Newcestown battle back from Enniskeane goal blitz to win county intermediate crown
SHIRLEY MOLONEY REPORTS
COLETTE Desmond will have an extra guest at her wedding later this month.
Named player of the match in Newcestown’s stunning Cork intermediate camogie final win against West Cork neighbours Enniskeane in Brinny last Saturday, she’ll have to make room at the top table on her big day for the county cup, which will be treated like royalty in Newcestown this winter.
Desmond played a key role as Newcestown recovered from the concession of three first-half goals and a six-point half-time gap to dominate the second half and win the county intermediate title.
‘The first half, we took the 30 minutes to settle. They got three goals in ten minutes and that really shook us. At half time we said that we could go back onto the pitch and play the way we have played all year long,’ Desmond said afterwards.
‘We have been building to this game all year, we beat Enniskeane in the league final and in the round-robin series of the championship in August they beat us, so this was a big, big game for both of us.
‘It’s hard to believe we have come out on top after the poor start in the first half.’
Both teams took time to settle and it was seven minutes before the scoreboard registered the opening score through a Suzanne Deasy free for Newcestown.
While Newcestown enjoyed most of the possession in the opening quarter, they failed to convert. Scores from Danielle Carroll and Siobhan O’Driscoll, with Sinead Curtin involved in both and Cork senior Orla Cronin making her presence felt, nudged Enniskeane ahead before Colleen Twomey pointed a 20th minute free to level the game, 0-2 apiece.
Then came that clinical three-goal blitz in seven minutes from Newcestown. Megan O’Regan goaled after 21 minutes, making the most of an Orla Coughlan pass, before Coughlan hit the back of the net two minutes later after collecting a Laura Mannix delivery.
Newcestown mustered a response when Desmond picked off a fine effort, but Enniskeane were on the crest of a wave and rattled the net for the third time on 28 minutes through Sinead Hurley to open up an eight-point lead, 3-2 to 0-3.
Twomey (Newcestown) and Tara Sheehan (Enniskeane) traded scores before a Newcestown brace just before the break through Maria Keneally and Colette Desmond saw them head to the dressing room trailing by six, 3-3 to 0-6.
‘At half time we all had to reflect on our own play. We had a lot of possession but we just couldn’t convert it,’ Colette Desmond explained, and they raced out of the blocks in the second half.
Newcestown racked up 1-3 without reply just after the break, the first through newly introduced Therese McCarthy, who cut the deficit to five. Maria Kenneally pointed before Ciara O’Sullivan scraped the ball over the line following a goalmouth scramble.
With the lead cut to just one point, Twomey drew the sides level, 1-9 to 3-3, for the third time when she pointed a 20-metre free.
Desmond picked off a fine score before Carroll cancelled it out a minute later and registered Enniskeane’s only score of the half on 39 minutes and with it tied the sides for the fourth time.
But Newcestown weren’t going to be denied. They had momentum behind them.
Twomey picked off a sweet point to edge Newcestown ahead by the slimmest and the same player converted another free to give them a two-point lead, 1-12 to 3-4, with six minutes left. Twomey came up trumps with another free to push the lead out to three – and that’s how it stayed as Newcestown won the SE Systems Cork Camogie intermediate championship title.
It was a memorable day for Newcestown who had campaigned in senior B before re-grading down to junior a few years ago. This year they have now won the intermediate championship and league double.
‘Newcestown camogie were senior B for a lot of years and we had a lot of awful defeats,’ Colette Desmond explained.
‘We re-graded all the way down to junior, back then we barely had 15 for a championship team. We won the junior two years ago. I missed that game as I was away travelling so this is my first adult camogie victory for Newcestown so personally this is a big day for me, after all these years playing.
‘In intermediate last year we had a great team and ended up losing to Blackrock who won it out.
‘The mix of young and old is phenomenal, we really mix as a group and you saw that today.’
Now, Desmond and Newcestown have another day to look forward to this month, her wedding day, as the big celebrations are set to continue.
Enniskeane: M O’Regan, O Coughlan, S Hurley 1-0 each, D Carroll 0-2, T Sheehan, S O’Driscoll 0-1 each.
Newcestown: C Twomey 0-6 (4f, 1 45), C O’Sullivan 1-0, C Desmond 0-3, M Kenneally 0-2, T McCarthy, S Deasy (f) 0-1 each.
Enniskeane: C O’Donovan; K O’Shea, C Nyhan, K Scannell; S Curtin, C O’Donovan, A O’Driscoll; D Carroll, L Mannix; M O’Regan, O Coughlan (captain), O Cronin; K Hennessy, S O’Driscoll, S Hurley.
Subs: T Sheehan for K Hennessy (21), R Scannell for K O’Shea (ht), A Crowley for R Scannell (54).
Newcestown: O Dinneen; M McSweeney, F Deasy (captain), A Crowley; M Lynch, S Deasy, A O’ Donovan; E Crowley, Z Griffen; H O Mahony, M Keneally, M O’Donovan; C Desmond, C Twomey, C O’Sullivan.
Subs: T McCarthy for H O’Mahony (ht), R Desmond for A Crowley (43).
Referee: Cathal Egan (Glen Rovers).