Strong Second Half Sees Seniors Past Clonlara

By Colm Liddy
Newmarket on Fergus 1:20
Clonlara 1:13
Venue: Fr Murphy Memorial Park, Newmarket-on-Fergus

Minutes from throw in, both our hurling fields were chocabloc with the training of Under 10 hurlers, camogie and football girls. Many stayed on to watch as the evening was fine and so too was the performance of our senior hurlers. They showed the toughness without which you can’t begin to compete. The hunger for the ball. The skills to do something useful when they got it.

Throughout both halves, Newmarket were perhaps 10% ahead in territory and possession but in the first period failed to make it pay on the scoreboard. We shot five wides and three excellent goal opportunities went a begging. On target were Liam O’Connor and Michael McInerney, along with four frees from Colin Ryan. Clonlara were tipping along more economically however with O’Donovan and the O’Connell brothers to the fore while Padraic O’Loughlin knocked over two very skilful scores. They led by seven points to six as the half dwindled through various stoppages to a close. Eoin Hayes shipped a very heavy tackle and spent several minutes on the turf.

He re-emerged however for the second half and in short order lit the fuse which blew the match decisively in the Blues direction. Substitute Enda Barrett, playing at centre back, made an immediate impression with a high catch and in the very next play, so too did Evan Keogh. After Hayes scored a point from the wing, the increasing dominance of Newmarket’s defence and midfield saw his next three possessions come quickly. All ended in a precise pass to Colin Ryan, resulting in three further points. Tots replied with a point but then came the point of the match scored by Michael McInerney. Ball won in a ruck, ball hit from a distance while running, angled back at an acute angle. From the puck out, Clonlara drove forward in numbers and worked the ball to an unmarked Galvin who hit the net.

Game very much on, there to be won or lost. Vital contributions from the men numbered 1 to 15, culminated in another point from Michael Mcinerney, this from a tight angle. Colin scored two points followed by one from Tots to stay in touch. Another pick up from Hayes, another precise pass, this time to McInerney. He spun 180 degrees and slotted it over. From there until the end there were scores at both ends but the Blues were in control. Colin scored several more as did the combative McInerney, along with Goode and Liddy. In injury time the Clonlara goalie, Ryan Morris muffed a puck out to Guilfoyle who carried and duly returned it to the net.

NOF: Jack O’Connor; Eoin O’Brien, James McInerney, Evan Keogh; Martin O’Hanlon, Niall O’Connor, Liam O’Connor; Sean O’Connor, Ronan Goode; Noel Frawley, Michael McInerney, Colin Guilfoyle; James Liddy, Colin Ryan, Eoin Hayes
Subs: Enda Barrett for L. O’Connor (ht), James Warren for Hayes (55)
Scorers: Ryan 0.11 (8f), M. McInerney 0.05, Guilfoyle 1.00, L O’Connor, Goode, Liddy, Hayes, all 0.01.

Clonlara: Ryan Morris; Patrick O’Hehir, Gareth Kennedy, Paul McNamara; Cillian Fennessy, Nicky O’Connell, Domhnall O’Donovan; Cathal (Tots) O’Connell, Michael White; Fionn O’Brien, Ger Powell, Padraig O’Loughlin; Kieran Galvin, Michael O’Loughlin, Ger Haskett
Scorers: Tots 0.07 (6f), Galvin 1.01, P. O’Loughlin 0.03, N. O’Connell 0.01, M. O’Loughlin 0.01

Referee: Damien Fox (Clooney/Quin)

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