Relihan stars in Mallow triumph over Newmarket
SCORING sensation Donal Relihan proved the difference for Mallow to brush off the challenge of Newmarket.
The big full-forward stood out to deliver a pair of goals in either half to allow a sharper and better organised Mallow unload plenty of endeavour and a solid supply of enterprise swept away a below par showing from the Duhallow side.
Simply Mallow possessed too much of a cutting edge, vision and guile going forward coupled with the clinical finishing of Relihan proved superior that anything Newmarket could muster up.
Mallow had scorched out of the starting traps, made the early running though it took a few attacks to find the radar, Shooting three wides, it came right for Mallow as early as the 3rd min on Eoin Stanton offloading to Relihan to net.
Relihan created a constant menace, proving a real handful to add a point. Newmarket attempted to find their feet once John Ryan pointed a free. Still Mallow held the upperhand, brimming with confidence from the influence of Andrew Cashman in defence together with a solid shift from Ryan Harkin and James Loughrey at midfield.
And the fulcrum of the Mallow attack functioned positively through Stanton and Cian O'Riordan with Relihan acting as a consummate target man at full-forward. Both O'Riordan and Relihan added to the Mallow tally though at times, some inaccuracy took the gloss off a perfect performance.
Newmarket who had operated at senior level for the past two seasons, passed up opportunities too, Tony O'Keeffe shot wide of a possible goal. For Mallow, O'Riordan obliged from play and frees before Newmarket gathered their initial score off play courtesy of defender Paddy O'Toole to trail 1-5 to 0-3 at the break.
And Newmarket appeared well capable to eat further into the deficit after Ryan bisected the uprights quickly upon the resumption. However, they faced a mountain to climb from the 32nd min..the Newmarket defence carved open, Stanton, again the provider for Relihan to finish sweetly and raise his second green flag.
The die looked cast for Newmarket yet they refused to wilt without a semblance of a fightback boosted by the efforts of TJ Brosnan, Eddie Allen and O'Keeffe. And they received a lifeline in the 42nd minute, Ryan made inroads, the ball fell into the path of county minor panellist Michael Cottrell to drill low to the Mallow net.
Any hope of a fully fledged revival failed to materialise, Mallow never lost composure, their response calm and measured, prompt points to Stanton, O'Riordan and Eoin Murphy cancelled out the goal at the opposite end.
With the momentum behind them, Mallow emptied the bench with substitutes showing composure to get on the scoresheet. Newmarket had operated second fiddle for the greater portion of the hour and their challenge was summed up on Mallow 'keeper Colman Sheehan earning the plaudits to deny a Newmarket penalty effort from Brian O'Riordan.
Indeed, Mallow never lost their sense of direction and late points to Colin Stanton and Kevin Stanton rubberstamped a quarter final date with Na Piarsaigh.
MALLOW: C Sheehan; M Taylor, S Coughlan, B Sheehan; A Cashman, J McGuinness, B Hooton; R Harkin 0-1f, J Loughrey; C Stokes, E Stanton 0-1, E Murphy 0-2; E O'Carroll, D Relihan 2-2, C O'Riordan 0-4 (0-2f) Subs: A Sheehan 0-2 for O'Carroll (ht), C Stanton 0-1 for Hooton (42), K Sheehan 0-1 for E Stanton (48), H Dockery for Murphy (52), M Murphy for Coughlan (60)
NEWMARKET: D Quinlan; P Allen, B O'Riordan, A Ryan; G Forde, P O'Toole 0-1, T J Brosnan 0-1; B Daly, K O'Sullivan; E Allen, J Ryan 0-3f, J Lane; M Cottrell 1-0, T O'Keeffe, B O'Connor Subs: C O'Sullivan for O'Toole (44), P O'Brien for Forde (51), T J Bodie for Lane (53)
Referee: D Murnane (Macroom)