John Murphy Reports
COLM Dinneen played a captain’s role in Newcestown’s dramatic Clona Milk South West U21B football championship final win in Enniskeane.
When the need was greatest, up popped Dinneen with two late frees to snatch a sensational win in an epic game between next-door-neighbours Newcestown and Bandon
This game ebbed and flowed. The sides were level on nine occasions. But with the clock counting down, Newcestown appeared to be in the driving seat as they led 0-14 to 0-11.
A tiring Bandon, shorn of the services of Eoin O’Sullivan after the midfielder was red-carded in the 43rd minute, were beginning to feel the strain.
But Bandon drew on some hidden reserves of energy to create a grandstand finale. Mark O’Regan slotted over a free in the third minute of injury-time and when his blasting drive hit the Newcestown rigging one minute later, the Bandon bench erupted in delirious delight.
Were the Lilywhites, at last, about to get their hands on the Matthew O’Sullivan Cup after several heartbreaks in deciders in recent years?
Alas, their dream was once again about to be dashed.
Newcestown captain and midfield star Colm Dinneen was outstanding all through this tussle and when the chips were down, he again delivered.
Displaying nerves of steel Dinneen nailed an equalising point from a free in the 66th minute. He broke Bandon hearts a minute later when he slotted over what proved the winner from an acute angle.
Even then there was one final twist in this unforgettable saga.
Bandon broke downfield. Their captain Eoin Nolan released a piledriver and there was Dinneen again to divert it to safety via his knee. Seconds later, it was all over. Bandon sunk to their knees in disappointment. Newcestown’s joy was unbridled.
‘What you saw out there was typical Bandon and Newcestown. Last week a goal separated the hurlers. This week that last Bandon shot could have ended up in the back of Newcestown’s net,’ a breathless Newcestown manager Niall O’Mahony admitted.
‘It was fantastic fare. Both teams gave it their all. We just got a lucky break there at the death. When Bandon got that late goal, I thought we showed great composure and worked some lovely passages of play to earn those two late frees. Colm (Dinneen) hit that last free brilliantly and he was outstanding all through.’
Newcestown are now involved in the county series and that’s something to look forward to.
‘The important thing is that we won today. Now that we have achieved our goal we will prepare and give the county our best shot. We still are not aware who our opponents will be,’ O’Mahony said.
At the close of the opening quarter Newcestown led by double scores, 0-4 to 0-2. While the St John’s outfit had the better of the possession stakes the Bandon boys created several turnovers and made maximum use of limited opportunities.
Dinneen and Eoghan Collins were motoring well in midfield and up front Edmund Kenneally, David Buckley and Olan Walsh were nippy forwards for Newcestown.
Nolan and the productive Mark O’Regan levelled matters from dead ball situations for the losers. The blistering pace of Ben Donegan and Conor Calnan had Newcestown back pedalling on occasions, though goalkeeper Shane Scanlon and a solid full-back division of Gerard Murphy, Mark Shorten and Darragh Buttimer failed to be fazed by the Bandon threat at this stage.
A fantastic move by Olan Walsh and Eoghan Collins brought a superb save from Bandon shot-stopper Ciarán McCarthy in the 31st minute as the keeper prevented a certain goal. It was deadlocked at the interval, 0-8 apiece.
The tension cranked up several notches in the second half but Bandon were down to 14 men in the 43rd minute after a brief melee developed.
Losing a man eventually began to take its toll on Bandon and with Dineen in devastating form and Padraig Collins and Edmund Kenneally splitting the posts, the good money looked to be on Newcestown. They led 0-14 to 0-11 with normal time evaporating.
Little did they know the nail-biting finale that awaited.
Aidan O’Rourke, vice-chairman of the Carbery Board, presented the Matthew O’Sullivan Cup to a delighted Colm Dinneen, captain of Newcestown, after the game.
Newcestown: Colm Dinneen 0-9 (6f), Edmund Kenneally 0-3, Eoghan Collins 0-2, Padraig Collins, David Buckley 0-1 each.
Bandon: Mark O’Regan 1-4 (4f), Eoin Nolan 0-5 (4f), Conor Calnan 0-2, Aidan O’Mahony 0-1 (f).
Newcestown: Shane Scanlon; Gerard Murphy, Mark Shorten, Darragh Buttimer; Seamus O’Sullivan, Gearóid O’Donovan, Conor Goggin; Colm Dinneen, Eoghan Collins; Padraig Collins, Edmund Kenneally, Olan Walsh; Daire McAree, David Buckley, Timmy Coughlan.
Subs: Cathal Wilson for Daire McAree (inj, 37), Cathal McGreal for Timmy Coughlan (46).
Bandon: Ciarán McCarthy; Aaron Burns, Kieran Walsh, Jeremy Collins; Robert O’Driscoll, Paul Lang, Nelson McCarthy; Eoin O’Sullivan, David Behan; Eolann McSweeney, Aidan O’Mahony, Conor Calnan; Mark O’Regan, Eoin Nolan, Ben Donegan.
Subs: Charlie Long for Eolann McSweeney (38), Eoin Nolan for Nelson McCarthy (42), Harry Lillis for Robert O’Driscoll (inj, 53), James Daly for David Behan (60).
Referee: Frank Quill (Bantry Blues).