ON Saturday, Newtownshandrum recorded a significant six-point victory over Blackrock to advance to the quarter-final of the Cork SHC at Mourne Abbey.
A tally of 13 points from Jamie Coughlan and 1-5 from Tim O’Mahony were key in what was a terrific team display.
Pat Mulcahy enjoyed a stellar career with club and county and is now among the backroom team. He was thrilled with the performance.
“They are very young, good young kids. We have lost a lot of guys to immigration. We have three of four minors. Paul O’Sullivan who came on is 17. Conor Griffin and Cormac O’Brien. Jack Twomey is just out of minor, he is 19, he came on. Johnny Geary is 20. Kieran O’Sullivan is 19. We have about seven or eight U21.
“These fellas want to do well. This is a third round for us. We started out slow against Newcestown (second round), we were nervous. In this very ground, we lost by a goal in the last minute to Bishopstown (first round).
“For a young team, it took an awful lot out of them. It was hard to bounce back but we worked hard for four months.
“Gary (Morrissey) has been absolutely brilliant, our manager. His leadership has been absolutely phenomenal. For a small club, it means an awful lot to us.”
They also had to overcome adversity. They picked up a few injuries early in the first half. Mulcahy heaped praise on their battling qualities.
“In terms of injury we took a lot of hits. We had a huge amount of enforced changes.
“We had to put Tim (O’Mahony) in full-forward. He got a dead leg in the first five minutes. Cormac O’Brien got a slap in the head.
“Conor Twomey, our captain, went off with concussion. We had lots of injuries, but we just had to battle. They have character in abundance
“Tim was phenomenal in the second half. The worry is that you put him at the edge of the square, you go too direct. And you become predictable. That was our concern against Bishopstown when he was in full-forward.
“He was outstanding centre-back the last day (against Newcestown). He is just phenomenal, a lovely guy.
“He is probably a bit disappointed the way things went with Cork this year. He has been centre-back in the league for the last two seasons and he didn’t get a look in, in championship, in the All-Ireland series.
“He is a massive talent. He is immense and he was on one leg. He is a guy you want coming down the stretch in a tight game.
“Jamie Coughlan is truly gifted, an exceptional talent. He was corner-forward, came out midfield when Tim went in. When we needed frees to keep the scoreboard ticking over, he doesn’t miss.
“His temperament is fantastic. Jamie, at his best – Patrick Horgan is probably the only other forward in Cork in comparison to Jamie.”