St Finbarr’s 0-14 Newcestown 1-8
ST Finbarr’s pulled clear in the second half to reach the semi-finals of the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC for the third time in the last four years.
With the sides level at the three-quarter stage, the city side pushed on in determined fashion, displaying more scoring power down the stretch to eliminate last year’s semi-finalists Newcestown, who were having to play just three days after their hurling semi-final exit to Fr O’Neills.
The Barrs had much of the play in the opening quarter, but were let down by sloppy shooting at times, with five wides registered by the Togher side in the opening 13 minutes.
Even so, they were 0-3 to 0-2 ahead by the water-break, having taken the lead on three occasions, with Cillian Myers Murray and Steven Sherlock showing endeavour in attack while Ian Maguire and Michael Shields were both making their presence felt in midfield.
Newcestown’s short restarts didn’t always pay off, but when they were able to make headway they asked questions of the Barrs and, after play resumed in the 17th minute, they were level courtesy of a Daniel Twomey free after Jack Meade had been fouled.
An even and tight game had been short on goal opportunities but the Barrs almost fashioned one in the 24th minute. Wing-back Colm Scully’s delivery looked to be a defender’s ball but Newcestown didn’t deal with it and Eoghan McGreevey had the briefest of glimpses of being through only to be well crowded out.
The importance of that intervention was shown a minute later as captain Cárthach Keane sent a high ball goalwards to where Jack Meade was and, when the ball broke, teenager Séamus O’Sullivan was quickest to react, sending a low shot past Patrick O’Neill.
It gave Newcestown a 1-3 to 0-3 lead, their first time in front in the game, but the advantage was quickly eroded as the Barrs pieced together their best period of the game, reeling off four unanswered points to ensure they were one in front by half-time.
Sherlock’s pass allowed hardworking wing-forward Denis O’Brien to send over a beautiful score from a tight angle to level and they were back in front as O’Brien, Cian Walsh and Maguire combined for Sherlock’s third point of the game.
When Newcestown were caught coming out of defence, Myers Murray’s pass for Sherlock gave him a half-chance of a goal and, though he fired over to level, they were in front just before half-time as Myers Murray benefited from good work by Brian Hayes and Scully.
Within ten seconds of the restart, Newcestown were level as Gearóid O’Donovan set up David Buckley. While points from Myers Murray and Sherlock looked to have pushed the Barrs into a position from where they could push on, Newcestown were level by the water break thanks to two Daniel Twomey frees.
The Barrs didn’t waver though and remained patience despite the resistance of the well-coached Newcestown side. Eoghan McGreevey put them ahead after possession was held impressively, with Sherlock and sub Eoghan Finn opening up a three-point lead with seven minutes left.
Still Newcestown pushed, with Twomey getting his fourth point, but while they sought to reduce the gap, the Barrs’ massed ranks meant that they struggled to create good enough chances while Jamie Burns had a tight leash on Tadgh Twomey, the Newcestown forward with the greatest scoring potential.
When Finn did well to force a turnover, the Barrs broke at speed, with sub Adam Lyne and McGreevey setting up Myers Murray for his fourth point, immediately followed by a fifth. Newcestown did have a late penalty shout when Cárthach Keane looked to be impeded as he shot but nothing came of it and, though Daniel Twomey’s free left a goal in it, it remained elusive and the Barrs progressed.
Scorers for St Finbarr’s: S Sherlock 0-6 (0-3 f), C Myers Murray 0-5, D O’Brien, E McGreevey, E Finn 0-1 each.
Newcestown: D Twomey 0-5 f, S O’Sullivan 1-0, D Buckley 0-2, C Dinneen 0-1 f.
ST FINBARR’S: P O’Neill; S Ryan, J Burns, A O’Connor; C Lyons, O Murphy, C Scully; I Maguire, M Shields; D O’Brien, S Sherlock, C Walsh; C Myers Murray, B Hayes, E McGreevey.
Subs: E Finn for Hayes (half-time), C Dennehy for Lyons (40), C Keane for Shields (44), A Lyne for O’Brien (50), D Callanan for Sherlock (60).
NEWCESTOWN: C White; J Kelleher, M McSweeney, C Twomey; S O’Sullivan, L Meade, C Dinneen; F Keane, S O’Donovan; G O’Donovan, C Keane, D Buckley; J Meade, T Twomey, D Twomey.
Subs: E Kelly for J Meade (50), M Kelly for S O’Sullivan (55).
Referee: C Lane (Lyre).