Under 19B Hurling Championship Final
Newmarket-on-Fergus 2-20 Kilmaley 2-14 AET
IT had to take a gritty showing of character for Newmarket-on-Fergus to finally shake off the obstinate challenge of Kilmaley and secure the inaugural Under 19B Hurling Championship honours in Cusack Park on Wednesday evening, writes Eoin Brennan.
Snatching the whip hand for the last 25 minutes of normal time following a rousing Michael Power goal, the Blues appeared to be comfortably cruising towards victory as they led by four points by the hour mark.
Within a minute of injury-time, remarkably Kilmaley were level following a 1-1 burst from chief marksman Cian Neylon who also answered a Seadhna Liddy free in riposte to force extra-time at 2-10 to 1-13.
Buoyed by that reprieve, substitute Colm Killeen fired an early brace to catapult Kilmaley into the lead for the first time in 30 minutes. However, that was as good as it got for Kilmaley as a patient Newmarket managed to incrementally turn the tide, outscoring their flagging opponents by 1-7 to 0-2 for the remainder, including a clinching 1-1 rally through impact substitute Ché Sheedy, to create history by being the first name in the Under 19B roll of honour.
Captain Seadhna Liddy, swashbuckling goalkeeper Adam Enright, defensive anchor Mark Delaney, Sean Arthur, Sol Frost and superb targetman Michael Power demonstrated Newmarket-on-Fergus’ superior balance over the 80 minute endurance test.
2-6 from county minor Cian Neylon and excellent workmanlike performances from Brian McNamara, Dylan Keane-Hayes and Thomas McGuire led Kilmaley’s charge throughout.
Indeed, with Newmarket finding it difficult to hone their radar early on when passing up three glorious goal chances and hitting seven wides, Kilmaley eventually capitalised when a Cian Neylon scrambled goal after good grafting from Keane-Hayes finally put daylight between the sides in the 25th minute at 1-5 to 0-4.
By half-time, Newmarket had slashed that deficit to two (1-6 to 0-7) but the catalyst for their second half surge emanated from Michael Power’s persistence to find the net in the opening minute of the net half at 1-7 to 1-6. With that, Newmarket set about cementing their control, scoring five of the next seven points through Seadhna Liddy (2) Sean Arthur, Michael Power and Sol Frost to establish a 1-12 to 1-8 cushion entering the final ten minutes.
Kilmaley throught they had blown their chance when Luke Griffin excellently picked out replacement Colm Killeen but with the goal at his mercy he struck agonisingly wide of the left post.
Griffin was also instrumental in teeing up Cian Neylon for the dramatic injury-time equaliser but as extra-time progressed, it was Newmarket who deservedly emerged as the worthy first champions.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: Adam Enright; Cathal Cullinan, Brian Molloy, Dylan Crowe; Ronan O’Rourke, Mark Delaney, John Hogan; Darragh Jones, Aaron Moroney; Seadhna Liddy, Josh Ryan, Jamie Power; Sean Arthur, Sol Frost, Michael Power Subs: Jack Jennings for Cullinan (49), John Lynch for J. Power (54), Ché Sheedy for Ryan (62), Seamus Quinn for Lynch (70), Power for Frost (75), Frost for Jennings (77)
Scorers: Seadhna Liddy (0-10, 9f); Michael Power (1-5); Che Sheedy (1-1); Adam Enright (0-2f); Sean Arthur, Sol Frost (0-1 each)
Kilmaley: Kieran Daniels; Colin Clancy, Evan O’Haire, Alex Rynne; Mark Normoyle, Brian McNamara, Mikey Burke; Dylan Keane-Hayes, Thomas McGuire; Luke Griffin, Diarmuid Cahill, Tomas Clancy; Mikey Clancy, Joe Casey, Cian Neylon Subs: Emmet O’Brien for Rynne (35), Colm Killeen for M. Clancy (40)
Scorers: Cian Neylon (2-6, 5f); Thomas McGuire (0-3); Colm Killeen (0-2); Tomas Clancy, Dylan Keane-Hayes, Brian McNamara (0-1 each)
Referee: Aaron Hogg (Clonlara)