NEWTOWN selector Pat Mulcahy was both relieved and delighted to see his side get past Bride Rovers in the Cork SHC in Castletownroche on Saturday.
Third rounds haven’t been kind to them in recent times, so qualifying for a place in the quarter-final was particularly pleasing. Level at half-time, they produced a much improved second-half performance with a pair of goals from Tim O’Mahony and another from Ryan Clifford pivotal.
“We were a bit nervous and a bit tense. Bride Rovers should have been up five or six points after 20 minutes. We got goals at important times. The last goal came when Bride Rovers were coming at us. They have great heart and great attitude. They just kept coming at us.
“Moving Tim O’Mahony to full-forward certainly helped us. Things weren’t going well for him at centre-forward. He wasn’t playing well, and he is a big player for us. We just threw him in before half-time and it worked well.
“Jamie Coughlan has been equally good there, and so too Johnny Geary. But Tim got the goals at important times.
"We are just happy to get over it, we have had a lot of disappointments over the last couple of years in third rounds where we haven’t performed, and this was about getting over the line.
“We were delighted to be level at half-time because we were disappointed with our structure for their puck outs. They won a lot of their own puck-outs.
"It wasn’t so much our defence but our attack that weren’t doing the work. They were three or four points up at one stage and they should have been eight. The second-half was better. We opened up. We expressed ourselves a little bit more.”
No goals conceded said a lot about their defensive structure. No goals conceded either against Kanturk in the first-round.
“James Bowles has gone into goals for us this year and he has been fantastic. Eoin Coughlan as well came in at corner-back for his first game this year. He is a fella that has been around the panel for years and it is his first real cut off of it. He was outstanding tonight, I was absolutely delighted for him. Our backs, in general, were quite solid.”
They face Midleton in the last eight.
“The wait for the couple of months has been tough on lads but this is the time of the year you want to be playing when the evenings are closing in.
"It is exciting. It is a quarter-final of a county. Midleton will be favourites, they are an unbelievable side. We will be happy with that. I think tonight will stand to us. We will give it a shot.”