Newmarket stun Kanturk to snatch county PIFC title at the death

The new champions came from two points down entering injury-time to claim victory
Newmarket stun Kanturk to snatch county PIFC title at the death

The Newmarket players and mentors celebrate after defeating Kanturk in the Bon Secours Cork PIFC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Newmarket 0-12 Kanturk 0-11 

NEWMARKET snatched the Bon Secours county PIFC title in extraordinary circumstances at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

Trailing by two points entering four minutes' injury-time, Newmarket somehow found reserves of energy and composure to not only tie matters up for a sixth time but kick the winning point as well.

Cousins Ryan O'Keeffe and Conor O'Keeffe after defeating Kanturk. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cousins Ryan O'Keeffe and Conor O'Keeffe after defeating Kanturk. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

On the hour Conor O'Keeffe knocked over a free to make it a one-point game before striking an incredible equaliser from distance a couple of minutes into time added on.

Then, the re-start went pear-shaped for Kanturk as their attempts to go short backfired with Newmarket turning the ball over for Ryan O'Keeffe to fire over the winner.

There was still time for Kanturk to force a replay, but frantic Newmarket defending kept them out and a long-range effort from far out drifted wide.

Newmarket selector Naill McIntyre and manager Paul Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Newmarket selector Naill McIntyre and manager Paul Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

It was an amazing conclusion to a second-half dominated for the most part by Kanturk, who turned around a point adrift but added four without response during the third quarter.

Lorcan McLoughlin scored a couple of beauties with Ian Walsh landing two frees to turn the game on its head, Kanturk 0-10 to 0-8 in front at the second water break.

It took Newmarket 20 minutes in the second half to add to their account, courtesy of a Conor O'Keeffe free, and they were thankful for keeper Josh O'Keeffe stopping Daniel O'Connell's effort in the next attack.

And, yet, when another substitute Kyrle Holland curled over Kanturk's 11th point after 54 minutes, it look like they were heading to complete a remarkable double.

In the first half the sides couldn't be separated at the first water break, Newmarket, twice, cancelling out Kanturk points before edging 0-3 to 0-2 in front until Colin Walsh levelled again on 15 minutes.

Newmarket's Barry O'Connor is tackled by Kanturk's Lorcán McLoughlin. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Newmarket's Barry O'Connor is tackled by Kanturk's Lorcán McLoughlin. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

An Ian Walsh free after 40 seconds opened the scoring only for Conor O'Keeffe to do likewise a couple of minutes later when Ryan O'Keeffe found himself clear only for the whistle to blow for the foul.

Ian Walsh regained the lead in the 10th minute but Barry O'Connor cancelled it out within a minute with a fine effort before Donal O'Keeffe put Newmarket in front for the first time. Colin Walsh then ensured parity.

The pattern continued on the resumption with the sides level a fifth time, when Barry O'Connor found the range with a fine point after 24 minutes.

And that sparked a period of Newmarket dominance as they added three more scores in as many minutes to put some daylight between the rivals.

TJ Brosnan's well-drilled ball into Conor O'Keeffe inched Newmarket 0-6 to 0-5 in front, their lead stretching to three following more impressive shooting from Paudie Allen and Conor O'Keeffe, once again.

Kanturk did close out the half's scoring with an Ian Walsh free, but at 0-8 to 0-6, the scales seemed to be tipping Newmarket's way.

Little did anyone realise, though, how quickly the game would change as Kanturk's physicality and greater experience began to tell during that third quarter.

But, when it came to courage and self-belief Newmarket had it in abundance and that helped them turn it around again.

Newmarket captain TJ Brosnan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Newmarket captain TJ Brosnan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Scorers for Newmarket: C O'Keeffe 0-7 (0-3 f), B O'Connor 0-2, P Allen, D O'Keeffe, R O'Keefe 0-1 each.

Kanturk: I Walsh 0-6 (0-4 f), L McLoughlin 0-2, R Walsh, C Walsh, K Holland 0-1 each.

NEWMARKET: J O'Keeffe; M Browne, A Ryan, P Allen; TJ Brosnan (c), G Forde, B Daly; M Cottrell, D O'Keeffe; J Ryan, K O'Sullivan, B O'Connor; C O'Keeffe, R O'Keeffe, C Browne.

Subs: D Cottrell for D O'Keeffe 50, D Norton for J Ryan 58.

KANTURK: J Fullerton; J McLoughlin (c), D Browne, L Cashman; L O'Neill, J Browne, B O'Sullivan; P Walsh, A Walsh; L O'Keeffe, L McLoughlin, R Walsh; I Walsh, C Walsh, M Healy.

Subs: D O'Connell for O'Keeffe 40, C Clernon for R Walsh 45, K Holland for Healy 52, Alan Walsh for C Walsh 60.

Referee: J Ryan (Macroom).

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