Ryan O'Keeffe hits 4-3 as Newmarket relegate Bandon

Last season's PIFC winners avoided the drop in their first campaign at Senior A
Ryan O'Keeffe hits 4-3 as Newmarket relegate Bandon

Newmarket's Ryan O'Keeffe is tackled by Kanturk's John Browne last season. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Newmarket 5-11 Bandon 1-8 

NEWMARKET were comprehensive victors in this Senior A Football Championship relegation playoff clash in Coachford on Saturday afternoon.

The result in the process condemns Bandon to the Premier Intermediate grade for 2023 and they could have few complaints with the ultimate outcome.

Although Newmarket were a team switched on from the outset, Ryan O’Keeffe in particular was in ruthless form ending the contest with a total of 4-3 to his name.

It was the men of Newmarket that started the better of the two teams. Early scores were put on the board courtesy of points by Conor O’Keeffe and Daniel Culloty.

A score by Conor Calnan got Bandon up and running in the 13th minute of play. However, Newmarket took even greater control of affairs when Ryan O’Keeffe found the back of the net at the quarter of an hour mark.

The same man got a second Newmarket goal on 20 minutes, while he also added to his tally by splitting the posts.

Newmarket at the break held a very commanding advantage of 2-7 to Bandon’s 1-2, with Bandon facing a mammoth uphill task to ensure survival.

Although Mark Sugrue and Cian O’Mahony reduced the gap with early Bandon second-half scores, there was no stopping the Newmarket tide at the opposite end of the pitch.

Mikey Cottrell slotted over a Newmarket point before Ryan O’Keeffe completed his hat-trick midway through the second half with another well-taken goal.

On 58 minutes Ryan O’Keeffe was in yet again for a fourth as his side rubber-stamped a fully deserving win.

Newmarket can dust themselves down for another crack at the SAFC in 2023, while Bandon will have to regroup and go again the grade below next term.

Scorers for Newmarket: R O’Keeffe 4-3, D O’Keeffe 1-0, C O’Keeffe 0-3, B O’Connor, D Culloty (f) 0-2 each, M Cottrell 0-1.

Bandon: M McNamara 1-0 pen, M Sugrue 0-3 f, C Calnan 0-2, C O’Mahony, P Murphy, D Crowley 0-1 each.

NEWMARKET: J O’Keeffe; M Browne, A Ryan, P Allen; A Browne, TJ Brosnan, B Daly; M Cottrell, C Browne; D Cottrell, K O’Sullivan, B O’Connor; C O’Keeffe, D Culloty, R O’Keeffe.

Subs: G Forde for Brosnan (29, inj), D O’Keeffe for D Cottrell (39), C Buttimer for O’Connor (49), D Norton for Daly (55), J Ryan for D Culloty (59).

BANDON: P Prendergast; D O’Donovan, B Crowley, N McCarthy; A O’Mahony, J Walsh, C O’Mahony; P Murphy, D Crowley; C Long, J Mulcahy, C Calnan; M Sugrue, R Long, M Cahalane.

Subs: M McNamara for C Long (12, inj), J Calnan for Mulcahy (42), C Burke for McCarthy (49), H Lillis for McNamara, C McCarthy for R Long (51).

Referee: Peter O’Leary (Cloughduv).

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