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Cork SAFC: Ryan O'Keeffe bags a stunning 4-3 for Newmarket to relegate Bandon

Newmarket bounce back in style from group phase disappointment to retain their senior status for another season


Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile



Newmarket 5-11

Bandon 1-8

Newmarket bounced back from the disappointment of failing to create an impression in the group format to experience little difficulties to blitz Bandon in the County Senior A Football Championship relegation playoff clash in Coachford.

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The Duhallow side were full value for the 15-point triumph, leading by eight points at the interval and thereafter offering a ruthless streak to press home their advantage to ultimately retain Senior A status. Newmarket had made their debut in the grade in the aftermath of a dramatic win over Kanturk in last season's County Premier IFC Final.

However, Newmarket failed to measure up in the initial Group phase, a decent showing against Clyda Rovers on securing a draw, offset by below par showings to O'Donovan Rossa and Ilen Rovers.

However when the crunch came, no mistake in the key trap door scenario, Newmarket putting forward their best performance in a demolition of Bandon, the outcome consigns the West Cork side to the Premier Intermediate grade for 2023.

Boosted by a virtuoso performance from Ryan O'Keeffe, bagging a tidy 4-3 haul confirmed Newmarket always held a far greater scoring threat. Clearly, Newmarket wanted victory much more, enjoying the perfect start from early points to Conor O’Keeffe and Daniel Culloty.

Bandon got up and running from a Conor Calnan point only for Newmarket to perform far more convincing as an unit, Ryan O’Keeffe finding the net at the close of the opening quarter. O'Keeffe added his second before Martin McNamara obliged for Bandon side from the penalty spot to trail 2-7 to 1-2 at half time.

For a brief spell, Bandon raised the pace on the restart from points to Mark Sugrue and Cian O’Mahony though Newmarket maintained their dominance and gained a definite edge all over the park.

Indeed, there was no halting Newmarket movement, Mikey Cottrell pointing as O’Keeffe brought his tally to three goals midway through the second half.

The one way traffic continued, who else but O'Keeffe to add a further green flag to put the icing on the cake for Newmarket’s fourth strike and well away from the trap door.

Better late than never, Newmarket will wonder on not bringing a turbo charged performance to opponents earlier in the campaign.

Still plenty of encouragement and if injuries are limited, Newmarket can return with optimism to the summer of 2023. For Bandon, a disappointing showing, a lack of appetite earned a series of reverse results and eventual relegation.

NEWMARKET: J O’Keeffe; M Browne, A Ryan, P Allen; A Browne, T J Brosnan, B Daly; M Cottrell 0-1, C Browne; D Cottrell, K O’Sullivan, B O’Connor 0-2; C O’Keeffe 0-3, D Culloty 0-2f, R O’Keeffe 4-3 Subs: G Forde for T J Brosnan (29, inj), D O’Keeffe 1-0 for D Cottrell (39), C Buttimer for B O’Connor (49), D Norton for B Daly (55), J Ryan for D Culloty (59)

BANDON: P Prendergast; D O’Donovan, B Crowley, N McCarthy; A O’Mahony, J Walsh, C O’Mahony 0-1; P Murphy 0-1, D Crowley 0-1; C Long, J Mulcahy, C Calnan 0-2; M Sugrue 0-3f, R Long, M Cahalane Subs: M McNamara 1-0 for C Long (12, inj), J Calnan for J Mulcahy (42), C Burke for N McCarthy (49), H Lillis for M McNamara (51), C McCarthy for R Long (51)

REFEREE: Peter O’Leary (Cloughduv)