While they conceded the equaliser, Newcestown were still able to take heart from their draw with Clonakilty in Group C of the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC in Bandon on Sunday.
Having trailed by four points at two different stages in the first half, Newcestown made good use of the period where Clon were down to 14 players after a black card early in the second half, with Jack Meade’s goal helping them to lead.
It was nip-and-tuck in the fourth quarter, with Newcestown sub Olan Walsh putting them ahead in the closing stages only for Joe Grimes to secure a point for Clon. Newcestown manager Tim Buckley was proud of his players, though he feared that the demands on dual clubs might mean having to focus on just one code.
“We’ve a very young team there,” he said.
“We’ve only one man over 30, Tadhg Twomey, and the rest are in their 20s I’m very proud of them.
“Clonakilty are the home of football in West Cork, and they were in a county final last year.
“I know they’re down one or two players, but we could say the same. We were playing hurling last week, and for us, as a dual club, playing six matches in seven weeks – as a club, we’ll have to sit down and make a decision, which game we’re going to play going forward.
“It’s impossible, we’ve only the same panel of 24 and last week, two fellas suffered broken bones playing hurling and there was a pulled hamstring before that in the football.
“It’s very difficult on the dual clubs, and very of them are doing it – a lot are only paying lip-service to hurling.
“I think the county board have got to give us a break.”
The result means that Newcestown’s destiny is still largely in their own hands – they face Castlehaven in the final round of fixtures, knowing that a win would put them through if Clon don’t beat Nemo Rangers.
Former Cork U20 player Gearóid O’Donovan came on as a sub, having returned from the US hours before the game but Seán O’Donovan was among those ruled out for injury. Buckley is hopeful of having a larger pick for the make-or-break clash.
“We’re looking forward to playing the Haven below in Rossmore,” he said.
“Gearóid came home from the States last night, he was over on a J1 visa, and we have a few more injuries but we’d hope to have them back.
“We brought on five subs against Clon and every one of them – every one of them – put up their hands to be playing the next day.
“We’ve a hard job as a management to pick a team.”