Shamrocks, 4-12, Newmarket 3-8
Less than 48 hours after winning the East title on Thursday night, Shamrocks faced off against the Rebel Óg North representatives Newmarket in Ballyanley on Saturday afternoon and they saw off the challenge of the North West Corkmen in fairly impressive fashion. Shamrocks were full value for the win and only for a bit of tiredness and complacency setting in in the last 5 minutes, the result would have been even more impressive.
Newmarket started impressively and scored a goal after 20 seconds after the ball broke inside the Shamrocks full back line. The next 10 minutes or so were even with both teams cancelling each other out on the scoreboard. David Andrews, Andrew O’Grady and James Lynam had Shamrocks points. Shamrocks gradually got to grips with the Newmarket challenge which maily came from their players in the middle third of the pitch and their lively wing forward. By the midway point of the first half it was 1-3 to 0-3 for Newmarket but then Shamrocks caught fire in 5 wonderful minutes between the 19th and 24th minutes. First Adam O’Keeffe stabbed home a rebound to the Newmarket net after finding himself in the right place at the right time. In the next attack, Andrew O’Grady made a great run and jink inside before blasting to the bottom corner. And then in the 24th minute of the half, wing back Christopher Hayes scored a brilliant goal when he got on the end of a great team move on the left hand side of the goal and blasted right across the keeper to the far top corner. At this point Shamrocks led by 3-4 to 1-3 and that 5 minute spell was crucial and would prove the winning of the match. At HT, Shamrocks led 3-5 to 1-4.
Shamrocks scored the first point of the second half through David Andrews. From there on until the 50th minute, Shamrocks remained in charge of proceedings. Andrew O’Grady added his second goal after 10 minutes of the second half and Shamrocks were cruising at 4-8 to 1-5 in front. A few substitutons were made and they all made vital contributions as well. Shane Downey hit the post with a shot, Dylan O’Flaherty set up a score while Cillian Hayes kicked a great point as well. Shane Flavin got on the ball a lot when moved out to midfield. But naturally, the legs were beginning to tire on the Shamrocks players and Newmarket finished strong and scored 2-2 in the last 5 minutes but at that stage, the game was over and the referee blew the final whistle shortly afterwards.
The final is not fixed yet and Shamrocks opponents are not known as of yet either but it will most likely be next Saturday afternoon. Details to follow.
Panel on duty: C. Corkery, R. Mehigan, C. Scriven, C. Hayes, N. Hayes, D. Barry, M. Hitchmough, M. Field, A. O’Grady, J. Lynam, D. Andrews, A. O’Keeffe, S. Downey, Cillian Hayes, S. Flavin, D. O’Flaherty, E. Seymour, D. O’Mahony.