Newmarket miss out
County Premier IFC Round 1: Bandon 3-14 Newmarket 1-19
Bandon prevailed by the tightest of margins from a brave Newmarket in a gripping County Premier Intermediate Football Championship Round 1 at Macroom on Saturday evening.
Perfect conditions provided the backdrop to a high octane encounter, the closeness of the scoring and the manner in which the lead changed hands added to a fascinating spectacle.
When the need was greatest, Bandon rose magnificently to the occasion on producing a brand of attacking football to sway the outcome. Indeed, the contest hung in the balance right up to close on 69 minutes, Newmarket had cause for rueful reflection on passing up a number of chances in added on time to take the proceedings to extra time.
Down but definitely not out was the message from a disappointed Newmarket manager Barry O'Leary that saw his side score 1-19 yet lose by a single point and come so tantalising close to taking the contest to extra time.
"We went close, we had chances, but all involved can take heart from the performance. Last season, we waited five months between the first and third rounds, at least, we will have a round 2 much earlier to remain involved," he said.
A fast paced opening saw Eoghan O'Donovan point Bandon ahead inside 15 seconds only for Newmarket enjoy a productive flourish, Daniel Culloty netted via the bottom of the upright. Bandon added immensely to a free flowing encounter, grabbing two goals in a three minute spell from Barry Collins and Jonathan Mulcahy.
And with plenty of good ball raining in on both attacks, over worked defences had a job on their hand, Mark Sugrue points for Bandon matched by Culloty and TJ Bodie at the opposite end to ensure stalemate at the break 2-7 to 1-10.
Newmarket resumed with a flourish, Bandon prone to fouling allowed Conor O'Keeffe and Culloty point frees to jump four ahead. But when the chips were down, Bandon bounced back for Sugrue to set up Walsh for a third goal. That score sparked a response from Newmarket only for the Bandon charge gather serious pace through the influence of Cian O'Mahony, Murphy, Walsh and Sugrue. And a spell of pressure yielded points to Walsh, Murphy and Collins to level the game once again.
Newmarket answered on a sweet point by Paddy Browne yet Bandon remained composed for Collins, defender Philip Crowley and Eoghan O'Donovan deliver telling points to sway an epic clash.
That said, Newmarket were left to rue a series of missed chances, a sequel of wides prevented the Duhallow side from taking the game to extra time. It hinted a sign of anxiety in their play during close to nine minutes of injury time where pressure marking by Bandon played a part in the wayward kicking.
Indeed with a little more precision, Newmarket might well had prevailed to a rousing contest. It augurs well to a competitive back door for Newmarket but if they are to take any solace from this contest was their contribution to a marvellous clash and a fitting first game of the campaign in the grade. Hopefully its the prelude of more to follow.
BANDON: P Prendergast; B Crowley, J O'Donovan, P Crowley 0-1; D Crowley, R O'Driscoll, C O'Mahony; P Murphy 0-1, J Walsh; E O'Donovan 0-2, J Mulcahy 1-0, D Crowley; R Crowley 0-1, B Collins 1-3, M Sugrue 0-5 (0-1'45, 0-1f) Subs: A O'Mahony for J Mucahy (20 inj), J O'Mahony for D Crowley (57 inj), P Lang for E O'Donovan (60 bc)
NEWMARKET: J O'Keeffe; J Ryan, A Browne 0-1, P Allen; B Daly, K O'Sullivan, A Ryan; C Browne, M Cottrell 0-1; D O'Keeffe 0-1, T O'Keeffe, T J Bodie; B O'Connor, C O'Keeffe 0-7 (0-5f), D Culloty 1-7 (0-7f) Subs: R O'Keeffe for D O'Keeffe (ht), D Hannon for T J Bodie (ht), P Browne 0-1 for B Daly (41 inj), T J Brosnan for D O'Keeffe (53), G Forde for J Ryan (58)
Referee: G Scully (Killeagh)