After falling to Ballingeary in the first round, the mid-Cork side regrouped to get past Nemo Rangers after extra-time in Round 2. For this latest victory they had to toil hard in terrible conditions.
“Shocking conditions,” agreed Macroom manager Bobbie O’Dwyer. “We are just glad to get out of here. There were two very committed teams out there but conditions didn’t allow for good open football. And fortunately we got the scores at vital times.”
Macroom finished the game with 12 players, while Newmarket ended with 13. But you couldn’t say it was a heated contest by any means. Newmarket were first to be depleted when Michael Cottrell was red-carded six minutes into the second half and they had much to do when Barry O’Connor followed six minutes later.
Against the wind and trailing 2-6 to 4-7, it didn’t look promising for the Duhallow side.
However, Macroom’s Ciarán Murphy got a second yellow at the three-quarter mark, and when Gerard Angland suffered a similar fate three minutes from time the numbers had evened up. Then the Muskerry side had John Murphy sent off late in the game as Newmarket continued to close the gap.
But Macroom had enough done though to seal the victory. Two goals from Ciarán Murphy in the 10-minute spell after the break put them in a strong position as they moved seven points clear.
Newmarket came into the contest minus a few players due to injury, so when midfielder Bart Daly limped off after just four minutes, it didn’t augur well for their chances. Yet, in spite of playing into the teeth of the wind and rain, they were only three points adrift at the break, 2-4 to 2-7.
Centre-forward Conor O’Keeffe contributed 1-3 while Barry O’Connor netted a goal.
Macroom took advantage of the wind going 0-4 ahead. But, it was difficult for either side to settle into any flow. Fintan Goold had kicked three points before his brother David goaled as they led 1-5 to 1-1 after 22 minutes. Fintan then stretched the lead when he finished to the net before the change of ends.
Newmarket turned to play with the elements but it was Macroom who got on top courtesy of Murphy’s brace of goals. Newmarket showed plenty of character despite having to play the fourth quarter with 13 men.
Four points separated the sides in the 50th minute but they badly needed a goal. As Macroom diminished in numbers too, Sean Kiely fisted over a valuable point. Newmarket fought back with white flags from John Lane and Conor O’Keeffe but Macroom had already secured one of those last-eight places.
C Murphy (2-0), F Goold (1-3, two frees), D Goold (1-1), T Dinneen, C O’Sullivan, S Kiely and D Horgan (0-1 each).
C O’Keeffe (1-5, one free), B O’Connor (1-0), D Culloty (0-3, frees), J Lane, M Cottrell and K O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
J O’Connell; M Cahill, E O’Mahony, M O’Donnell; K O’Dwyer, R Buckley, S Kiely; F Goold, P Corrigan; D Creedon, K Murphy, T Dinneen; C O’Sullivan, D Horgan, D Goold.
G Angland for D Creedon (half-time), J Murphy for C O’Sullivan (55), D Cotter for M O’Donnell (57).
N O’Connor; P O’Toole, A Ryan, P Allen; A Browne, M Reidy, J Ryan; M Cottrell, B Daly; T O’Keeffe, C O’Keeffe, J Lane; D O’Keeffe, D Culloty, B O’Connor.
K O’Sullivan for B Daly (4 inj), B O’Riordan for J Ryan (50).
John O’Leary (Mallow).