Newmarket, buoyed on by their terrific supporters settled early with the excellent John Lane converting a second minute free. Within a minute, St. Finbarr’s gained parity and hit the front for the first time in their next attack. John Lane slotted over a second free to tie the sides for a second time in the sixth minute. St. Finbarr’s who possessed superior physical strength throughout the field began to dominate but missed a string of chances. Newmarket burst forward with purpose and looked dangerous when given the opportunity and in the sixteenth minute, Ian Flanagan was on hand to slot over a third point after some superb approach play involving Bart Daly and Timothy Murphy. The sides were level for a third time when the city side pointed in the twenty second minute and they began to turn the screw for the remainder of the half as they converted three frees in succession to turn over in front by 0-6 to 0-3 at the interval.
Newmarket resumed in impressive fashion. John Lane breached the St. Finbarr’s rearguard to fist a point within a minute and the same player converted a free from a difficult angle three minutes later. Newmarket maintained their period of dominance and another excellent move ended with team captain Timothy Murphy left bearing down on goal and he was upended for a penalty. Brian O’Riordan, not for the first time, stepped up from the full back position and crashed the ball to the back of the net as Newmarket regained the lead, 1-5 to 0-6, six minutes into the half. The city champions responded and two successive points had the sides level for a fourth time with twenty minutes to play.
By the end of the third quarter they moved into a two point lead but John Ryan reduced the arrears to a minimum by pointing a free in the forty eighth minute. The powerful St. Finbarr’s made their dominance pay and in a three minute spell they sealed the contest. Two points were added to their tally before an all important individual goal arrived with eight minutes remaining and a six point advantage was established. Newmarket maintained their composure and once more John Lane found the target. St. Finbarr’s rallied with two points but the final score of the game came courtesy of Nicky Flanagan who drilled a point over the bar from twenty yards.
Newmarket and their team of mentors can reflect on a commendable performance on such an illustrious stage and can hopefully build on their notable achievements to date.
The Newmarket team was…