Ibane Gaels 1-13
TOM LYONS REPORTS
EIGHT points separated the teams at the end of this thrilling Rebel Óg West Minor 1 hurling final in Clonakilty but with only ten minutes remaining Ibane’s Adam McSweeney stood over a penalty, his side only three points in arrears and the game up for grabs.
Goalkeeper Cathal Wilson proved equal to the occasion with a splendid save and five minutes later Niall Kelly had the ball in the Ibane net to decide a thrilling, hard-fought final.
This final had an amazing opening quarter. During the opening eight minutes Ibane dominated totally, looking a class side as they hammered over five unanswered points. Then the game completely swung the opposite way with Newcestown hitting five in a row to tie the scores by the end of the first quarter.
Newcestown continued to look the stronger side up to half time when they led by three points. The third quarter was evenly balanced with a huge intensity in the play as the sides shared eight points equally.
The Ibane penalty came in the 50th minute, followed by the Newcestown goal in the 54th minute and it was all Newcestown in the closing minutes as they built up a ten-point lead with some top-class hurling. Ibane did hit the Newcestown net in the 60th minute but it was too little and far too late to influence the final result.
‘We didn’t mean to give them that start but we were down five points against Cloughduv in the semi-final as well,’ said Newcestown mentor Charlie Wilson.
‘These lads have done a lot of hurling and training for this. They have worked hard over the years and you get what you deserve. There’s no reason ourselves and Ibane couldn’t play in Premier 2 on that display but there’s no room there as it’s reserved for the big city teams.
‘We didn’t quite put Ibane away and we had to fight for everything and take our chances. We seemed to be controlling it well and they didn’t look like getting a goal as our defence was playing well. It wasn’t until after the penalty save and the goal that the game really opened up and our forwards put the game to bed.
‘Now we have to turn our attention to football, without mentioning the U21 football and hurling, and the senior football. Busy days.’
Richard O’Sullivan with six points, including four frees and two 65s, as well as the rampant David Buckley, four from play, were the main Newcestown scorers in the first half, with Adam McSweeney, two frees, a 65 and two from play, hit five for Ibane, as Newcestown led by 0-12 to 0-9 at half time. Niall Kelly and Adam Giles also had Newcestown points, while Fergal Walsh, Sean Walsh, Ryan O’Donovan and Darragh Holland added to Ibane’s score.
James Moloney, Cathal Sheehy, Robert Murphy, Darragh Holland, Sean Henchion, Fergal Walsh, Matthew O’Donovan and Adam McSweeney were all impressive for the Barryroe/Timoleague combination in the first half, while the entire Newcestown defence impressed in front of reliable goalkeeper Cathal Wilson.
It was marvellous, no-quarters-asked hurling in the third quarter, as O’Sullivan and McSweeney continued to swap points, O’Sullivan’s sideline cut being the highlight. It was Newcestown in front by 0-16 to 0-12 at the end of the third quarter as McSweeney pointed another free to begin the last quarter, the game still very much in the balance.
Then came to penalty save in the 50th minute and Kelly’s goal in the 54th and it was all Newcestown now as the game opened up, with Daire McAree and Colm O’Donovan controlling midfield and Buckley, Darragh McSweeney, Niall Kelly and Richard O’Sullivan flying up front. O’Sullivan had points from free and play and Colm O’Donovan from play as a ten-point gap opened up between the sides.
Brave Ibane refused to cave in and went in search of goals, combining for an excellent green flag by Ryan O’Donovan in the 58th minute. However, it was Newcestown, and the lethal Richard O’Sullivan from a free, who had a the last say, as the minor 1 trophy was destined for St John’s parish.
Newcestown: Richard O’Sullivan 0-12 (7f, 2 65, 1 sideline); David Buckley 0-6; Niall Kelly 1-1; Adam Giles, Colm O’Donovan 0-1 each.
Ibane Gaels: Adam McSweeney 0-9 (6f, 1 65); Ryan O’Donovan 1-1; Darragh Holland, Fergal Walsh, Sean Walsh 0-1 each.
Newcestown: Cathal Wilson; Darragh Buttimer, Gavin Kelleher, Seamus O’Sullivan; Eoin Calnan, Eoghan Collins, James Ryan; Daire McAree, Colm O’Donovan; Olan Walsh, David Buckley, Adam Giles; Darragh McSweeney, Richard O’Sullivan, Niall Kelly.
Subs: Eoin McSweeney for A Giles (56), Ross Power for D McSweeney (58), JJ Flanagan for J Ryan (60).
Ibane Gaels: David Walsh; Michael Wycherley, James Moloney, Michael Ryan; Robert Murphy, Colm Sheehy, Colm Dineen; Darragh Holland, Sean Henchion; Fergal Walsh, Andrew Guinevan, Matthew O’Donovan; Sean Walsh, Ryan O’Donovan, Adam McSweeney.
Subs: Jack Lawton for M Wycherley (ht), John Allyn Byrnes for A Guinevan (40), A Guinevan for JA Byrnes (45).
Referee: Michael Collins (Clonakilty).