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Late goals see Newmarket to victory in U-13B academy final

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Michael O’Connor watched Newmarket on Fergus take the Under 13B academy final from Cratloe on a score of 3-3 to 1-7

As the Under 13 season winds down with the school season lurking ominously on the horizon next week the academy finals at under 13 and under 15 are providing great entertainment for club supporters.

In some cases, the excitement is at a greater level as seen already this season. Meelick was the latest venue on Thursday evening for two sides who have a storied history in competition an the latest chapter was his academy final.

Over the course of the game the tackling was fierce with match official Joe Mullins requiring the proverbial eyes in the back of the head. There was a player sent off and a mentor asked to leave the field such was the excitement engendered. It matters little the title on offer, be it all Ireland or Under 12 because when two GAA sides go for glory, stand back and enjoy the drama.

The opening score went to Cratloe’s freetaker Sean O’Gorman and one who stood out all evening as a player to note.

Jack Flynn and Christopher Lee added scores in quick succession as the South Clare side looked as if they might be capable of going all the way especially with the defenders giving no scope to the Newmarket forwards in the first quarter.

There was a dearth of scores for the second quarter yet no shortage of activity as Newmarket on Fergus got on the scoresheet with O’ Gorman adding hie second and Cratloe’s fourth point after 25 minutes.

Newmarket on Fergus began to press more and more in the game and eventually this pressure told in the 28th minute as Jamie O Neill Fitzpatrick bounced to double a batted down ball past James Ormston and the sides were level after all the effort exuded by Cratloe.

Sean O’ Gorman had the final score of the half with a 65 to leave Aaron Carroll’s young charges (0-5) to (1-1) ahead at the break.

Cratloe introduced three players at the break and over the hour both sides brought on close on 10 players collectively. With Cathal Gunter, Conor Quinm, James Kennedy and Ben Daly working hard for Cratloe it led to the concession of frees by Newmarket. Sean O’ Gorman added two frees in the 33rd and 38th minute to stretch Cratloe three clear.

The game turned on a moment when Sean O’ Gormans effort for a goal went inches wide and may have hit the post. Newmarket drew a breath and Paddy Rya grandson of Newmarket legend PJ McMahon goaled the equaliser and somehow Cratloe wilted for five minutes and were very fortunate not to concede another goal immediately after the equaliser.

Cratloe substitute Oisin Doherty will long remember his own goal that gave Cratloe the lead once more. A high ball went into the square broke the goalies right and he rifled a ground shot to the top of the net as the Cratloe supporters went wild and three clear.

Newmarket-on-Fergus took control of the game after the Cratloe goal sending three efforts wide but creating chances that eventually turned to scores.

Full forward Micheal O’ Leary first time a dropping ball to the Cratloe net and the sides were level entering the 55th minute. The final score of the game went to Newmarket in the most dramatic fashion and it was Diarmuid Ryan who coolly popped up an effort suitable for a senior hurler.

Newmarket had the comfort score from a free by Ryan as Cratloe now required a goal. Cratloe had four minutes to attain an equaliser and set up extra time, but it was not to be and Newmarket gathered another trophy for the sideboard.

The academy winners can thank the efforts of John Burke, Zach Smith, Aaron Freeman, Donal O’Callaghan, Colin O’Dea, Diarmuid Ryan, Paddy Ryan, Micheal O’Leary and Jamie O’Neill Fitzpatrick.

Cratloe are speeding up the motorway with capable replacements for the current senior squad when the need arises. Their best included James Ormston, Mark O’Neill, Christopher Lee, Jack Flynn, Sean O’Gorman, Ben Daly, Tom Kennedy and Cathal Gore.

Following the game Bord na nOg Chairperson Neil O’ Brien presented the Shield to Newmarket-on-Fergus captain Gearoid Crowe amid great scenes of jubilation from the Blues supporters.

Newmarket-on-Fergus: John Burke, Sam Bannon, Zach Smith, Gearoid Crowe, Aaron Freeman, Tadgh Guinnane, Donal O’Callaghan, Rory Jones, Greg Tucker, Colin O’ Dea, Diarmuid Ryan, Liam Collins, Paddy Ryan, Micheal O’ Leary, Jamie O’ Neill Fitzpatrick. Subs: Patrick Burke, Gavin Jones, Colum O’Laoghaire. Scorers: Paddy Ryan, Jamie O’Neill Fitzpatrick (1-0) each, Diarmuid Ryan (1-2), Patrick Burke (0-1).

Cratloe: James Ormston, Conor Gleeson, Mark O’Neill, Thomas O’Sullivan, Christopher Lee, Jack Flynn, Morgan Leahy, Sean O’Gorman, Tom Kennedy, Ben Daly, Fionn Collins, Cathal Gunter, James Kennedy, Evan Gore, Cian Finn. Subs: Conor Quinn, Aodhan Sheppard, Oisin O’ Doherty, Oisin Kelly, Caleb Harkins, Ben Carroll. Scorers: Sean O’Gorman (0-5), Oisin O’Doherty (1-0), Christopher Lee, Jack Flynn (0-1) each.

Referee: Joe Mullins (Clonlara)

About Michael O'Connor

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