THE weather Gods certainly haven’t looked down benignly on Newcestown over the first weekends of the county football and hurling championships.
Brinny was battered with drenching rain and wind for the footballers’ difficult challenge against Nemo Rangers and the hurlers faced even more hazardous conditions in Coachford for the renewal with Mallow at the weekend.
‘Why us?’ the Carbery club could justifiably ask, especially as 12 players who lined up against Nemo were also starters in the hurling with another sprung from the bench.
The question is particularly relevant because of the almost perfect conditions on Friday and Sunday for other games.
“It’s a brilliant championship unless you’re a dual club,” declared hurling manager Charlie Wilson after his side’s gutsy 1-24 to 3-16 victory in SAHC.
And he’s not looking for any sympathy either. “It is what is and nobody is going to give us a free break.
“We’ll have a go off it and hopefully we can sustain it with enough bodies.”
Having trailed by 1-9 to 0-9 at half-time, Newcestown hit the front for the first time with Jack Meade’s goal entering the closing quarter, 1-14 to 1-13, before claiming the next five points.
Mallow ensured a rousing finish with a pair of goals from substitute Daniel Sheehan, but Newcestown held firm in deteriorating weather.
“It’s going to the bench which is what it’s all about,” Wilson added.
“If you go back to last year’s championship we were probably missing six or seven because of being away, injuries and things like that.
“That’s the way it goes and other clubs in the rest of the county have fellows away, too.
“And we always pick up injuries, when the ground gets hard and we’re no different to anyone else.
“We had a difficult and challenging league campaign, but that gave plenty of fellows games and it also gave us a bit of trust in them, also.
“It was a good win, a battling win because we weren’t exactly shooting the lights out in the first-half or anything like that.
“But, we stuck at it and turned it at the right time, thankfully, though maybe a bit too early.
“Yet, we picked up a few more injuries after that which is a bit of a worry. It happens with big men on a wet ball, anything can happen.”
Newcestown lost two near the end at practically the same time in defender Seamus O’Sullivan and attacker Colm Dineen, having introduced Mark Courtney and Niall Kelly earlier.
“We had to hold firm because you’re never going to win anything easy and it was a good battle. It was a good performance.
“Go back to last year. We never take the likes of Mallow for granted and we knew they were going to hit us with everything because we beat them by a big score then.
“And that’s why the league was so worthwhile for us even though it was challenging because we used a lot of players.
“That allowed us go to the bench though I’m not sure what the junior selectors will say to us in using up that many players on top of already missing players.
“We’re depleting the Hell out of them, but, sure you can only do what you can do.
“Conditions got very difficult. Mallow are a big strong team who want the route one ball and that was hard to deal with it.
“Still, I thought we dealt with it admirably and having to come from behind to win is always nice to see.
“Sometimes when you’re ahead it’s easy to stay ahead, tip away and it’s a grand job, but we insisted it was not going to be easy.
“If we had lost, it would have another big challenge against Fermoy this weekend and they are also a strong, physical side, who are going well.
“Winning the last two games is a big job for any team and there’s a bit of relief there, too,” Wilson concluded.