ÉIRE Óg battled back to get the better of a brave Newmarket in an exciting Co. Minor A Hurling League Final in Coachford on Saturday last.
CO. MINOR A HURLING LEAGUE FINAL
Éire Óg 0-20 Newmarket 1-14 (aet)
When stamina counted, the Mid Cork side possessed it in extra time to shade the issue to a contest that offered fine passage of hurling. Dominating the opening half, Éire Óg appeared to be in a commanding position yet Newmarket thundered back in impressive style to force parity and an additional 20 minutes. However in the extra time, Éire Óg looked that bit more sharper and the more composed to swing the issue. Though Éire Óg shaded the early exchanges, Newmarket held their own from points to Barry O'Connor and Donal Hannon.
Steadily Éire Óg put an authoritive stamp on the game through the effective play of substitute Seán Desmond, John Mullins, Killian Dennehy, Daire McCarthy and Jamie McBride. Though erratic shooting blemished Éire Óg's handle, points to Cathal Murphy, Barry Kirwan, Finbarr Fuohy and Danny O'Connor helped gather a 0-10 to 0-4 interval advantage. Newmarket failed to panic and threw down the gauntlet upon the restart through the rallying efforts of Jamie Hayes, Liam Birtley, Paudie Allen, Gavin Forde, substitute Patrick Kelly and Hannon could do no wrong from placed balls.
Éire Óg did reply from points to Murphy and Ronan O'Toole to maintain a 0-12 to 0-9 grip. However Newmarket threw the game wide open in the 52 nd min. , O'Connor at the end of a Hannon free to net for the equaliser. Now Newmarket had the bite between their teeth, Hannon pointing the Duhallow side ahead twice and it took a late point from McCarthy to grab Éire Óg a reprieve at 0-14 to 1-11.
ewmarket had lost O'Connor for extra time yet Kelly nudged his side into brief lead. However, Éire Óg found a new lease of life, regaining dominance in the key departments. Scoring wise, Murphy and McBride made the most of the chances that came their way to land the spoils in favour of a more balanced Éire Óg outfit.