Newcestown 0-28 Mallow 2-15
TWO late goals did nothing more than put some respectability on the scoreboard for Mallow in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday night as Newcestown powered past the north Cork side in their SAHC quarter-final.
Under lights, on a perfect night for hurling, the Carbery men dominated from start to finish in a display that should have every other side in the competition sitting up to take notice, with Kanturk next up.
Over 60-plus minutes of controlled hurling on a big pitch, over a powerfully built and skillful Mallow, from Luke Meade and his clubmen meant that Mallow never really had a chance. Mallow were pummelled from the first whistle – the seven-point gap at the finish was no reflection on the real difference between these sides on the night.
A trio of points in the opening four minutes for Newcestown, via Sean O’Donovan, David Buckley and Trevor Horgan, had the Carbery men off and running early with a terrific long-range free adding to Mallow’s pain.
For their part, the north Cork men had to be content with three wayward efforts in the opening exchanges – all going the way of the men in black as Mallow struggled to get a handle on proceedings.
Mallow finally got on the scoreboard with a 65 from Sean Hayes however two quick scores (Buckley and O’Donovan) had Mallow down by five with just over 10 minutes on the clock.
Another placed ball effort from Hayes and a spectacular score from Ronan Sheehan cut the gap to three before Richard O’Sullivan’s close-in free and another beauty from Sheehan sent the sides to the first water-break 0-7 to 0-4 in favour of Newcestown.
Hayes slotted over the first free of the second quarter but a classy score from O’Sullivan followed by two frees from the same player and Mallow were beginning to struggle.
Mallow’s keeper Padge Buckley saved brilliantly on two occasions with Newcestown’s James Kelleher a genuine threat going forward as well as in defence from his berth at corner-back.
More points from O’Donovan, Buckley and O’Sullivan, along with a brace from Jack Meade and a brilliant finish from Kelleher sent Newcestown into what looked like an unassailable lead and although Mallow continued to battle to the half time whistle, Newcestown were now in total control and led at the break: 0-17 to 0-7.
Little doubting that it was Mallow that needed some fire in the bellies returning from the interval and credit to the men in red they managed to settle the ship somewhat sharing the first four scores of the second half with a Newcestown side that were in cruise control.
Mallow scored a goal from substitute Stephen O’Callaghan in the final minute of normal time and a fortuitous second goal from a Kevin Sheehan 65 two minutes into added time but on this day no question but the better team won however according to their manager Charlie Wilson – they should have won by more.
For Newcestown, a date with Kanturk in the last four is on the horizon while all in Mallow will need to turn their attention to the big ball and their upcoming SAFC semi-final.