Newmarket-On-Fergus 0-10 De La Salle 1-10
They say past performance is no guarantee of future success, but the benefits of experience were plain to see in Sixmilebridge yesterday, as De La Salle of Waterford snatched a dramatic late win over Newmarket-on-Fergus in the Munster Club SHC semi-final.
The game was deadlocked at 0-10 each deep in injury time when Dean Twomey of De La Salle won possession and drove deep into the opposition half. The Waterford contingent in the crowd of 2,509 howled for a point, but Twomey showed the cleverness accrued in recent successful Munster club campaigns. He delayed his pass to Paidi Nevin until he’d drawn an opponent, and Nevin again turned down an easy point opportunity, feeding John Keane who sidestepped Newmarket keeper Darren Duggan to slap home the killer goal.
The breakfasts in Newmarket will be a little sour this morning. The Clare champions hit a soul-destroying five consecutive wides in the second half when the game was there to be won, and wing-forward Michael McInerney’s rocket from close range in the 40th minute cannoned off the bar and out the field with De La Salle keeper Stephen Brenner powerless.
On balance, however, De La Salle deserved their win. They settled quickly and jumped out to a three points to one lead thanks to scores from Bryan Phelan (free), John Mullane and Paidi Nevin.
Newmarket relied heavily on Colin Ryan from frees and play, and the attacker had to roam far outfield to win ball. De La Salle’s powerful half-back line of Phelan, Kevin Moran and Eoin Madigan held the Newmarket attack in check, and the covering of Stephen Daniels behind them meant the Clare side couldn’t keep the ball in the opposition half.
At the other end, De La Salle had points from John Keane (two), Twomey and another Phelan free, with Shane O’Brien Jr and Ryan (two, one free) replying for Newmarket. That made it seven points to five on 20 minutes, but ominously for De La Salle, they’d already hit six wides.
When Ryan converted another free for Newmarket in first-half injury time there was just one between them, 0-7 to 0-6, and De La Salle had hit another four wides, bringing their first-half total to 10.
Newmarket hit the ground running on the resumption with two cracking points from Shane O’Brien Sr — both from almost the right corner — to give them the lead.
A Jake Dillon free and a fine Mullane point restored the De La Salle advantage before McInerney rattled the crossbar following an excellent James Liddy run. McInerney lofted over a good score from range on 41 minutes to level matters, but Twomey pointed to edge De La Salle in front almost immediately afterwards, 0-10 to 0-9.
There would only be two more scores in the game, but before those came Newmarket hit those five consecutive wides. McInerney eventually levelled matters five minutes from the end of normal time, and Newmarket would hit another two wides after that with the game in the melting pot.
The profligacy was catching: Dillon missed a relatively straightforward chance with a minute of normal time left, and everyone in the ground was considering extra time before Keane’s nerveless goal.
A dozen wides indicated De La Salle’s superiority in general play, while the Waterford club’s supporters might trace their opponents’ rally in the first half to Kevin Moran’s temporary withdrawal to full-back to ride out the effects of a dead leg. But they will need to improve significantly to have a chance of beating Thurles Sars; that wides tally will have to be readjusted downwards if they mean to add a third provincial title.
Scorers for Newmarket: C. Ryan 0-4 (0-2 fs, 0-1 65); S. O’Brien sr, M. McInerney 0-2; S. O’Brien jr, D. Barrett 0-1.
Scores for De La Salle: J. Keane 1-2; B. Phelan (fs), J. Mullane, D. Twomey 0-2 each; P. Nevin and J. Dillon (f) 0-1.
NEWMARKET ON FERGUS: D. Duggan, E. O’Brien, J. McInerney, S. O’Connor, N. O’Connor, E. Barrett (c), A. Barrett, E. Hayes, M. O’Hanlon, D. Barrett, C. Ryan, M. McInerney, S. O’Brien jr, A. Kilmartin, S. O’Brien sr. Subs for Newmarket: J. Liddy for Kilmartin, 38; S. Kelleher for S. O’Brien jr 50.
DE LA SALLE: S. Brenner, C. Watt, I. Flynn, S. Daniels, B. Phelan, K. Moran (c), E. Madigan, E. Barrett, D. Twomey, P. Nevin, D. Greene, J. Dillon, J. Mullane, J. Kennedy, J. Keane. Subs for De La Salle: O. Keevers for Watt, 37; C. Sheehan for Madigan, 49; S. McNulty for Greene, 50.
Referee: J. Ryan (Tipperary).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved