*Killian Bane scored the equalising goal. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
A last gasp goal from Killian Bane snatched a dramatic share of the spoils for Feakle after Newmarket-on-Fergus seemed poised to secure a second successive group victory in O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge.
Venue: O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge
A goal either side of the break through Liam Clancy and Colin Ryan actually powered the Blues seven clear by the 37th minute. However, by the final water break the lead was back to the minimum after 1-2 from Shane McGrath handed Feakle a lifeline.
Newmarket dug their heels in, twice stretching the margin to a goal and had glorious opportunities to make the game safe. However, despite stopping a brace injury-time Shane McGrath frees, a 68th minute delivery from Martin Daly was offloaded by Stephen Conway to Bane to pull to the net for a remarkable reprieve.
A month after his older brother Raymond fired an opening round winner with the last puck of the game against Clonlara, Killian earned Feakle a draw at the death after getting a second bite of the cherry with his late reintroduction.
The sides were also level on seven occasions in the opening half before Liam Clancy unleashed an injury-time bullet to the net to hand Newmarket a 1-8 to 0-8 half-time advantage.
Feakle were relieved to see an Eoin Guilfoyle shot on the resumption deflect off Shane McGrath to safety but they didn’t heed that warning and in the 36th minute, a Mikey McInerney line ball from halfway was allowed to break through to the unmarked Colin Ryan to clinically finish past advancing goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan at 2-10 to 0-9.
True to form, Feakle refused to accept their perceived fate and it was their bench that provided renewed impetus as Fiachra Donnellan picked off a brace of points while Steven Conway cleverly teed up the overlapping McGrath to fire an unstoppable shot to the bottom left corner of the net in the 39th minute to lessen the damage to one at 2-11 to 1-13 by the turn of the final quarter.
The Blues’ chief marksmen appeared to steady the ship as John Feehily and Eoin Guilfoyle scored crucial points to bolster their advantage. However, they never fully slammed the door of opportunity shut and where there’s life there’s hope as a never-say-die received a welcome redemption to grasp what could yet be a valuable point in this unpredictable ‘Group of Death’.
Scorers for Newmarket-on-Fergus: Liam Clancy (1-3, 2f); John Feehily (0-4); Colin Ryan (1-1); Eoin Guilfoyle (0-3); Colin Guilfoyle, Mikey McInerney (0-2 each); Eoin Hayes (0-1)
Scorers for Feakle: Shane McGrath (1-8, 3f, 3’65); Oisin Donnellan (0-3); Killian Bane (1-0); Ronan O’Connor, Fiachra Donnellan (0-2 each); Gary Guilfoyle (0-1)
1: Padraic Guilfoyle
3: Jack Enright
17: James McInerney
2: Sean O’Connor
5: Colin Guilfoyle
6: Enda Barrett
9: Stephen Casey
4: Paudie McMahon
10: Mikey McInerney
13: Liam Clancy
8: John Feehily
11: Eoin Guilfoyle
18: Eanna Crimmins
14: Colin Ryan
15: Peter Power
7: Niall O’Connor for Power (47)
19: Mark Delaney for Enright (47)
21: Eoin Hayes for Clancy (47)
16: Ronan McCormack for P. Guifoyle (65, inj)
1: Eibhear Quilligan
2: Adam Hogan
3: Martin Daly
4: Evan McMahon
5: Oisin Clune
6: Conn Smyth
7: Eoin Tuohy
8: Killian Bane
9: Ronan O’Connor
20: Gary Guilfoyle
11: Oisin Donnellan
12: Enda Noonan
13: Raymond Bane
15: Shane McGrath
10: Justin Nelson
14: Steven Conway for Nelson (HT)
17: Fiachra Donnellan for K. Bane (HT)
18: Oisin O’Connor for Noonan (44)
8: Bane for R. Bane (52)
Referee: Niall Malone (Éire Óg)