They may not have been in top gear in lovely Glantane on Saturday. In fact at times they were over-run by a slick and confident Delanys outfit and a place in the permanent tsb Cork County IFC decider against Nemo Rangers next Sunday looked a remote possibility.
But then, in two explosive minutes not long after the restart, a big day out for Newmarket suddenly became a reality as a three goal blast powered them to glory. Delanys were simply left for dead and battle as they did they just could not make up the deficit.
How ironic that in last year's semi-final a late three goal blast from eventual champions Newcestown was to end Newmarket's dream of reaching their first intermediate final. This time it was their turn to have good fortune, Delanys the sufferers.
Now they face the best football club in the county next Sunday. That will test their mettle and coach and full-forward Danny Culloty knows full well another performance like this will simply not be good enough.
Certainly Delanys ran Newmarket ragged in the opening half. Unfortunately, though, the scoreboard only read 0-5 to 0-3 in the city side's favour at the break.
It was Newmarket who opened the scoring in the second minute with a point from the flying Tony O'Keeffe. But it was all Delanys in the opening quarter as points from Padraig O'Connell, a superb footballer, and Kevin Egan, after great work by brother Barry, earned them a 0-2 to 0-1 lead after the opening quarter and Newmarket keeper James Morgan had to be smart to smother a shot from O'Connell.
But Culloty soon had the sides level after good work by Mark O'Sullivan and the Boston based O'Sullivan, lacking sharpness all through, put his side ahead in the 20th minute with a free.
Some of the Delanys shooting in this period was nothing short of woeful, all the good work of the Egans going to waste. But they did finish the half strongly with an O'Connell '45 and two points from play by substitute George Healy to earn that two point interval cushion.
Culloty must have laid down the law at the interval as Newmarket came out with all guns blazing in the second-half and looked far more at ease and composed with Jerry McCarthy in fine form at midfield. But just like Delanys in the opening period some of their shooting was abysmal as chance after chance went abegging.
Then it all came right in two magical minutes. Newmarket were on the march, a final place was on. First, in the 36th minute, Sean Francis O'Connor left corner-back James Cooney for dead and in went goal no 1. Then O'Sullivan’s shot for point was fumbled by goalkeeper Alan Spriggs and the yank gleefully accepted no 2. And in a flash Culloty turned provider when he set up O'Keeffe for no 3.
All over now surely. Amazingly, in another minute, we had a fourth goal, this time for Delanys when Barry Egan’s delivery was finished to the net by Derek Power. Now 3-3 to 1-5 it was very much game on.
By the end of the third quarter a point from Michael Cottrell made it 3-4 to 1-5 and really had Newmarket taken their chances the game would have been well over, O'Connor in particular scorning some gilt edged chances.
And they could again have paid a heavy price. Delanys were very unlucky not to goal in the 52nd minute when Mark O'Driscoll’s shot was taken off the line by Barry O'Leary, who played a captain's part.
Still Delanys came forward, never giving up. Substitute Kevin Murray pointed and in injury time Barry Egan’s cross from the right beat everyone and the ball ended up in the net to leave the gap at just two points.
Too late though. The damage had been done by those three killer blows.
Scorers for Newmarket: T. O'Keeffe 1-2, D. Culloty 1-1, S. F. O'Connor 1-0, M. O'Sullivan (free), M. Cottrell 0-1 each.
Delanys: D. Power, B Egan 1-0 each, P. O'Connell, G Healy 0-2 each, K. Egan, K. Murray 0-1 each.
NEWMARKET: J. Morgan; D. O’Reilly, D. Murphy, D. Moynihan; B. O'Leary, J. McSweeney, J. Fitzpatrick; J. McCarthy, D. O'Brien; M. O'Sullivan, M. Cottrell, D. O'Flynn; T. O'Keeffe, D. Culloty, S.F. O'Connor. Sub: C. Stack for Cottrell.
DELANYS: A. Spriggs; J. Cooney, M. Buckley, R. Foley; J. Egan, B. Carr, C. Foley; P. O'Connell, J. O'Driscoll; D .Power, M. McIlhenney, K. Foley; M. O'Driscoll, K. Egan, B. Egan. Subs: G. Healy for K. Foley, C. Twomey for McIlhenney, K. Murray for Power, T. Kiely for C. Foley.
Referee: M. Geaney (Kilshannig).