*Aidan McCarthy is chased by Colin Ryan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
After carving out potential match-winning positions on two previous occasions, Inagh-Kilnamona finally cemented victory at the third attempt in what was a fully merited result in Cusack Park on Friday evening.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Their early six point cushion against the conditions was duly slashed to the minimum before the break while Aidan McCarthy’s powerful goal subsequently eased Inagh-Kilnamona ten points clear by the two-thirds mark, only to see it halved once more entering the final ten minutes.
However, a sharper, more balanced Inagh-Kilnamona never had to reach for the panic button at any stage as a five point unanswered response proved sufficient to be able to withstand any late backlash.
Overall, there are creases to be ironed out but in truth, this is still a developing Inagh-Kilnamona side that are largely populated by some very exciting young talent. Consistency is something that county senior Aidan McCarthy certainly embodies as he emulated his 1-10 opening haul against Clooney-Quin with some impressive freetaking while also creating two goal chances, one which he took with aplomb on the overlap when incisively put through by David Mescall.
On the flip side, Newmarket only sprung to life in fits and starts which was never going to be enough to fully test an Inagh-Kilnamona side brimming with youthful enthusiasm.
The Blues’ vast experience was of little benefit in the face of such pace and potency as Inagh-Kilnamona led from start to finish without ever really looking like letting control slip from their grasp.
Having effectively put Clooney-Quin to bed by half-time in their opening bout, Fergal Hegarty’s side looked to inflict a similar blitz on Newmarket as despite facing into the conditions, they built up a 0-9 to 0-3 advantage by the 27th minute through five different scorers.
The McCarthy brothers Aidan (4) and Jason (2) accounted for two thirds of that tally while Conner Hegarty was also denied a goal by Ronan McCormack. Up the other end, Colin Guilfoyle threatened on two occasions but the Blues finally gathered momentum as the clock ticked over the half hour mark. Inspirational points through the impressive Eoin Guilfoyle, the returning Niall O’Connor and Eoin Hayes were accentuated by a brace of Colin Ryan frees to lower the deficit to just one in as many minutes.
David Mescall did stop the rot to ensure a 0-10 to 0-08 interval cushion and with the wind now at their backs, Inagh-Kilnamona soon ruled out any further revolt on the restart with an unanswered 1-5 surge, capped off by Aidan’s McCarthy’s major at 1-15 to 0-08.
A pulled goal through replacement Mikey McInerney did offer a glimmer of hope by the 51st minute but Newmarket were ultimately unable to sustain that challenge as Inagh-Kilnamona respond with five more points to advance to their third successive quarter-final.
Scorers for Inagh-Kilnamona: Aidan McCarthy (1-10, 9f, 1’65); Jason McCarthy, David Fitzgerald, Conner Hegarty (0-2 each); Kealan Guyler, Evan McNamara, David Mescall, Gerry Arthur, Darren Cullinan (0-1 each)
Scorers for Newmarket-on-Fergus: Colin Ryan (0-7f); Mikey McInerney (1-0); Colin Guilfoyle, Eoin Guilfoyle (0-2 each); Niall O’Connor, Eoin Hayes, Sean O’Connor (0-1 each)
1: Eamonn Foudy
8: Shane McInerney
3: Sean Mahoney
2: Keith White
5: Cian McInerney
6: Kevin Hehir
12: Seamus Foudy
7: Jason McCarthy
9: Darren Cullinan
19: David Mescall
11: David Fitzgerald
10: Aidan McCarthy
17: Conner Hegarty
14: Evan McNamara
13: Kealan Guyler
21: Gerry Arthur for McNamara (30+3)
18: Conor Tierney for Guyler (56)
22: Eoin Fitzgerald for Hegarty (63)
1: Ronan McCormack
3: Jack Enright
6: Enda Barrett
2: Paraic McMahon
4: Sean O’Connor
13: Niall O’Connor
5: Frank Melody
7: Stephen Casey
10: Eoin Hayes
21: Stephen Kelly
17: Eoin Guilfoyle
11: John Feehily
14: James Liddy
18: Colin Guilfoyle
12: Colin Ryan
15: James McInerney for Liddy (30)
9: David Frost for Melody (38)
24: Mikey McInerney for Feehily (38)
8: Eoin O’Brien for Hayes (54)
20: Jack O’Connor for Kelly (58)
Referee: Joe Mullins (Clonlara)