Concession of four goals in second quarter proves fatal
NOEL HORGAN REPORTS
IT all began so brightly for Newcestown in the county senior hurling championship round to clash with Newtownshandrum at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Hurling with considerable power and panache, they looked capable of settling the issue before the break after forging six points ahead inside eight minutes.
Having enjoyed a dream-like start however, the rest of the first half turned into a nightmare for the Carbery side, as they leaked four goals in the second quarter.
It allowed Newtown to lead by 4-6 to 1-11 at the interval, and, aided by another goal from substitute John Geary shortly after the turnover, they stretched the gap to eight points midway through the second half – an advantage which served to sustain them in the face of a gallant bid by Newcestown to pull the game out of the fire.
In view of how well they shaped up during the opening exchanges, it was a particularly disappointing defeat for Newcestown, all the more so since the two goals which initially knocked them off course were of the soft variety.
The first of these arrived in the 16th minute when Jamie Coughlan’s shot from out on the left wing flashed into the far corner, making it 0-7 to 1-2 at that juncture.
Newcestown coped well following that set-back, but their advantage was down to the minimum, 0-10 to 2-3, after a long- range free from Newtown full-back Mattie Ryan went all the way to the net in the 25th minute.
While the picture changed significantly after rampant corner forward Coughlan completed his hat-trick for Newtown before half time, Newcestown selector Jim O’Sullivan felt the first two goals were chiefly responsible for his side’s undoing.
‘We got off to a super start, our dander was up, we were well in control, and then we left Newtown back into it by giving away two bad goals,’ he said.
‘Kudos to Newtown, they picked off some lovely scores once they got motoring, but to concede six goals is something we couldn’t have bargained for, so we’ll have to accept it was just one of those things and take it on the chin.’
Luke Meade pulled most of the strings from midfield as Newcestown hit the ground running, with Sean O’Donovan also excelling at full forward and Tadgh Twomey looking sharp in the half-forward line.
Cathrach Keane grabbed a goal for Newcestown in the 29th minute to quickly negate a Jamie Coughlan three-pointer that had pushed Newtown ahead for the first time before Coughlan struck tellingly again and John Geary tacked on a late point, leaving four between the teams at the break.
With Sean O’Donovan kept on a tighter rein by Newtown’s Kieran O’Sullivan, who had moved in from corner back, Newcestown struggled to make headway up front in the third quarter, but they rallied admirably in the closing stages.
Luke Meade, Dan Twomey and Colm Dineen chipped in with good points from play as they got back within striking range before Newtown lifted the siege, further exposing Newcestown’s defensive frailties with a late goal from John Geary.
Newtownshandrum: J Coughlan 3-3 (2f); J Geary 2-1; M Ryan 1-1 (f); C O’Brien 0-3; T O’Mahony, C Griffin 0-2 each; P O’Sullivan 0-1.
Newcestown: D Twomey 0-5 (3f); L Meade 0-4; T Twomey, S O’Donovan 0-3 each; E Kelly 0-3 (1f); C Keane 1-0; C Dineen 0-2; J Meade 0-1 (sideline).
Newtownshandrum: J Bowles; J O’Mahony, M Ryan, K O’Sullivan; D Guiney, T O’Mahony, M Thompson; C O’Brien, D Hawe; J Twomey, D O’Connor, J Lane; S Griffin, C Griffin, J Coughlan.
Subs, P O’Sullivan for Thompson (inj, 10), J Geary for Twomey (19), D Stack for O’Connor (45), K Coughlan for Lane (65).
Newcestown: K Kelly; N Murray, G Murphy, M Courtney; C O’Neill, M McSweeney, F Keane; J Meade, LMeade; T Twomey, C Keane, C Dineen; E Kelly, S O’Donovan, D Twomey.
Subs: J Crowley for Courtney (38), T Horgan for E Kelly (44), D Buckley for T Twomey (60).
Referee: J Larkin (Ballinora).