Whitegate secured their Senior status for 2017 with a shock victory over Newmarket-on-Fergus in Broadford on Saturday evening.
Ryan Corry reports from Broadford
Whitegate were the better side over the hour and showed on the scoreboard as they only trailed Newmarket inside the first five minutes of the encounter.
The goals they got were key as their opponents never really looked like putting one in at the other end of the field. Whitegate’s key players like Eoin Quirke, Colin Burke and Brendan Bugler were all winning their battles which was a massive factor in the dominance they held.
Once Paul Burke fired to the back of the net in the 17th minute, you just felt that it would be their day. A shootout between the excellent Colin Burke and Colin Ryan in the first half highlighted the stop/start nature of the game.
That goal helped Whitegate to a one point advantage at the break with the score reading 1-6 0-8.
Scores were few and far between in the second half with only three points in the first ten minutes after the restart, with two of those going to the leaders. The next score was the key one and it was substitute Eoin Patterson who got it. He rattled the net for Whitegate putting the game firmly in their clutches.
Colin Ryan responded with four for Newmarket of the next six to try and gain a bit of momentum for his side but Whitegate always had an answer and never let the lead go to less than a goal.
Newmarket unloaded the bench in search of the equalising goal but it was to no avail.
It’s back to the drawing board for the Blues who face Kilmaley in the relegation decider and they will be sweating on injuries to Colin Ryan and James McInerney yesterday.
Whitegate will be delighted with holding on to Senior status for next season and with the performance that they put in to do so.
Whitegate: Andrew Fahey, Reuben Noyes, Eoin Quirke, Conor McDermott; Ian Fahy, Brendan Bugler, Conor Aspel; Colm Madden, Paul O’Rourke (0-1); Patrick Burke(0-1), Colin Burke (0-7, 5f), Jason Malone (0-1); Mikie O’Brien (0-1), John Bugler, Paul Burke (1-0). Subs: Eoin Patterson (1-0), Christy Jones, Tomás Quirke
Newmarket-on-Fergus: Ronan McCormack; Shane O’Brien Jnr, Stephen Kelly, Liam O’Connor; Sean O’Connor, Enda Barrett, James McInerney; Colin Ryan (0-11, 10f), Martin O’Hanlon; Eoin O’Brien (0-2), Shane O’Brien Snr (0-1), David Barrett; Eoin Hayes, Niall O’Connor, Mikey McInerney. Subs: Ronan Goode for J McInerney (HT (Inj), Páraic McMahon for S O’Brien Jnr (47), James Liddy for M McInerney (55), Noel Frawley for O’Hanlon (55), Darren Duggan for S O’Brien Snr (61)
Referee: Johnny Healy (Smith O’Briens)