NEWMARKET ON FERGUS.................2-14 O' CALLAGHANS MILLS..............1-5
By Michael O Connor.
At last and after a number of close shaves over the last three years Newmarket on Fergus are finally Junior A champions. They started work back in February and eight months later lifted the cup after a comfortable 12 point win over a weaker Mills side in dreadful underfoot conditions in Sixmilebridge.
Newmarket on Fergus were favourites from an early stage to capture the Junior title having lost by a point to Crusheen in last years decider. O Callaghans Mills having improved all year, making the league final and going unbeaten to the final had bolted from the pack as they were not really in the frame early in the year and thus were a team in form.
Some of the worst weather of recent weeks visited O'Garney Park in the hours before the game and it destroyed the game as a spectacle with muddy underfoot conditions and driving rain for the first half. It must be conceded that Newmarkets greater strength and first touch benefitted them in the difficult conditions as the Mills were in difficulty throughout and lacked creativity in front of goal.
A positive start for the Blues saw three points on the board after only five minutes even though Damian O Connell opened the scoring for the Mills in the first minute. Mikey McInerney hit first for Newmarket as Dominic McMahon hit a brace. A huge moment in the game even though it was early on saw Ian Mulcahy who was tremendous all day deny Martin Frawley from close range. Newmarket continued their good start when a breaking ball in front of the Mills goal was first timed to the net by Shane Liddy who along with Mikey McInerney and Dominic McMahon were the key Newmarket sharpshooters over the hour. Dominic McMahon and Cathal McKeiogh swopped scores in the 11th minute as McKeogh hit back in the 17th. Mikey McInerney sent Newmarket seven clear of the Mills who really needed a period of control to force themselves back into the game.
The last ten minutes could be termed as the chance that went abegging for the Mills. They struck two points, hit two wides and also saw a goal ruled out for square ball. Brendan Hannon and Robbie Madden were the pointscorers as Newmarket managed one further score from Mikey McInerney to retire (1-7) to (0-4) clear at the break with the sense that bar a deluge of goals from the East Clare side the title was heading up the motorway.
Shane Liddy heaped more misery upon the Mills with points in the 32nd and 35th minutes with the Mills striking for goal to put some renewed impetus into their challenge after 37 minutes when Aidan O Gorman was on hand with the goal. The following five minutes witnessed long deliveries from frees by Brendan Hannon causing trouble but yet no scores for O Callaghans Mills as the two Brians, Clancy and McMahon alongwith Shane Kelleher and Ian Mulcahy were imperious in the terrible conditions. Mikey McInerney finally got the Mills to give in when he struck for a point on the counter attack. For the final fifteen minutes Newmarket were once more in the ascendancy and added (1-4) from hard work and sharp control with just a solitary point from Cathal McKeogh. The games second goal was created by a long ball in from Mikey McInerney and first timed to the net by Dominic McMahon as Shane Liddy (2), Ger Hannon and Niall Enright rounded off a most confident win by the Blues as they added the Junior A to the Junior C title won early in the season.
Best for the winners were Ian Mulcahy, Brian Clancy, Shane Kelliher, Seamus Meehan, Brian Beano McMahon, Mikey McInerney, Shane Liddy and Dominic McMahon.
O Callaghans Mills were never really in contention but had they converted their chances before half time would have made the second half more of a contest in a year in which they made two finals and huge strides forward. Their better performers were Conor Cooney, Brendan Hannon, Noel Nash, James Hook and Cathal McKeogh.
NEWMARKET: Ian Mulcahy, Seamus Meehan, Brian Clancy, Shane Kelliher, Darren Cullinan, Brian McMahon, Paudie Hayes, Neil Ryan, Niall Enright (0-1), Martin Frawley, Paul McInerney, Michael McInerney (0-4), Shane Liddy (1-4), Ger Hannon (0-2), Dominic McMahon (1-3). Subs: Liam Clancy for Frawley,
O'CALLAGHANS MILLS: James Hook, Michael McGrath, Barry Heffernan, Ollie Nash, Brendan Hannon (0-1), Conor Cooney, Darren Cooney, Noel Nash, John McGrath, Paul Murphy, Robbie Madden (0-1), Ian Donnellan, Rory Neville, Damian O Connell (0-1), Cathal McKeogh (0-2). Subs Aidan O Gorman (1-0) for Donnellan, Enda McNamara for McGrath
Referee: Fergus McDonagh (St Josephs).
After the game Assistant Secretary Des Crowe presented the Junior A cup to long serving Newmarket man Brian Clancy