Newmarket look to former player and coach Barry O’Leary to guide their football fortunes for 2023. O’Leary had been in the opposing Clyda Rovers corner against Newmarket during 2022, ironically, the two sides are again pitched in the same group for the upcoming championship.
A frustrating campaign for the Duhallow side last season, a real danger that Newmarket were close to losing their Senior A status just one season in after poor performances against O’Donovan Rossa and Ilen Rovers. In between, only the concession of a late point denied Newmarket a win over Clyda Rovers.
However Newmarket bounced back from the disappointment of failing to create an impression in the Group format to experience little difficulties to blitz Bandon in a relegation playoff clash.
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 the 2021 County Premier IFC Final.
“However we 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,” said PRO Luke McCarthy.
“When the crunch came, Newmarket put forward their best performance in a demolition of Bandon, Ryan O’Keeffe, bagging a 4-3 haul to confirm Newmarket always held a far greater scoring threat,” he said.
Again the 2023 campaign looks tough, Newmarket in a group featuring Clyda Rovers, Béal Ath’n Ghaorthaidh and near neighbours Kiskeam. O’Leary fronts Newmarket in a management also featuring Donal O’Sullivan, Paul Murphy and James Morgan.
“There are no easy games, its a highly competitive group but with the return of Donal Hannon after a year in the UK and Hugh O’Connor who missed last season’s championship, we will possess a stronger panel,” said Luke.
Newmarket open their Division 4 League campaign away to Bantry Blues followed by fixtures against St. Vincents, Aghabullogue, Mitchelstown, Kilshannig, Iveleary, Na Piarsaigh, Naomh Abán and Bandon.
In hurling, Newmarket’s management comprises of Seán Irwin, D J O’Sullivan, Stephen Stokes and Neilly McCarthy.
Mixed fortunes for Newmarket last season, a breath-taking roller coaster Twohigs Supervalu Duhallow JAHL Final ended with Newmarket taking victory from Dromtarriffe. An epic encounter swung back and forth with the lead changing hands and the outcome was decided in the additional 20 minutes played.
At stages, Dromtarriffe looked good enough to claim the prize on offer, particularly by the end of the first period of extra time. However Newmarket were in a tight corner, there was no panic, mounting a recovery, digging deep when required helped outscore Dromtarriffe 1-5 to 0-2 to confirm the destination of the spoils for Newmarket to bridge four years since their previous title won in 2018.
Hopes of adding the championship floundered, the tables were turned when the sides clashed again in the JAHC semi-final, effectively Dromtarriffe ensured a favourable outcome on forging into a 14 point advantage in the opening 20 minutes, Newmarket’s cause not helped on losing a player in the early exchanges. In fairness to Newmarket, they went all out to rescue the game that was slipping from them and a rally either side of the interval reduced the deficit to five points.
However Dromtarriffe weathered the onslaught, the numerical upperhand told and the greater all round balance of the reigning champions told to allow Dromtarriffe remain a safe distance ahead.