Harbour Rovers were victorious over Newmarket in the quarter final of the Junior A county championship in a tight contest played in Glantane on Saturday last.
The Avondhu side opened the scoring within the first minute. Newmarket replied through Kevin O’Sullivan, Donal Hannon (65) and Hugh O’Connor to lead by three points to one after seven minutes. The Glanworth based outfit levelled up the contest quickly, as the sides continued to trade scores with Hannon and captain Conor O’Keeffe on target for Newmarket, with Harbour Rovers replying in kind. A key period of the match saw Harbour Rovers register 1-02 without reply to put them up 0-05 to 1-07 after 22 minutes. A closing hat-trick of frees from Donal Hannon meant Newmarket trailed by four at the break, 0-08 to 1-09 in tough hurling conditions.
The Duhallow side started the brighter in the second half with a Hannon free reducing the gap to three, in the opening minute. It could have been better soon after with narrowly wide shots and a well saved goal attempt by the Harbour Rovers net minder keeping Newmarket at bay. A Barry O’Connor point on 40 minutes brought the opposition to within two. Harbour Rovers replied a minute later, but it was soon cancelled out by another Hannon free. An outstanding sideline point from play by Hugh O’Connor reduced the contest to the minimum as it entered the final fifteen. The Avondhu side reacted well to the situation and over the next few minutes scored three unanswered points. Donal Hannon continued to convert placed ball opportunities and when Rory Lynn scored from play on 58 minutes, there was just two between the sides. With time running out, Newmarket would likely need a goal but it was the opposition who found the next score and they followed it up with the insurance point on 63 minutes, holding out on a scoreline of 0-14 to 1-15.
In suffering their first defeat of the year, Newmarket’s Junior A hurling year comes to a close. In time the team and mentors of Seán Irwin, Stephen Stokes, DJ O’Sullivan and Neilie McCarthy will be able look back with pride on a league title retained and a first championship since 2019, won in considerable fashion just a few short weeks ago.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Donal Hannon (0-08, 7f, 1×65), Hugh O’Connor (0-02), Conor O’Keeffe (0-01), Barry O’Connor (0-01), Rory Lynn (0-01), Kevin O’Sullivan (0-01)
|Subs: Tadhg Ryan for Kevin O'Sullivan (56), Gavin Forde for John Ryan (56), Darren O'Keeffe for Cathal Browne (58)
Panel: Ben Newman, Donnacha Fitzpatrick, Colin O’Sullivan, Jack O’Connor, Daniel Norton, Kevin Daly, David Cottrell, Michael Lane, Paudie O’Sullivan, Ethan Hourigan, Eoin Walsh, Nicky Barrett, Seán Murphy, Ryan O’Keeffe, Mikey Cottrell, Pete Goggin