Belgooly celebrate their first county hurling title

Newtownshandrum were seen off in an exciting Co-op Superstores Cork JBHC final at Mallow
Belgooly celebrate their first county hurling title

Celebration for Belgooly after defeating Newtownshandrum in the Co-op Superstores Cork JBHC final at Mallow. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Belgooly 1-20 Newtownshandrum 1-16

BELGOOLY won the first county hurling title in their 49-year history on Saturday afternoon seeing off Newtownshandrum in Mallow.

Beaten finalists back in 1993 and beaten semi-finalists last year the Carrigdhoun club came into the Junior B Final this weekend with plenty to prove and credit to the men in blue and white they impressed from the off – holding the Avondhu men at bay for long periods of the game.

Belgooly's Chris O'Sullivan challenged by Newtownshandrum's Gerry O'Mahony in the Co-op Superstores Cork JBHC final at Mallow. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Belgooly's Chris O'Sullivan challenged by Newtownshandrum's Gerry O'Mahony in the Co-op Superstores Cork JBHC final at Mallow. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Led by the scoring prowess of Barry and Ruairi Dwyer the 2021 champions stayed with their illustrious opponents through the first quarter, pulled clear by six at the half-time break, 1-11 to 0-8. They held off a valiant late offering from a Newtown side that threw the kitchen sink at their opponents in the dying quarter.

Others to impress for the victors were Tom O’Donovan as a roving full-back, Rhys Reynolds in the middle and his partner in crime Kevin Fitzgerald with the latter bagging four of the most brilliant scores a player at any grade could hope for.

For the vanquished side Jack Twomey was terrific, as was Mike Maguire and Jack Herlihy with corner forward Steve O’Connor bagging the men in green and gold’s only major shortly after halftime.

The newly crowned champions goal came in the opening half from the stick of Ruairi Dwyer – a brilliant effort to the top corner.

This was a game of real quality without a dirty or cynical strike throughout the almost 67 minutes of play.

Belgooly are deserving champions but credit must go to Newtownshandrum, who made a real game of this and to referee Eoin Coleman who let the game flow as much as possible.

A most entertaining of games got off the mark in the opening seconds with a tasty score from Newtown’s Jack Twomey – a score that was quickly cancelled out by a long-range effort from Ruairi Dwyer.

The Dwyer’s kept the scoreboard ticking over for the victors in the opening quarter with Twomey and Maguire showing the way for Shandrum - 0-4 apiece at the water break.

The game went up a notch in the second 15 minutes, first Ruairí Dwyer netted before points from Fitzgerald, Barry Dwyer and Eoin O’Donovan had Belgooy six clear at the interval.

The game hit fever pitch just after the restart with O’Connor’s goal and a point from Maguire cutting the deficit to two but credit to Belgooly, they held their nerve and were deservedly crowned 2021 champions.

Scorers for Belgooly: B Dwyer 0-11 (0-7 f); R Dwyer 1-3; K Fitzgerald 0-4; E O’Donovan, R Long 0-1 each.

Newtownshandrum: K Twomey 0-6 (0-2 f); M Maguire 0-4 (0-2 f, 0-1 65); S O’Connor 1-0; J Herlihy, P Drinan, G O’Mahony, E Coughlin, A O’Leary, JP King 0-1 each.

BELGOOLY: G Quinlan; C O’Sullivan, T O’Donovan, J O’Sullivan; l Walsh, G O’Riordan, D Walsh; K Fitzgerald, R Reynolds; B Dwyer, R Dwyer, S O’Riordan; E O’Donovan, R Long, N O’Sullivan. 

Subs: M Collins for B Dwyer (bs, 19-22); M Collins for D Walsh (29), S Kiely for R Dwyer (inj, 38).

NEWTOWNSHANDRUM: E Moloney; D Nolan, E O’Connor, J Twohill; E Coughlin, D Lane, L Clarson; J Twomey, P Drinan; A O’Leary, J Herlihy, M Maguire; S O’Connor, G O’Mahony, B Pulis. 

Subs: T Buckley for B Pulis (h-t), J O’Connor for M Maguire (inj, 44), JP King for S O’Connor (48), W O’Mahony for A O’Leary (58).

Referee: E Coleman (Youghal).

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