Corofin (Clare) 1-14
Newmarket (Cork) 0-11
NO luck for Newmarket in Mallow on Sunday afternoon as their 2021 intermediate club provincial adventure came to an end at the semi-final stage after losing out to Clare side Corofin.
In perfect conditions for football, the Duhallow side were outfought for a place in the showpiece game by their opponents whose manager Douglas Hurley stated “came to North Cork fearing nothing.”
The Clare champions fought back from three points down in the second half to take the win thanks in large part to the efforts their corner forward Robin Mousney who claimed five points from play just when the Banner side needed it most.
For Newmarket, the loss of Darren O’Keeffe to what looked like a harsh second yellow midway through the second half was always likely to be crucial, however on this day, regardless of the numbers on each side, Corofin deserved to win – thanks in large part to a savage work ethic that kept Newmarket on their toes from the off.
Corofin opened proceedings with the majority of the possession in the opening minutes however two poor wides meant that early exertions accounted for little.
The Clare champions did however get the first score of the game – a tasty effort from Damien Ryan.
Newmarket looked like landing the perfect response straight from the kick-out however Kevin O’Sullivan missed the target when a goal looked the most likely outcome.
The Duhallow men did level things up on six minutes thanks to the boot of Barry O’Connor – the game looked to be settling into a lively rhythm.
A superb team effort had Corofin back in front on 10 minutes but again it took just seconds for Newmarket to respond – this time Ryan O’Keeffe was the man on target.
Newmarket finally took the lead a minute later when Ryan O’Keeffe landed a free but the Banner boys were in no mood to roll over and a pair of frees from Gearoid Cahill had the boys in red and white back in front.
A brilliant point from Jamie Malone had Corofin leading by two at the water break.
Again there was little to choose between the sides in the second quarter however the Cork side started to make the most of their possession and had the game back to parity by the 26th minute and ultimately led as the sides went in at the half time interval 0-7 to 0-6, thanks to a late free from Ryan O’Keeffe, his third placed-ball effort of the opening 30+ minutes.
The beginning of the second half mirrored the first with Corofin missing the target on a couple of occasions while Newmarket’s Ryan O’Keeffe bagged a brace of frees to open up a three point lead with 20 minutes remaining on the clock.
Credit to Corofin, they kept their shape as the Cork champions looked to be push on and hunting in packs and getting the ball to their scoring forwards they caused no end of problems for the side that saw off neighbours Kanturk in the County Final a matter of days earlier.
The Clare side cut the gap to two with a free from Ryan O’Keeffe before two super scores from Mousney had the game back to parity with 15 remaining.
Newmarket were dealt that O’Keeffe body blow on 45 minutes – something that ultimately saw the home side struggle to get their hands on the ball in the closing stages Credit to Corofin, they now had the bit between their collective teeth and another pair of points from Mousney, a free from Gearoid Cahill and a wonderful goal in added time from Diarmuid Cahill saw the Clare side deservedly through to the provincial final.
Scorers for Corofin: R Mousney 0-5; G Cahill 0-4f; D Cahill 1-1 (0-1f); J Malone, K Keane, E Clancy, D Ryan 0-1 each.
Newmarket: R O’Keeffe 0-5f; C O’Keeffe 0-3 (0-2f); D O’Keeffe, C Browne, B O’Connor 0-1 each.
COROFIN: L Neylon; M O’Loughlin, R Hayes, J Rees; C Rice, D O’Loughlin, J Malone; K Keane, F Clancy; D Ryan, D Cahill, G Kelly; R Mounsey, C McGaory, G Cahill.
Subs: B Keane for J Rees (ht); K O’Connor for D Ryan (40), E Clancy for G Kelly (56), E Davoren for G Cahill (63).
NEWMARKET: J O’Keeffe; M Browne, A Ryan, G Forde; TJ Brosman, P Allen, B Daly; M Cottrell, C Browne; J Ryan, K O’Sullivan, B O’Connor; C O’Keeffe, R O’Keeffe, D O’Keeffe.
Subs: D Norton for G Forde (bs) (30, rev ht), D Cottrell for J Ryan (48), D Norton for TJ Brosnan (58).
Referee: J Hayes (Limerick)