Injury-time Newcestown goal ensures preliminary replay win over Ballyhea
County SHC replay: Newcestown 1-15 Ballyhea 0-12
A goal in injury time by Luke Meade helped Newcestown eventually see off a gallant Ballyhea outfit in the County SHC replay at Coachford on Sunday. Played before a large attendance the opening half was tight and tense with both sets of defences well in control.
Newcestown were first into the action. Daniel Twomey pointed a free in the second minute with Cathrach Keane doubling their advantage with another point soon after when he received a good pass from Cian Twomey, Ballyhea got their account up and running in the sixth minute when Pa O'Callaghan pointed a free. Exchanges continued to very close with both sides refusing to give an inch. Points were traded between Pa O'Callaghan (2) Luke Meade and Cathrach Keane by the end of the first quarter 0-4 to 0-3.
Newcestown moved two clear again when Daniel Twomey pointed from distance. Ballyhea to their credit were doing rather well at this juncture. Pa O'Callaghan pointed a free in the 21st minute before John Morrissey picked out O'Callaghan two minutes later and he sent over a great point despite the best efforts of the Newcestown backline to force parity at 0-5 each. In the run up to the break both teams swapped a point. Daniel Twomey with a free edged Newcestown ahead. In injury time a Newcestown free from deep in defence was intercepted by Ballyhea and it resulted in a fine point by John Morrissey that ensured they couldn't be separated at the half time whistle at 0-6 piece.
On the changeover Ballyhea started in a very determined mood with corner forward Eugene O'Leary impressing. A pin point pass by Maurice O'Sullivan set up O'Leary for a point in the 34th minute as Ballyhea took the lead for the first time. The game was tied for the third time at 0-7 each soon after when a great clearance by the hard-working Fionn Keane saw Sean Ryan level matters with a good point. However Eugene O'Leary continued to do well in the full forward line and two well taken points in as many minutes moved them 0-9 to 0-7 in front. Newcestown quickly regrouped and over the next ten minutes they laid a foundation for victory when scoring six points on the trot. Daniel Twomey with two rapid points made it 0-9 each.
In the 42nd minute Trevor Horgan set up Jack Meade for a lead they would not surrender. Daniel Twomey with points (from play and a free) made it 0-12 to 0-9. In the 48th minute Cathrach Keane with his third point of the game surged the Carbery outfit into a 0-13 to 0-9 advantage. In the last 12 minutes Ballyhea threw caution to the wind. O'Callaghan and Twomey traded two frees each that left a goal still between the teams by the 57th minute.
Ballyhea piled on the pressure late in the game. At the end of normal time John Morrissey came close to an equalising goal but his effort was deflected out for a '65' that eventually went wide. As Ballyhea went in search of the all important goal to force extra time for the second day running it was Newcestown that caught them on the break in injury time when Luke Meade got through to score the only goal of the game as they emerged victors by a six-point margin in the end.
NEWCESTOWN: K Kelly, N Murray, J Crowley, M McSweeney, J Desmond, G O'Driscoll, F Keane, T Twomey, J Meade 0-1, L Meade 1-1, C Twomey, D Twomey 0-9 (6f), T Horgan, C Keane 0-3, S Ryan 0-1, Subs G Murphy for G O'Driscoll (inj), C O'Neill for N Murray,
BALLYHEA: M Browne, O O'Sullivan, M Morrissey, L Hanley, J Hennessy, B Coleman, L O'Connor, M O'Sullivan, D Copps, T Hanley, J Morrissey 0-2, K Morrissey, P O'Callaghan 0-7 (6f), G Morrissey, E O'Leary 0-3, Subs K Copps for D Copps, S O'Kelly for G Morrissey (inj), T Shanahan for L O'Connor, S Dennehy for O O'Sullivan,
Referee: Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers)