TOM LYONS REPORTS
LOCAL hurling derbies between Newcestown and Bandon usually provide fireworks but this Red FM Division 3 county hurling league game under lights in Bandon failed to live up to expectations.
Put it down to early season failings or unusual time (the Thursday night before St Patrick’s Day) but in a match that depended mostly on frees for scores, both teams seemed content with a good workout rather than hell-fire championship fare.
While this was not quite a shootout between the two free-takers, Edmund Kenneally of Newcestown and Charlie Long of Bandon, both hitting eight points of their sides’ totals, goalmouth thrills were limited as only a single goal was registered over the hour, from a Bandon penalty.
‘It’s early days yet and we were happy enough with this outing,’ said Newcestown manager Charlie Wilson. ‘Both sides were missing players and haven’t much hurling done yet. What matters is that the effort is being put in and that we’re progressing. You have to try new players in the league. We had a good win over Blarney two weeks ago and now tonight, so it’s a good start to the league. Winning matches helps and we’re on the right path so far.’
Although the home side, who lost their opening league game to Castlelyons, started better with early points from Eolann McSweeney and ace shooter Charlie Long, it was Newcestown who began to dominate, with Tadhg Twomey showing the way from midfield and Edmund Kenneally causing problems up front. Two points from Kenneally (play and free) and three more followed to push the visitors in front by 0-5 to 0-3, McSweeney adding Bandon’s third.
The second quarter saw the game heating up somewhat with Eamonn Twomey, Tim Twohig and Conor Calnan driving Bandon on from defence. However, lack of penetration up front was their main downfall as they had only a Charlie Long pointed free to show for their efforts. Kenneally was starring in the Newcestown attack and he had points from play and a free, with outstanding wing back Mark Courtney adding their eighth point.
In the 25th minute we finally had some goalmouth excitement which ended in a Bandon penalty, converted at the second attempt by strong full forward Aidan O’Mahony to close the gap to a single point. Charlie Long and Colm Dineen, who capped a fine performance with four points, swapped points and it was Newcestown in front by 0-9 to 1-5 at the break.
Expectations of a rip-roaring third quarter were sadly unfulfilled as both sides seemed to lose sight of the goalposts in the floodlights. Fourteen wides, shared equally, was the tally in that poor third quarter with only five scores being registered. Kennealy (two frees) and Dineen pointed for Newcestown, with Long converting two Bandon frees. It was Newcestown, with goalkeeper Cathal Wilson, Mícheál McSweeney, Mark Courtney, Conor O’Neill and Eoin Collins prominent in defence, in front by 0-12 to 1-7 at the last quarter dawned.
With the game still in the balance, the final quarter was well contested as Bandon twice cut the lead to a single point but their dependence on Long for scores from frees, converting three, was to prove their downfall as they only managed a single point from play from sub Darragh Collins.
Newcestown were never headed as they added two points from Kenneally frees and one each from play from Dineen and sub Jack Meade. Up front, Padraig Collins and Trevor Horgan also did well for Newcestown, while Rory Desmond and Aidan O’Mahony tried hard for Bandon. The official referee’s final score was 0-16 to 1-10, although we had an extra Bandon point on our score sheet.
Scorers - Newcestown: Edmund Kenneally 0-8 (6f); Colm Dineen 0-4,; Padraig Collins, Mark Courtney 0-1 each. Bandon: Charlie Long 0-8 (7f); Aidan O’Mahony 1-0 (pen); Eolann McSweeney 0-2; Darragh Collins 0-1.
Newcestown: Cathal Wilson; Mícheál McSweeney, James Kelleher, Niall Murray; Mark Courtney, Conor O’Neill, Eoin Collins; Tadhg Twomey, Séamus O’Sullivan; Conor Goggin, Cian Twomey, Padraig Collins; Colm Dinnen; Edmund Kenneally, Trevor Horgan. Subs: Joe Kenneally for S O’Sullivan (43), Jack Meade for C Goggin (46).
Bandon: Oisín Hennessy; Conor Twomey, Peter Murphy, Eamonn Twomey; Ciarán McCarthy, Tim Twohig, Conor Calnan; Harry Lillis, Cathal Lynch; Mark O’Regan, Rob Long, Eolann McSweeney; Charlie Long, Aidan O’Mahony, Rory Desmond. Subs: Ciarán Twomey for Conor Twomey (ht), Nelson McCarthy for E McSweeney (ht), Darragh Collins for H. Lillis (ht).
Referee: Patrick O’Mahony (Kilbrittain).