GER McCARTHY REPORTS
Substitute Edmund Kenneally’s injury-time leveller earned Newcestown a draw and Cork SAHC quarter-final berth following a classic encounter with Killeagh last Sunday.
Coachford was the venue for last weekend’s final Group C matchup in which Killeagh needed a victory to leapfrog Newcestown and claim a quarter-final berth.
What followed was a terrific game which had a bit of everything including over six minutes of injury-time. Killeagh led 2-7 to 0-7 at the interval but, crucially, lost Cian Fogarty to a 17th-minute red card. The East Cork side were still ahead, 2-9 to 1-10 at the final water break and three points up as the clock reached 60 minutes.
Three consecutive Newcestown injury-time points looked to have earned the West Cork club a draw until Eoghan Keniry landed a pressure-filled 65’ for 14-man Killeagh.
There was still time for one last twist. Killeagh’s bench and supporters were screaming for the final whistle when Newcestown substitute Edmund Kenneally split the posts to secure a crucial draw.
‘We looked and looked tired while they really hit us for six,’ Newcestown manager Cha Wilson told The Southern Star just after the final whistle.
‘We knew they would be hungry for it and wanted it. I was hoping our guys would be the same but unfortunately, the couple of weeks has taken its toll.
‘Our fellas are tired. It is very hard to just come bouncing out of the traps when fellas have as much game time (football and hurling) as we have in the last number of weeks. Look, we are resilient and delighted we stuck with it and believed we could pull it back.’
A frantic start saw a hungry Killeagh build a 1-3 to 0-2 lead inside 5 minutes. Ryan McCarthy, Eoghan Keniry (free) and Andrew Walsh raised white flags prior to McCarthy bursting the net with stunning shot. Tadhg Twomey and Colm Dineen were Newcestown’s early scorers.
Sean Long setup Gary Leahy for a second Killeagh goal after 10 minutes and Newcestown were in trouble as the same player added point shortly after. Richard O’Sullivan (free) pulled one back prior to an off the ball incident resulting in Killeagh being reduced to 14 players.
Cian Fogarty was sent to the line after 17 minutes before another O’Sullivan free preceded the first water break.
The second quarter was a much scrappier affair with each team adding three points to their respective totals. Two Eoghan Keniry (one free) scores and a Sean Long effort were matched by Tadhg Twomey, Luke Meade and Jack Meade to leave Killeagh 2-7 to 0-7 ahead at the break.
The third quarter burst into life with a Richard O’Sullivan free followed a well-taken Newcestown goal. O’Sullivan’s attempted free rebounded down off a post and Jack Meade fired the rebound into the back of the net.
Creditably, despite their numerical disadvantage, Killeagh enjoyed their most productive spell. Between the 40th and 54th minutes, the East Cork side added six points through four Eoghan Keniry (two frees), Gary Leahy and David Kelleher. In the same timeframe, Newcestown kept pace and trailed 2-13 to 1-13 following three Richard O’Sullivan (two frees), Colm Dineen and Jack Meade efforts.
Defences got on top heading towards the final whistle and the score remained unchanged as the clock passed 60 minutes.
Then, Newcestown dug deep and roared on by their vociferous supporters, levelled the score courtesy of Jack Meade (free), substitute Edmund Kenneally and Luke Meade (who was fortunate to receive only a yellow card minutes earlier) points.
Killeagh’s supporters proved just as loud when the brilliant Eoghan Keniry landed a 65’ five minutes into injury time. 2-14 to 1-16 behind, Newcestown refused to panic and worked the ball to Edmund Kenneally wide on the right wing. The second half substitute turned and fired over the bar to level the score for the final time.
The referee blew his whistle immediately after and Newcestown’s 2-14 to 1-17 draw coupled with Fr. O’Neill’s big win over Cloyne confirmed the West Cork dual club’s place in the Cork SAHC quarter-finals.
‘What can I say? I thought we got out of jail and there is no more to it than that,’ Newestown’s Cha Wilson concluded.
‘We felt we had more in the tank and could have done better but we just seemed to cramp up a little bit. We just didn’t take it over the finishing line the way we wanted to.’
Scorers for Newcestown: Richard O’Sullivan (0-6, 0-5 frees), Jack Meade (1-3, 0-1 free), Tadhg Twomey, Colm Dineen, Luke Meade and Edmund Kenneally (0-2 each). Killeagh: Eoghan Keniry (0-8, 0-4 frees, 0-1 65’), Gary Leahy (1-2), Ryan McCarthy (1-1), Andrew Walsh, Sean Long and David Kelleher (0-1 each).
Newcestown: Cathal Wilson; Micheál McSweeney (captain), Cian Twomey, James Kelleher; Fionn Keane, Eoghan Collins, Colm O’Donovan; Tadhg Twomey, Colm Dineen; Carthach Keane, Jack Meade, David Buckley; Richard O’Sullivan, Eoin Kelly, Luke Meade.
Subs: Trevor Horgan for E Kelly (ht), Seamus O’Sullivan for C Keane (50), Edmund Kenneally for R O’Sullivan (56).
Killeagh: Phillip O’Neill (captain); Allan Keniry, George Walsh Wallace, Cian Fogarty; Dylan Hogan, Christy Coughlan, Daniel Walsh; Mike Fitzgerald, Sean Long; Jamie Fogarty, Eoghan Keniry, Shane Smiddy; Ryan McCarthy, Andrew Walsh, Gary Leahy.
Subs: Andrew Leahy for S Smiddy (46), David Kelleher for R McCarthy (46), Keane Kelly for J Fogarty (53, inj).
Referee: Brendan Barry-Murphy (Aghabullogue).
Our Star: Killeagh’s Eoghan Keniry may have ended left the field disappointed but his eight points and late 65’ almost won it for the East Cork club
Star moment: No doubt about but Edmund Kenneally’s 66th minute equaliser was the moment Newcestown will reflect on the most.
Talking point: Cian Fogarty’s needless sending off had a huge bearing on the outcome. A full Killeagh team probably would have proven too much for their opponents.
What’s next? Newcestown march on to the Cork SAHC quarter-finals while Killeagh are out of the championship.