Lining out at midfield despite not being listed in the programme, Canty weighed in with two points and showed no ill effects of his recent hamstring woes.
Having seemingly built up a comfortable lead, Bantry allowed their opponents back into the game as they failed to score after the 42nd minute, and with tensions rising, two players from each side were dismissed in the closing stages.
However, Bantry had just enough to spare at the end of five minutes of injury time. Declan Barron – one of those dismissed – scored five points and was lively in a withdrawn role while Canty’s brother Niel was outstanding in the full-back line, capping his display with a brilliant block when Nicky Flanagan went for an equalising goal in the 63rd minute.
There was little indication early on the game would be so close as more fluid Bantry forward play yielded the game’s first three points before David Power scored a fortuitous goal in the 15th minute, goalkeeper Niall O’Connor spilling his point attempt which was dropping short.
Two more points from Barron and Canty followed before Flanagan got Newmarket off the mark and by half-time it was 1-8 to 0-4.
While Flanagan scored the first point of the second-half, efforts from Barron, Stephen Coughlan and Canty left Bantry 1-11 to 0-5 in front before Newmarket began to battle back. They had given notice of their threat as Tony O’Keeffe and David O’Flynn went close to goaling either side of a TJ Brosnan point. O’Flynn raised a green flag in the 50th minute when he reacted quickest after a Flanagan delivery wasn’t dealt with.
Flanagan cut the gap to four and Barron was sent-off on 53 for a second booking, though the numerical disparity didn’t last for long as Newmarket’s Michael O’Leary followed soon after. Mark Delaney (Bantry) and Newmarket’s Kevin O’Sullivan then ensured the game would finish with 26 players after they also received second yellows for grappling with each other.
The equalising goal could not be found, though, O’Flynn’s effort hitting the bar and going over.
Scorers for Bantry Blues: D Barron 0-5 (0-2f), D Power 1-0, G Canty 0-2, J Canty, M Delaney, S Coughlan, S Drummy (0-1f) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Newmarket: N Flanagan 0-5f, D O’Flynn 1-2, TJ Brosnan, K O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
BANTRY BLUES: D Murray; K Deane, D O’Sullivan, N Canty; M Delaney, K Harrington, S O’Neill; G Canty, P Daly; R Deane, M O’Sullivan, S Coughlan; D Barron, J Canty, D Power.
Subs: S Drummy for J Canty (15, injured), J Harrington for M O’Sullivan (51).
NEWMARKET: N O’Connor; B O’Riordan, G Casey, TJ Brosnan; B O’Leary, T Murphy, M O’Leary; M Murphy, B Daly; D O’Flynn, T O’Keeffe, K O’Sullivan; J Lane, D O’Brien, N Flanagan.
Subs: L McCarthy for Casey (23), TJ Bodie for Lane (41).
Referee: David Murnane (Macroom).