A long and memorable season for the Newmarket footballers came to a conclusion on Sunday in Mallow, as they bowed out to of the Munster Intermediate Football Championship at the semi final stage. Defeat at the hands of Corofin, ensured the Clare side take on Na Gaeil of Kerry in the New Year, for the provincial title.
The Clare side were the first to register a score, through an opening point after four minutes, with Barry O’Connor levelling the contest two minutes later. Despite another point for the opposition, Darren O’Keeffe again brought parity, with an 11th minute Ryan O’Keeffe free giving Newmarket the lead for the first time. The advantage did not last long, as Corofin rattled off three points in as many minutes, to hold a two point lead, at the first water break.
The topsy turvy contest was again level on 25 minutes, after converted frees from Conor and Ryan O’Keeffe. These were followed up by a fine point, two minutes later from Cathal Browne, edging Newmarket ahead. A Ryan O’Keeffe free on 30 minutes cancelled out an earlier point from Corofin, to give his side a narrow 0-07 to 0-06 lead at half time. Neither side entered the dressing room fully content, with Newmarket ruing goal chances and turn-over-ball, which resulted in opposition scores. Whereas Corofin would question some of their shot selection, during the same period.
Following the resumption, two further frees from Ryan O’Keeffe, extended Newmarket’s advantage to three on 37 minutes. With three unanswered points of their own, the Clare side battled their way back into the competition to level the contest once more. Just before the final water break, Newmarket were dealt a blow, when Darren O’Keeffe received a second yellow card, with the opposition making instant use of their superior numbers, to regain the lead. With ten minutes remaining, the gap had stretched out to three. A brace of powerful runs by Conor O’Keeffe were expertly converted to scores and Newmarket came hunting for the levelling score. Despite great effort and opportunity, the score didn’t come and Corofin were next to convert, leaving the Mallow scoreboard reading 0-10 to 0-12 with time up. With Newmarket attacking and stretched, the Clare side pounced to score 1-01 in injury time, to confirm their place in the final, on a scoreline of 0-11 to 1-14. Congratulations to Corofin and best of luck in the final.
Newmarket will look back on a game that didn’t go to plan, with their performance not reaching the heights of previous weeks. But once the Christmas dinner has been eaten this Saturday, the team can reflect with pride on an amazing year, where they created their own legacy and brought immense joy to all. 2021 will live long in the memory. It has been a year when this group of players and their mentors battled back from adversity, to beat the odds on multiple occasions, and in doing so, secure a famous county title.
Congratulations to the players and their management of Niall McIntyre (Coach), Donal O’Sullivan, Paul Murphy, Sinéad O’Reagan (Physio), Dr. Bertie Daly (Doctor), Luke McCarthy (Stats), William Brosnan (Backroom) and Eileen O’Connell (Kit) on this momentous year, that has brought a lift to the whole community. The Newmarket panel for 2021 is as follows: Josh O’Keeffe, Mikey Browne, Alan Ryan, Paudie Allen, TJ Brosnan (c), Gavin Forde, Bart Daly, Michael Cottrell, Darren O’Keeffe, John Ryan, Kevin O’Sullivan, Barry O’Connor, Conor O’Keeffe, Ryan O’Keeffe, Cathal Browne, Daniel Norton, David Cottrell, Daniel Norton, Ben Newman, Tim Murphy, Colin O’Sullivan, TJ Bodie, Jamie Hayes, Eddie Allen, Shane McAuliffe, Seán Murphy, Paudie O’Sullivan, Pete Goggin, Paddy Browne, Aidan Browne, Tony O’Keeffe.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Ryan O’Keeffe (0-05, 5f), Conor O’Keeffe (0-03, 1f), Cathal Browne (0-01), Barry O’Connor (0-01), Darren O’Keeffe (0-01).
|Mikey Browne||Alan Ryan||Gavin Forde|
|T. J. Brosnan||Paudie Allen||Bart Daly|
|Mikey Cottrell||Cathal Browne|
|John Ryan||Kevin O'Sullivan||Barry O'Connor|
|Conor O'Keeffe||Ryan O'Keeffe||Darren O'Keeffe|
|Subs: Daniel Norton for Gavin Forde (30, Temp Blood Sub), David Cottrell for John Ryan (48), Daniel Norton for TJ Brosnan (58)|