Newcestown 0-9 Carbery Rangers 0-8
TADGH Twomey’s 63rd-minute point was the winner as Newcestown scraped past Carbery Rangers in yesterday’s Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC Group B clash at Clonakilty.
Having had an extra man since the 21st minute, Newcestown led by two points at half-time in this encounter between sides who had lost their opening games, making it must-win on both sides. Colm Dinneen put them three in front early in the second half but they couldn’t make the most of their numerical advantage and a point from Carbery Rangers’ John O’Rourke tied the game at 0-8 each with eight minutes of normal time left.
The Rosscarbery side couldn’t find a lead score, however, with goalkeeper Paul Shanahan unlucky from a free outside the 45 while an O’Rourke effort was narrowly wide. After being on the back foot for so long, Newcestown managed to conjure a game-winning move, with the ball worked through the impressive Colm O’Donovan, Luke Meade, Micheál McSweeney, Richard O’Sullivan and back to Meade, who fed Twomey.
Sub Jack Meade might have made the game safe but Shanahan denied him and Ross almost punished them as a late attack saw James O’Riordan and John Hayes combine for a Chris O’Donovan chance but Cathal Clarke’s save denied him and Newcestown held out.
It means that they face Éire Óg in what is effectively a knockout tie in three weeks’ time, with Carbery Rangers’ hopes of progress now at an end. They will nevertheless be keen to avoid a relegation play-off when they face Castlehaven in their last group game.
Ross began well, with O’Rourke landing two points in the opening ten minutes as they moved 0-3 to 0-1 in front, but other scoreable chances were passed up.
Newcestown settled as Richard O’Sullivan slotted a free and then set up his brother Séamus for a leveller, with the latter unlucky to fire a goal chance wide just before the water break.
After the resumption, David Buckley put Newcestown ahead with a fine score and then Ross lost Séamus Hayes to a red card after umpires alerted referee Alan Long to an off-the-ball incident. Dinneen’s free opened up a two-point lead but Ross were not hugely disadvantaged by the personnel imbalance, with Peadar O’Rourke and goalkeeper Shanahan (45) landing points, sandwiching a good Jerry O’Riordan goal chance.
Another Richard O’Sullivan free and a well-worked score finished off by Twomey suggested that Newcestown had found their feet again, especially when Dinneen made it 0-8 to 0-5 early in the second half, but thereafter they struggled.
Ross applied good pressure and two John Hayes frees brought them to within one, with O’Rourke coming up with the leveller. They couldn’t push in front again, though, and Newcestown finished just ahead.