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Newmarket step up a gear to come out on top

Newmarket 2-18  St Joseph’s 0-10

ST Joseph’s matched favourites Newmarket in the opening quarter of their senior hurling quarter-final on Saturday evening but after this the winners controlled the game and dominated throughout the field to run out worthy winners.

Newmarket's Seánie Arthur contests a ball with St Joseph's Marty Regan during their senior championship game at Cusack Park. Photograph by John KellyThey displayed the greater sharpness throughout and were full of running from start to finish. They were eight points ahead at the end of the opening half and while St Joseph’s brought that back to six by the end of the third quarter, there was never really any danger of an upset.
Points were exchanged four times in the opening 17 minutes but six unanswered points in the next 10 minutes put the Blues firmly in the driving seat. The Doora-Barefield men were dealt a huge blow in the second minute of injury time at the end of the half when Seánie Arthur pounced to find the net and punish the St Joseph’s defence, who were slow in clearing their lines. It left the score at 1-10 to 0-5 and Newmarket were firmly in the driving seat.
The had the opening point of the second half from Shane O’Brien but three unanswered efforts from St Joseph’s gave their followers some hope.
It wasn’t to be, however, and the final quarter was controlled by Newmarket, who outscored their opponents, 1-7 to 0-2.
Newmarket's Pauric Collins contests the ball with St Joseph's Michael McNamara  during their senior championship game at Cusack Park. Photograph by John KellyThat margin could have been greater but St Joseph’s substitute goalie Paul Madden pulled off a couple of great saves after he was introduced for the injured Christy O’Connor. The long-serving St Joseph’s keeper suffered a serious leg injury when effecting a good save 10 minutes into the second half. He had to be stretchered from the pitch and was removed to hospital in Galway, where surgery was carried out on Saturday night.
This win further strengthened the view amongst Newmarket supporters that they are moving closer to ending the long wait for the Clare senior hurling title to return to their parish.
Stephen Kelly excelled at full-back and he got great support from Enda Barrett who dominated on the wing. James McInerney, Eoin Hayes, David Barrett, Shane O’Brien and the game’s top scorer,  Colin Ryan, were others to impress on the day.
Cathal O’Sullivan, Marty O’Regan, Greg Lyons and Michael McNamara got through some good work for St Joseph’s  but, overall, they were well beaten by a much livelier Newmarket side.

Newmarket: Kieran Devitt; Eoin O’Brien, Stephen Kelly, Padraig Kilmartin; Paudie Collins, James McInerney, Enda Barrett; Martin O’Hanlon, Eoin Hayes; David Barrett, Jim McInerney, Martin Murphy; Seánie Arthur, Shane O’Brien, Colin Ryan.
Subs: Michael McInerney for Murphy (25 minutes); Brian Clancy for Jim McInerney (46 minutes); Bernard Gaffney for Arthur ( 55 minutes); James Liddy for M McInerney (59 minutes)  and Enda Kelly for E Barrett (61 minutes).
Scorers: Colin Ryan (1-8), 0-6 frees; David Barrett (0-3), Seánie Arthur (1-0); Shane O’Brien (0-2) Eoin Hayes, Michael McInerney, James McInerney, Bernard Gaffney and  Jim McInerney (0-1) each.
Frees for: 11; Wides: 6; 65s: 1.
Bookings: Martin O’Hanlon (8 minutes); Pádraig Kilmartin (15 minutes) and Enda Barrett (60 minutes).
“Maybe the scoreline shows that we were comfortable winners but, realistically, if Barefield had taken their chances it would have been a lot closer. Its great to be back in the semi-final again,” Diarmuid O’Leary, Newmarket.
St Joseph’s: Christy O’Connor; Cathal O’Sullivan, Ken Kennedy, Martin O’Regan; Michael Cullinan, David Hoey, Darragh O’Driscoll; Kevin Dilleen, Greg Lyons; Damian Kennedy, Noel Brodie, Michael McNamara; Enda Lyons, Sean McMahon, Paul Dullaghan.
Subs: Colm Mullen for E Lyons (27 minutes); Seán Flynn for Cullinan (half-time); Paul Madden for O’Connor (inj 38 minutes); Fergal O’Sullivan for Dilleen (46 minutes) and Declan Malone for D Kennedy (21 minutes).
Scorers: Seán McMahon (0-5), all frees; Greg Lyons (0-2), Damian Kennedy, Michael McNamara andColm Mullen (0-1) each.
Frees for: 17; Wides: 6; 65s: 1.
Bookings: Greg Lyons (8 minutes); Enda Lyons (15 minutes); Kevin Dilleen (31 minutes) and Damian Kennedy (38 minutes).
“We were building all week and I was quietly confident and we did well for the opening 10 minutes. I was happy enough at 0-10 to 0-5 but the goal before half-time was a real killer blow. It sapped the life out of us really. We tried to get back but we gave away silly frees, we retaliated a few times. At the end of the day we were well beaten by a much better and slicker team,” Patsy Fahy, St Joseph’s.
Referee: Rory Hickey, Éire Óg.


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