Blackrock 2-26 Newtownshandrum 2-14
BLACKROCK booked their place in the knockout stages of the Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC with a resounding victory over Newtownshandrum in Mallow on Sunday afternoon.
Alan Connolly scored 1-11 for the 2017 county finalists with Tadhg Deasy contributing 1-6 as they established command in the first half and then pulled away midway through the second half after their North Cork opponents had clawed their way back into contention.
Just as they had a week previously against Erin’s Own, Blackrock surged into a commanding lead in the opening half. While Jamie Coughlan’s second-minute free for Newtown opened the scoring, they wouldn’t register again until the 14th minute, by which stage the complexion of the contest had changed dramatically.
Tadhg Deasy put Blackrock into a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on four minutes with a goal after he did well to create an opening himself following good work by centre-back John Cashman. After Deasy and Alan Connolly added points – the latter from a free following a another Deasy goal chance, saved by James Bowles – the second goal arrived.
It was a result of the direct play to the inside line as Mark O’Keeffe picked out Connolly and he did well to calmly round Bowles and send a batted finish to the net.
They were 2-4 to 0-1 ahead following points from Connolly and Shane O’Keeffe though sub Dermot McCarthy and Jerry Lane gave Newtown some respite before the first-half water break.
After play resumed, Blackrock eased clear through Shane O’Keeeffe and Tadhg Dasy but Newtown got themselves back into game when they won a penalty, which Coughlan converted. While they were still seven points behind as the game moved into injury time at the end of the first half, Coughlan cut that to four with his second goal, set up by Jerry Lane’s run and Tim O’Mahony’s pass.
That left it 2-10 to 2-6 at the interval and four times in the opening ten minutes of the second half the lead was cut to three points by Coughlan but, on each occasion, Blackrock responded as Connolly showed himself to be flawless from placed balls.
The decisive stage of the half came when the Rockies necklaced five consecutive points together as Tadhg Deasy impressed while sub Robbie Cotter got the pick of them as he profited from excellent build-up play by wing-backs Cathal Cormack and Daniel Meaney.
By the time of the water break in the second half, they were 2-19 to 2-12 to the good and that advantage was extended further courtesy of scores from Meaney, Deasy and Cotter, bringing his tally to four points after Shane O’Keeffe’s pass.
That pushed them 10 points clear and though Newtown sub Seán Griffin got two points after his introduction, the outcome was played out to a conclusion that was inevitable well before the end.
Scorers for Blackrock: A Connolly 1-11 (0-9 f, 0-1 65), T Deasy 1-6 (0-1 sideline), R Cotter 0-4, S O’Keeffe 0-2, D Meaney, D O’Farrell, Ciarán Cormack 0-1 each.
Newtownshandrum: J Coughlan 2-6 (1-0 penalty, 0-4 f), D McCarthy, S Griffin, J Lane 0-2 each, T O’Mahony, D O’Connor 0-1 each.
BLACKROCK: G Connolly; R Laide, G Norberg, J Ryan; Cathal Cormack, J Cashman, D Meaney; S Murphy, D O’Farrell; M O’Keeffe, Ciarán Cormack, S O’Keeffe; T Deasy, A Connolly, K O’Keeffe.
Subs: R Cotter for K O’Keeffe (10, injured), J O’Sullivan for M O’Keeffe (48), J Golden for Cathal Cormack (55).
NEWTOWNSHANDRUM: J Bowles; D Guiney, K O’Sullivan, M Ryan; M Thompson, C Twomey, P O’Sullivan; C O’Brien, D Hawe; J Lane, T O’Mahony, D O’Connor; J Geary, C Griffin, J Coughlan.
Subs: D McCarthy for Hawe (13), J Twomey for P O’Sullivan (30, injured), S Griffin for Geary, J O’Mahony for C Griffin (both 48).
Referee: C Lyons (Nemo Rangers).