Bishopstown 1-14 Newtownshandrum 1-13
PA Cronin was the hero of the hour for Bishopstown as they clawed victory from the jaws of defeat in their SHC opener in Mourneabbey last night.
In front of a large and vocal support, the former Cork star bagged 1-8 from his 60-minute shift, landing the game’s vital score — a goal from the penalty spot on 59 minutes — to cap a wonderful evening for the centre-forward.
Others to impress for the victors were Shane O’Neill at centre back, Conor Walsh in the middle, and second-half substitute Shane Lordan, with another crucial score late on.
Newtownshandrum started this one much the stronger, with key man Jamie Coughlan firing over their first three scores before Bishopstown troubled the scoreboard.
Two minutes in, a brilliant solo effort saw him barrel his way through the Bishopstown defence, slotting home the game’s first goal.
A brace of points followed as the number 14 showed all in attendance just what a quality full-forward he really is.
Bishopstown were struggling in the opening minutes with three early wides before Cronin settled the nerves with his first point from a placed ball.
The former inter-county star followed that up with another score six minutes later in what became a highly competitive, end-to-end match.
A point from Jerry Lane followed for the Avondhu side, but just a few minutes later he would pull up with a suspected hamstring issue.
Coughlan added another free for Newtown, which was then followed by a brilliant score from Cork star Tim O’Mahony — that one coming less than a minute after the centre-forward picked up a yellow.
Cronin then added a brace before a wonderful sideline from Brian Murray lifted the Bishopstown cheer.
A late long-range point from Bishopstown keeper Ken O’Halloran then had the game down to the minimum as the sides headed for the dressing rooms: 1-6 to 0-8.
The second half was another tight affair with scores hard to come by.
O’Mahony landed a monster on 55 to keep his side three clear, but Cronin’s penalty, which came thanks to a foul on James Scally, and a last-minute free saw victory heading the way of the Seandún men.
Scorers for Bishopstown: P Cronin 1-8 (1-0 pen, 0-6 f); K O’Halloran (f), B Murray (0-1 sl), M Power, J Scally, C Walsh, S Lordan 0-1 each.
Newtownshandrum: J Coughlan 1-6 (0-5 f); J Twomey 0-3; T O’Mahony 0-2; C O’Brien, J Lane 0-1 each.
BISHOPSTOWN: K O’Halloran; C O’Driscoll, B Murphy, D Lester; B Murray, S O’Neill, E Byrne; C Walsh, B O’Driscoll; C O’Driscoll, P Cronin, J Scally; M Power, T Murray, D Quaid.
Sub: S Lordan for T Murray (h-t).
NEWTOWNSHANDRUM: J Bowles; M Ryan, D Hawe, P O’Sullivan; D Lane, C Twomey, K O’Sullivan; C O’Brien, D Guiney; J Lane, S Griffin, D Stack; J Geary, T O’Mahony, J Coughlan.
Subs: J Twomey for J Lane (inj 18), D O’Connor for D Guiney (40), J O’Mahony for P O’Sullivan (43), C Griffin for S Griffin (49), K Coughlan for C O’Brien (53).
Referee: C McAlastair (Aghada).