder Jacko Flaherty allowed Barry O Connor race through on goal and raise a green flag. Following a pointed free from the home side, Emmetts raised their second green flag from a well taken penalty by Alan Ryan after a neat pass from Donal Hannon put O Connor through for a chance at his second goal before being hauled down by his marker.
At the mid point in the first half Emmets held a commanding lead built on a strong showing from Paudie Allen, Conor O Keeffe and Donal Hannon. Another converted free from Cullothy extended their lead before Knocknagree started to get a grip on the game and two quick points in a row meant the game was far from over. Emmetts responded with points to Hannon and a placed ball from Cullothy before the home side really ramped up the pressure and if it wasn’t for a combination of poor finishing and good defending they would have got a better return than the one point they got from this period of domination. At the half time break Emmets held a 2-6 to 0-5 lead.
Knocknagree buoyed by their strong finish to the first half and playing with the aid of the wind, started the second half in whirlwind fashion kicking two massive scores in as many minutes. They continued to control possession but the Emmets defence held firm and crucially got the next score through the impressive Hannon. This score settled the visitors and a great interception from Conor O Keeffe in his own half back line paved the way for a blistering counter attack which resulted in a second penalty after the hard working Gavin Forde was upended in the square. Ryan stepped up again and cooly slotted home for his second of the game.
To their credit Knocknagree wouldn’t relent and responded to the goal with 1-2 in a 5 minute spell which really got the home support behind their team. Emmetts seemed to struggle in front of goal during this spell after missing some good chances which added to the home sides growing belief. Momentum was with the home side at this stage and it took huge work rate from Robert Emmetts half forward line and midfielders to help out their defence and keep the Knocknagree attackers frustrated. Both sides traded points before a moment of magic from man of the match O Keeffe saw him delicately chip the Knocknagree net minder after a 40 yard solo run to make it 4-8 to 1-10 with 8 minutes to go. Once again the home side showing an admirable never give up attitude scoring an incredible 1-3 without reply to leave a point between the sides entering injury time.
The home side seemed to be on the brink of a courageous comeback but gallant defending from the Emmets kept this it at bay and a well taken breakaway goal from sub Mike Cottrell finally put the game to bed. The final whistle was greeted with relief from players and supporters alike of the Newmarket-Lismire combination with the final score 5-8 to 2-13. Robert Emmets now await a date and opponent in the semi final of the championship.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Alan Ryan (2-0), Conor O’ Keeffe (1-2), Daniel Cullothy (0-4), Barry O’ Connor (1-1), Mikey Cottrell (1-0), Donal Hannon (0-1)
|Jeremy Murphy||Jamie Hayes||Jack Guiney|
|Gavin Forde||Paudie Allen||Daniel Norton|
|Jacko Flaherty||Alan Ryan|
|Conor O'Keeffe||Donal Hannon||Michael McSweeney|
|Eoin O'Connell||Daniel Culloty||Barry O'Connor|
|Subs: Tadhg Ryan, Mikey Cottrell, Seán Mc Sweeney.|