Coming into their game against Castletownbere on Saturday night last, Newmarket sat bottom of Group C of the Premier Intermediate Championship with one point after two games.
hile in an unenviable position, with no team guaranteed qualification, Newmarket knew victory opened the door to a potential quarter-final place.
Barry O’Connor, a late change to the Newmarket line-up, opened the scoring on two minutes, with Darren O’Keeffe doubling the lead four minutes later. The advantage was quickly cancelled out, though, with the sides level shortly after.
The Beara men then took the lead and maintained it until the first water break. After the resumption, scores from Tim Murphy and Darren O’Keeffe briefly put Newmarket ahead, before the contest was all square again moments later, 0-04 apiece.
On an evening when incessant rain, combined with a floodlit field, made scores hard to come by, Castletownbere netted a valuable goal on 22 minutes. That proved to be the final score of the half, with Newmarket left ruing their eight wides during the period.
Like the first half, Barry O’Connor registered the opening score, with Castletownbere cancelling it out shortly after. Indeed, the Beara men went on to score two further points, to take a commanding 0-05 to 1-07 lead, on 42 minutes.
Newmarket began to work their way back into the match with a brace of scores from Conor O’Keeffe in consecutive minutes. A third point from O’Keeffe ensured his side only trailed by two entering the final water break.
On 51 minutes, Newmarket got the breakthrough required when an O’Keeffe ball into the danger area was fisted into the Castletownbere net by Kevin O’Sullivan. Ryan O’Keeffe added to Newmarket’s tally moments later.
Castletownbere reduced the arrears to a single point on 56 minutes and came searching for an equalising score.
Newmarket controlled the ball in the closing period and saw out the remaining minutes to secure a fantastic comeback win, 1-09 to 1-08.
With Aghada defeating Na Piarsaigh in the other group game, it meant Newmarket’s win elevated them to second place in the group and into a county quarter-final against Naomh Abán. Áth Trasna Abú!
Team: Ben Newman, Mikey Browne, Alan Ryan, Paudie Allen, Kevin O’Sullivan (1-00), Gavin Forde, Bart Daly, Tim Murphy (0-01), Mikey Cottrell, Darren O’Keeffe (0-02), Cathal Browne, Barry O’Connor (0-02), Conor O’Keeffe (0-03), Ryan O’Keeffe (0-01), John Ryan
Subs: TJ Brosnan for John Ryan