'B' teams blossom as promotion is sealed
THE AUL Division 3A league concluded last weekend confirming both Ballinhassig and Ballincollig's promotion.
Newmarket capped off their debut season with a 2-1 win against Ballincollig, who beat Newmarket to the all-important second promotion spot, behind league winners Ballinhassig. However, Newmarket will take plenty of encouragement from their first season when their achievements this season are highlighted.
As Ballinhassig were clear league winners, only losing twice all season, the race for second spot was always going to be keenly contested throughout the season and the one point deficit shows how far Newmarket pushed Ballincollig.
The pressure was on Ballincollig to get all three points or face the prospect of a winner takes all game against Newmarket, but they showed no sign of nerves securing the second position when they beat Lakewood 3-1 with a game left to spare.
In a season of mixed fortunes Newmarket won their first silverware beating a string of fancied teams to capture the President's Cup. They surprised many in reaching the final but showed no nerves in the unfamiliar Turner's Cross surroundings.
Few could begrudge Newmarket the cup as they went on to win the game 31, seeing off the challenge of Strand United.
Newmarket trainer Bob Kennedy told The Corkman that it was conceding an early goal that inspired his team, which has often been the case this season "Their goal was a set back but the lads saw how important it was to react and they did so immediately. They have shown great commitment and resolve all season whenever we concede a goal."
Bob added that the players deserve huge credit: "The management would like to thank all the players for their hard work and effort throughout the season and for making it a memorable one for the club.
"Newmarket have their fans to thank for a large part of their success in their inaugural season, as they have turned out for league and cup games in huge numbers. It was estimated that between three and four hundred supporters were there to shout Newmarket on in the cup final and this support was appreciated by everyone involved in the club.
"We couldn't thank the fans enough, the atmosphere they provide is amazing and they get right behind the team."
Newmarket's attention will now turn to next season and Bob said that one of the main focuses should be a new pitch "We hope to get a better, full time pitch so we can progress as a club and hopefully move up the ranks. We've had a great first season but need to build on it."