Roll of honour leaders Newmarket relegate Kilmaley to intermediate ranks

Mikey McInerney puts Conor Cleary under pressure. Pic: Martin Connolly
Mikey McInerney puts Conor Cleary under pressure. Pic: Martin Connolly

Clare’s most successful hurling side, Newmarket on Fergus, have avoided the dreaded drop to intermediate for 2017 with a hard earned four-point victory over Kilmaley.

Ryan Corry reports from O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge

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Newmarket-on-Fergus 2-11
Kilmaley 0-13
Venue: O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge

Similar to the first game between the sides, there wasn’t an inch given by either side as highlighted by the relatively low scoring. After that first battle between the sides, it was widely highlighted that a goal was needed by either side to have clinched it and on this occasion it was Newmarket who were able to make that happen.

Second half goals from Colin Ryan and Mikey McInerney pushed them over the line after being behind by half time. The gap at the break was two points but it could have been a whole lot more as Newmarket had failed to get going and Kilmaley were wasteful.

It was the Blues who took the lead early on through a Ryan placed ball but from there, it was a far hungrier Kilmaley who took control.

Mikey O’Neill was getting under the skin of Newmarket and covering every blade of grass in the process. He had a major role in their first half domination. They stormed into a four point lead (0-6 0-2) but all of the hard work was undone by a poor final five minutes for Kilmaley.

Newmarket upped the intensity level and Niall O’Connor started to stem the influence of O’Neill which allowed Newmarket a bit more freedom. They scored three of the last four points in the half to pull it back to just two going in at the break.

It didn’t look promising for Newmarket but the second half would prove to be a completely different story. Their ability to unload the bench a bit more and bring on the likes of Martin O’Hanlon and Noel Frawley proved effective. The key spell in the game came between the 45th and 50th minutes when Newmarket got 1-2 without reply to steam ahead by three.

A mountainous score from Mikey McInerney was the equaliser and it lifted the Blues no end. It was followed soon after by the goal from Ryan that was made by pin point build up play involving Stephen Kelly, Eoin Hayes and Shane O’Brien Snr.

Kilmaley rallied with two points from Kenneth Kennedy and Cian Moloney but they had no answer for the second goal.

Similar to the first goal, it came from good build up down the left hand side which left Mikey McInerney with just O’Loughlin to beat in the Kilmaley goal. Darren O’Connor had the final word with his first touch by slotting the ball over the bar from midfield and cementing Newmarket’s place in Senior Championship for 2017.

Another nail biting game for supporters that was edged by the Newmarket’s second half showing powered by Enda Barrett, James McInerney, Stephen Kelly and Mikey McInerney.

Kilmaley go down to Intermediate and that will strike fear into a few teams in that grade, particularly Broadford and St Joseph’s Doora Barefield who do battle in this year’s final.

Newmarket-on-Fergus: Ronan McCormack; Shane O’Brien, James McInerney, Evan Keogh; Liam O’Connor, Niall O’Connor, Enda Barrett; Sean O’Connor (0-1), Ronan Goode; Mikey McInerney (1-1), Shane O’Brien, Eoin O’Brien; Colin Ryan (1-7, 0-6f), Stephen Kelly, Eoin Hayes (0-1). Subs: Martin O’Hanlon for Keogh (32), Noel Frawley for S O’Connor (38), Darren O’Connor (0-1) for Goode (60+3), Darren Duggan for Hayes (60+4)

Kilmaley: Bryan O’Loughlin; Colin McGuane, Conor McMahon, John Clohessy; Aidan McGuane, Conor Cleary, Brian Cahill; Kenneth Kennedy (0-1), Eoin Enright; Diarmuid McMahon, Mikey O’Neill (0-2), Michael O’Malley (0-1); Daire Keane (0-2), Alan Markham, Cian Moloney (0-7, 2’65s, 3f). Subs: Eamon Bracken for D McMahon (46), Sean Kennedy for O’Malley (50), Noel Casey for Cahill (58), Paraic McNamara for Markham (60+2)

Referee: Johnny Healy (Smith O’Briens)

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