Newmarket-on-Fergus 1-18Tulla 1-8
WHILE Tulla squandered a few chances and the Newmarket goal was down to the blinding sun, rather than any forward instinct, there was no doubt the Blues were deserved winners at Clarecastle on Saturday.
They moved the ball very well, while Colin Ryan was in great form, hitting 11 points, three from play. He was well assisted by Eoin Hayes, who got through a lot of work.
Tulla had the backing of the breeze but after a quarter of an hour they trailed by 0-7 to 0-1 and it was always going to be tough for them to recover after such a poor start.
They improved in the second quarter, started to dominate territory and cut the gap to three points, 0-8 to 0-5, while they had also had a penalty saved.
Again in the second half, after Cathal Dinan scored their goal, they brought the gap down to just two points going into the last quarter but from then on, the Blues were totally on top. Their goal came after a long delivery from Hayes eluded Philip Brennan, who was facing into the sun.
Speaking after the match, Newmarket manager, Bob Enright was loath to say that his side had been comfortable victors.
“I don’t know about that. After such a long layout, you’d be a bit anxious about how fellas would come out again so today was about getting a good workmanlike performance, blowing off the cobwebs and getting back into a championship routine.
“Halfway through the second half, when Tulla goaled, there were only a few points in it and we were anxious enough at that stage but the boys got the next score, which was crucial and with the breeze behind us we kicked on from that.”
Hayes and Ryan were two of the game’s central figures, he acknowledged.
“Eoin Hayes had a great game and Colin has had a great 12 months. Overall, what pleased us most, particularly for the first 20-25 minutes, was our intensity and work rate. We dropped that a small bit either side of half-time but when we got it back again with 10 or 15 minutes to go, we kicked on. Overall, job done, there’s another game next week. There’s not much time for analysis, we’ll move onto the next one.”
It was Tulla’s second defeat, bringing down the curtain on any hopes of emerging from the group stages.
Manager Ray Stewart said the Blues were much more economical with their chances.
“I wouldn’t go blaming the soft goal now. We had goal chances during the game and we didn’t take them and they took every chance. We missed four goal chances and about five frees but they’re county champions for a reason.”
Newmarket-on-Fergus: Darren Duggan; Eoin O’Brien, James McInerney, Sean O’Connor; Niall O’Connor, Enda Barrett, Alan Barrett; Eoin Hayes, Ronan Goode; David Barrett, Shane O’Brien, Colin Ryan; Mikey McInerney, Stephen Kelly, James Liddy.
Subs: Shane Liddy for James Liddy and Shane O’Brien Jnr for David Barrett.
Scorers: Colin Ryan (0-11, 5f, 3 65’), Eoin Hayes (1-2), Mikey McInerney, Shane O’Brien (0-2 each) and Stephen Kelly (0-1).
Frees for: 8; wides: 7.
Tulla: Philip Brennan; Shane McNamara, Sean Torpey, John Fahy; Paul Lynch, David McInerney, Niall Bolton; Aidan Lynch, Cian McInerney; Kieran Brennan, Donncha McNamara, Cathal Dinan; Mark Lynch, Andrew Quinn, Darragh Corry.
Subs: Colin Corbett for Kieran Brennan and Alan Leamy for Mark Lynch.
Scorers: Cathal Dinan (1-1), Aidan Lynch (0-3f), David McInerney (0-1f), Donncha McNamara, Cian McInerney and Darragh Corry (0-1 each).
Frees for: 11; wides: 7.
Referee: Ambrose Heagney (Corofin).