Newmarket captured the Duhallow Junior B Hurling Championship on Sunday last, 10th September, on a scoreline of 0-18 to 1-11 in Freemount against Kilbrin. Conditions were tough on the day with swirling winds and showers but the Freemount sod allowed for a good game of hurling in which both teams scored some fine points. It was Newmarket that got off to the perfect start when Shane Congo Murphy rifled over the opening point after five minutes. Jack Murphy followed this with a point of his own before Paul Verling struck two outstanding frees to give Newmarket a four point lead at the quarter mark.
Kilbrin got their first score of the match after sixteen minutes but again it was Newmarket who held control of the game with Daniel Norton and Eoin O’Connell in particularly good form in the wing back positions. Paul Verling struck two more points, one of which was a great score from his left under pressure after some good work from Danny O’Connell out wide. The dangerous Jack Murphy got his second point of the day and this was quickly followed by an Eddie Allen point from mid field. Kilbrin got the next two scores but Newmarket cancelled them out just as quickly with Congo and Jack Murphy on target again. Kilbrin got the final score of the half to leave it on a scoreline of 0-10 to 0-4 to Newmarket at the short whistle.
Paul Verling started the second half with two more points, one of which was a huge free from his own half against the wind. Kilbrin replied with two quick points. Eddie Allen and T.J. Bodie’s hard work at mid field was paying dividends for the forwards as Paul Verling hit three more points while Congo added one of his own from the left wing to put Newmarket into a ten point lead. Kilbrin kept battling and in a rare breach of the back line, came very close to scoring a goal but for the heroics of Nicky Barrett in goal. While Kilbrin added a point, the Newmarket full back line of Aaron O’Callaghan, Tim Murphy and Michael O’Leary were proving to be very hard to pass on the day, meeting the Kilbrin attacks with great resistance. Michael Cottrell put over a fine point from centre forward after some good work from Jacko Flaherty to give Newmarket a lead of 0-17 to 0-8 with five minutes remaining. Aidan Browne had an exceptional second half, carrying countless balls out from the backline while Séan Meehan grew in stature as the game went on. Congo hit his fourth of the day, again from far out on the left wing. Kilbrin rallied though and were rewarded with a fine goal from the tightest of angles. They followed this up with two more points to cut the deficit to just 5 points but Newmarket held on and they captured their first title at this grade since Newmarket won the then Novice Championship of 1962, 55 years ago. Eoin O’Connell lifted the cup and acknowledged the work of Séan Irwin and Eamon Moynihan as selectors of the team. After overcoming Banteer in the semi final, following a great come back, Newmarket looked in control of the game from the start on Sunday with Paul Verling, in particular, keeping the score board ticking over. It was a well deserved victory on the day.
The Newmarket team…