Newmarket 2-11 Clarecastle 0-10
Clarecastle went into their third round tie in the knowledge that victory was vital to keep their slim hopes of championship glory in 2009 alive. They battled bravely throughout but Newmarket were the superior outfit on the day and deservingly maintained their unbeaten run in this season’s championship.
Any doubts that the Blues, who had already qualified for the play-offs, might not be up for this contest were quickly knocked on the head as they raced into a four-point lead inside three minutes. It could have been greater had Seánie Arthur’s pile driver following a James McInerney delivery been lower in the second minute but the corner-forward’s effort flew over the crossbar.
Colin Ryan opened the scoring after just 25 seconds and Jim McInerney doubled their lead on the one minute mark.
The game was eight minutes old when Tyrone Kearse opened Clarecastle’s account from a 65’, which came about when his effort for a goal from a 20m free was turned behind.
The winners continued to dominate and got through for their opening goal just before the end of the first quarter, when Colin Ryan finished off a fine move.
The scores dried up in the second quarter when the sides managed just one point each as defences held the upperhand. It was 1-5 to 0-3 at half-time and Newmarket were full value for the lead.
In an effort to haul themselves back into contention, Clarecastle made two changes at the start of the second half and both were in attack, with Seán Talty and Seánie Moloney replacing Gary Farmer and Eamonn Callinan.
Newmarket introduced Michael McInerney and he made an immediate impact with a fine point.
Clarecastle enjoyed their best spell during the first 10 minutes of this half and four unanswered points, three from Tyrone Kearse and one from Derek Quinn, saw them close the gap to two.
Just when it looked like the Magpies might give their championship hopes a real boost, they were dealt a big blow, which saw the momentum swing back to Newmarket. A foul on Seánie Arthur led to a penalty, which Colin Ryan crashed to the net and Michael McInerney quickly followed with his second point to make the margin six points as the third quarter drew to a close.
Clarecastle, to their credit, continued to battle hard but the Blues were the better balanced team and while they will be disappointed with some of their misses on the day, they deserved their victory, which keeps them as the only unbeaten team in this year’s championship race.
Stephen Kelly, Padraig Kilmartin, James McInerney, Enda Barrett, Colin Ryan, Seánie Arthur and substitute Michael McInerney did well for the winners, while Clarecastle had hard working performances from Danny Scanlan, Mark McNamara and Tyrone Kearse.
Newmarket: Kieran Devitt; Eoin O’Brien, Stephen Kelly, Padraig Kilmartin; Paudie Collins, James McInerney, Enda Barrett; Martin O’Hanlon, Eoin Hayes; Bernard Gaffney, Jim McInerney (yellow card), Eoin McInerney; Enda Kelly, Colin Ryan, Seánie Arthur.
Subs: Michael McInerney for E McInerney (half-time), James Liddy for Gaffney (43 minutes) and Dominick McMahon for E Kelly (55 minutes).
Scorers: Colin Ryan (2-3, 1-2 frees), Seánie Arthur (0-3), Michael McInerney (0-2), Martin O’Hanlon, Bernard Gaffney (free) and Jim McInerney (0-1 each).
Frees for: 9. Wides: 12. 65s: 3.
“It’s a win. I know it was poor but we have qualified from the so-called group of death.” Diarmuid O’Leary, Newmarket.
Clarecastle: Donagh Murphy; Mark McNamara (yellow card), Alan O’Loughlin (yellow card), Gareth Barry; Kevin Clohessy, Conor Plunkett (yellow card), Danny Scanlan (yellow card); Patrick Kelly, Tyrone Kearse; Gary Farmer, Jonathon Clancy, Aaron Considine; Eamonn Callinan, Eric Flynn, Derek Quinn (yellow card).
Subs: Seán Talty for Farmer (half-time), Seánie Moloney for Callinan (half-time), Darragh Moloney for Flynn (52 minutes), Ken Ralph for Talty (56 minutes) and Jamie O’Connor for C Plunkett (injured, 58 minutes).
Scorers: Tyrone Kearse (0-7, 0-4 frees), Jonathon Clancy, Aaron Considine and Derek Quinn (0-1 each).
Frees for: 14. Wides: 5. 65s: 3.
“The season continues on and we have another game and we have to prepare for that now.” Ger Ward, Clarecastle
Referee: Johnnie Healy, Smith O’Brien’s.