WHEN Newtownshandrum lost to Bishopstown in the opening round of the Cork SHC back in April there might not have been too many takers on them going forward.
They faced a very difficult challenge against Newcestown in round two to stay in the championship but they came through that assignment mainly because of their ability to score goals.
They put a half dozen on the board that day and that saw an end to Newcestown’s aspirations.
The show was back on the road but for how long with Blackrock warm favourites to defeat them in the third-round.
But again it was Newtown’s turn to turn up the heat and on a scoreline of 1-25 to 2-16 they ended the Rockies championship year.
That result sent out a clear warning that the club of the 2000s had not gone away and it was very much a case of being wary of them for whoever came up against them next.
That team is now Glen Rovers this evening in Páirc Uí Rinn in the quarter-final and team manager Gary Morrissey is looking forward to what he believes will be another very stern challenge.
“The Glen are the Glen, a very good team, winners two years running a couple of years ago and they have one of the best forwards in the country in Patrick Horgan.
“Look, we know the challenge that awaits us and how difficult it will be, but at the same time, we believe in ourselves and will go out and, hopefully, give it our best.
“Things have gone okay for us since we lost to Bishopstown in the first round and, while we were very disappointed to lose that game, I suppose it’s always in the back of your head that there’s another chance to get it right.
“We got the goals against Newcestown and getting six of them is something that you won’t see again too soon.
“We actually started very slowly that day and were behind early on, but we got back into it, got the goals and came through.
“I believe that game stood to us going in to play Blackrock and we were, obviously, delighted with that result.”
It’s a much-changed Newtownshandrum team now from the more recent past with six or seven players having to be replaced, household names like Ryan Clifford, Cathal Naughton, and Jack Herlihy not being involved.
“A lot of the lads went travelling, that happens in all clubs so we had to bring in some of the younger fellas earlier than we might have expected.
“But they have brought a fresh enthusiasm with them and it’s gone good for us up to now.
“There’s a good enough mix on the team with some of the more experienced lads like Jamie (Coughlan), James Bowles and Gerry O’Mahony around.”
Mention of Newtown and the words spirit and character come into play, something that Morrissey can identify with.
“Look, we are a village team, that’s the way it is in the GAA, local community and plenty of passionate people involved.
“We had great years here and it’s great to be involved. We got to a quarter-final too last year, losing to Midleton late on so you’d want to progress further this time.
Has he seen tonight’s opposition in action?
“I did not get to see the Glen’s game with Charleville a few weeks back mainly because we were focusing more on ourselves and the job that we had to do.
“That’s what we tend to do, look after what we can and try to get that right.
“As I said, this will be tough, the Glen are always that way, you certainly won’t ever get anything easy from a Glen team.
“We are under no illusions, but we’ll give it our very best shot.”