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Newcestown miss the chance to go directly to quarter-finals, as Courceys guarantee senior status

September 8th, 2023 11:30 AM

By Matthew Hurley

Newcestown miss the chance to go directly to quarter-finals, as Courceys guarantee senior status Image
Newcestown's Jack Meade takes control of the ball against Courcey Rovers' Colm Daly during the Co-op Superstores SAHC tie at Brinny. (Photos: Paddy Feen)

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Courcey Rovers 1-19 

Newcestown 2-15



THE bigger battle lies ahead with a county quarter-final against Killeagh on the horizon, but Newcestown will be disappointed that they missed the opportunity to advance directly to a Co-op Superstores Senior A HC semi-final.

Defeat to Courcey Rovers in sunny Brinny on Saturday saw Newcestown finish as Group B winners, but it wasn’t enough to bypass the quarter-finals. Instead, the two other group winners, Bride Rovers and Carrigtwohill, are into the semis.

But for Carrigdhoun side Courcey Rovers, this their first win of the championship was huge – it cemented their place in the 2024 second tier. Deservedly so after a gutsy display.

‘It was a difficult one,’ Newcestown boss Cha Wilson told The Southern Star. ‘We were already qualified, the stakes weren’t high enough to a point but having said that we wanted to win it. We were flat on the day and we are disappointed we left that one behind us.’

Newcestown played with a slight breeze in the first half and opened the scoring through an Edmund Kenneally free, the first of ten placed balls for the centre forward. Rory O’Callaghan of Courceys and Sean O’Donovan of Newcestown traded scores before Rovers’ scorer-in-chief Richard Sweetnam hit three points on the bounce, putting his side into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead after 12 minutes.

Colm Dineen pulled one back for the Carbery side but a piece of quality from a Cork forward yielded the first goal. A long was sent into Sean Twomey who caught it brilliantly while surrounded by a swarm of Newcestown defenders.

The full forward was fouled but a great advantage was played by the referee, as Twomey fed it to Olan Crowley who struck low past Cathal Wilson. That made it 1-4 to 0-3.

Courcey Rovers' Olan Crowley celebrates after scoring his side's only goal against Newcestown.

Newcestown needed a spark and got 1-2 without reply to burst into the lead.

Kenneally and Richard O’Sullivan pointed before another free from Kenneally floated into the danger zone with O’Donovan on hand to flick home.

‘It was a crucial goal at the time. We weren’t playing particularly well, we were just tipping along,’ mentor Wilson admitted.

‘Did we deserve the lead? I’m not sure. We never looked like we were firing on all cylinders or anything like that. We just didn’t get going. We were flattered to be ahead. Delighted but flattered. Having said that, we are after a heavy schedule (in bothe codes).’

Crowley added a point to his tally for Courceys before Jack Meade and Kenneally (2) pushed out Newcestown’s advantage. On the stroke of half time, Courceys goalkeeper Stephen Nyhan pointed to reduce the break margin to two, 1-8 to 1-6.

Newcestown's James Kelleher is tackled by Courcey Rovers' Sean Twomey.

On 37 minutes, the sides were level for just the second time as Michael O’Donovan, Sweetnam and Nyhan all split the posts for Courceys while Kenneally scored for Town, 1-9 apiece.

Newcestown looked to have got back cruise control as Kenneally hit a quickfire 1-1. The goal he scored was extremely fortunate. He took a strike between the two 65s and Courceys’ keeper Nyhan was unsighted as the ball somehow bulged the net, much to the surprise of the spectators. 2-10 to 1-9 with 40 minutes gone.

The Carbery club only hit 0-5 from then on however, with only Dineen scoring from play.

‘I had no doubt we were going to go on and win it at that stage but we never kicked on. We know we’re capable of a lot more. We just have to come out firing the next day,’ a disappointed Wilson said.

A couple of Sweetnam frees kept Rovers floating until the crucial last ten minutes plus added-time came. The Carrigdhoun club outscored Newcetown by 0-6 to 0-2 in that period.

Sweetnam hit a superb point from play which was followed by a Liam Collins score and another free from the talisman. Kenneally broke the Courceys scoring run momentarily before Colin Roche, Sweetnam and Nyhan chipped in to seal a morale boosting win.

Busy times ahead for Newcestown in both codes, who are playing for potentially three weeks in a row.

‘We’re going to make it (the loss) a positive now, we have no other choice. We always felt we had things to work on and we just don’t get the time sometimes. That’s the biggest problem. If you’re not right in the first place, it is very hard to swing it after that,’ Wilson said.



Courcey Rovers: Richard Sweetnam 0-10 (5f, 1 65); Olan Crowley 1-1; Stephen Nyhan 0-4 (4f); Rory O’Callaghan, Colin Roche, Michael O’Donovan, Liam Collins 0-1 each.

Newcestown: Edmund Kenneally 1-10 (10f); Sean O’Donovan 1-1; Colm Dineen 0-2; Jack Meade, Richard O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Courcey Rovers: Stephen Nyhan; Colm Daly, Darren Collins, Kevin Collins; Liam Collins, Fergus Lordan, Colin Roche; DJ Twomey, Martin Collins; Olan Crowley, Michael O’Donovan, Rory O’Callaghan; John McCarthy, Sean Twomey, Richard Sweetnam.

Subs: Daniel O’Donovan for M O’Donovan (46); Brendan Ryan for J McCarthy (49); Dan Lordan for K Collins (60).

Newcestown: Cathal Wilson; Michael McSweeney, Colm O’Donovan, James Kelleher; Gearoid O’Donovan, Luke Meade, Eoghan Collins; Tadhg Twomey, Niall Kelly; Sean O’Donovan, Edmund Kenneally, Podge Collins; Colm Dineen, Richard O’Sullivan, Jack Meade.

Sub: David Buckley for S O’Donovan (35).

Referee: Brendan Barry Murphy (Aghabullogue).

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