Newmarket grab safety chance with open arms

Newmarket 2-14 Grenagh 0-10: Newmarket banished all fears of relegation from the Premier Intermediate Football Championship this year after a comprehensive dismissal of Grenagh at Castlemagner on Saturday night saw them deservedly book a spot in round four.

Newmarket grab safety chance with open arms

After failing in their opening tie against Kiskeam, the former senior football outfit showed all their firepower as they easily disposed of a Grenagh side that now have just one chance to avoid a relegation play-off.

“It’s a relief to get through” said selector Barry O’Leary. “I thought we were well worth the win but after leaving the Kiskeam game behind us in round one you can’t take anything for granted.”

While O’Leary was keen to avoid his side showing any complacency during the game - after getting off to the best possible start - an eight point lead inside 10 minutes, (1-5 to 0-0), he felt his team have plenty more to give.

“We were really clinical and fast up front and at times in that game we showed how dangerous our front eight can be, however we did lose our way after the break.

“But a few points on the three quarter mark turned the tie back in our favour and we always looked good from there.”

Newmarket had many heroes on the night with centre forward Conor O’Keeffe the pick of them. The number 11 bagged 2-4 and looked dangerous every time he had the ball.

O’Keeffe was ably assisted by wing forward John Lane and full forward Tony O’Keeffe with the former showing brilliant ability when running with the ball despite coming in for a host of heavy challenges throughout the game.

The midfield pairing of Bart Daly and Alan Ryan also impressed as they held the talented Gerry Russell and the evergreen Tom Kenny at bay.

For Grenagh, this was a disappointing defeat which always looked likely after their really slow start.

Kenny and Russell looked good when the Muskerry men got going but the former Cork hurler looked to be carrying an injury that curtailed his ability to keep pace with the game.

Wing forward Tadgh Walsh was the best performer for the losers as he ran at pace in a direct aggressive style that bagged his side numerous frees which were all converted by DD Dorgan who held court on the other wing.

Dorgan’s contribution of eight points (six frees) kept the Grenagh challenge alive but never really looked like being enough to pull this one out of the fire.

Newmarket’s opening goal on 10 minutes was a well worked move finished superbly to the net by O’Keeffe as the Duhallow men cruised to a half time lead of 1-8 to 0-4.

His second goal was more about commitment than style as he got on the end of a high ball to fist the ball past a flapping Grenagh keeper Martin Barry.

Grenagh will need to improve substantially from this display if they are to avoid being relegated but with the likes of Kenny, Russell and Walsh on song, their challenge is far from done yet.

Scorers for Newmarket:

C O’Keeffe 2-4 (two frees); D Culloty 0-3 (one free); D O’Keeffe, J Lane 0-2 each; J Ryan (one free), B Daly (one 45), T O’Keeffe 0-1 each.

Scorers for Grenagh:

DD Dorgan 0-8 (six frees); G Russell (one free), U Duggan 0-1 each.

NEWMARKET:

N O’Connor; P Allen, TJ Brosnan, B O’Riordan; A Browne, M Reidy, J Ryan; A Ryan, B Daly; TJ Bodie, C O’Keeffe, J Lane; D Culloty, T O’Keeffe, D O’Keeffe.

Subs:

T Murphy for M Reidy (47), B O’Connor for D Culloty (47), P O’Toole for A Browne (53).

GRENAGH:

M Barry; M Lehane, R Dorgan, K O’Neill; L Donovan, N Doherty, S Dorgan; T Kenny, G Russell; T Walsh, C Fitzgerald, DD Dorgan; C O’Neill, J Russell, U Duggan.

Subs:

J Murphy for L Donovan (17), G Murphy for C Fitzgerald (28), P McSweeney for C O’Neill (BC)(36).

Referee:

K Murphy (Nemo)

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