Three-goal haul not enough to save Mallow men from opening round defeat
CO-OP SUPERSTORES COUNTY SAHC
Mallow found their way blocked as Newcestown sent out a timely reminder of their wellbeing after producing a second half turnabout to overcome the North Cork side in round 1 to a gripping Co-Op Superstores SAHC (Group A) at a damp Coachford on Saturday.
When required, Newcestown managed the elements very well where they weren’t found wanting on bringing a delightful brand of hurling to their game, showing excellent first touch and an ability to pick off scores to overturn a three point interval deficit.
Still Mallow’s commitment and honesty never wavered and a pair of goals from substitute Daniel Sheehan kept the issue wide open until the last whistle. Relieved Newcestown manager Charlie Wilson heaped praise on his charges and a positive return from a competitive assignment.
“Compared to last season, we are down seven or eight players, the league was challenging but we trusted the players that came in. We weren’t exactly shooting the lights out in the first half but fortunately, it turned out in our favour,” he said.
“Conditions got difficult, Mallow, a big strong team worked the ball route one and we coped admirably, the outcome gives us the perfect start to the campaign.”
A nervous Newcestown opened with three wides, Mallow taking charge, boosted on a Paul Lyons delivery allowed Mark Tobin place Fionn Heffernan to net. Though the Meade brothers got Newcestown off the mark, Mallow looked more creative and direct from the efforts of Darragh Moynihan, Lyons, Niall O’Riordan and Tobin.
Free-takers at either end Tobin and Edmund Kenneally displayed accuracy with Mallow ‘keeper Podge Buckley saving superbly twice from Kenneally as points from Heffernan, Pa Herlihy and Tobin pushed Mallow five ahead. Newcestown offered a response, points to Kenneally and Luke Meade trimmed the arrears 1-9 to 0-9 at the break.
Mallow maintained their grip upon the restart before the direction switched to Newcestown on 42 minutes, Jack Meade capitalised on hesitancy to pounce for a game defining goal.
Now Newcestown’s self belief rose a notch, Luke Meade and Podge Collins ruled the centre, well supported by Seán O’Donovan and David Buckley with five points in rapid succession putting daylight between the sides.
Trailing 1-19 to 1-13, Mallow hit back on a Sheehan goal only for Newcestown to regain the initiative thanks to points from Kenneally and Meade. A stubborn Mallow refused to surrender and a second Sheehan goal made for a gripping finale though Newcestown stood up to the challenge to survive a stern examination.
Victory sets up Newcestown in a top of the table meeting with Fermoy on Sunday while Mallow regroup for a crunch tussle with Cloyne on this Friday evening.
NEWCESTOWN: C Wilson; M McSweeney, C Twomey, S O’Sullivan; J Kelleher, E Collins, F Keane; P Collins, L Meade 0-4; C Dineen 0-1, J Meade 1-2, S O’Donovan 0-2; C O’Neill, E Kenneally 0-10 (9f, 1'65), D Buckley 0-4 Subs: M Courtney for J Kelleher (45), N Kelly 0-1 for C O’Neill (42), C O’Donovan for C Dineen (54 inj), N Murray for S O’Sullivan (54)
MALLOW: P Buckley; T Doyle, S O’Leary, B Kingston; D Moynihan 0-1, N O’Riordan, P Healy; P Lyons 0-1, R Sheehan; R Mills 0-1, F O’Neill, P Herlihy 0-1; M Tobin 0-11 (6f), D Hayes, F Heffernan 1-1 Subs: G Linehan for P Herlihy (37), D Sheehan 2-0 for F Heffernan (47), S O’Callaghan for R Sheehan (56), J Healy for P Healy (59)
REFEREE: B Coniry (Crosshaven)