Cloyne 1-26 Newcestown 0-16
DRAMA at Church Road as Cloyne produced an exhibition of hurling that turned this Co Op Superstores Senior A Hurling Championship group on its head that left both Mallow and Newcestown failing to qualify.
The permutation coming into the game didn’t look favourable for the east Cork club but with Fermoy overcoming Mallow they came up trumps when a relegation battle stared them in the face.
Brian O’Shea has served Cloyne well over the years but his 15-point contribution was, without doubt, his best ever for his club.
To be fair the Cloyne coach Donal Óg Cusack and his management team produced a masterstroke just before throw-in when they switched Paudie O’Sullivan to centre-back and he basically ran the show from start to finish.
Indeed O’Sullivan was instrumental in getting Cloyne up and running when he struck over a point in the opening minute from 80 yards.
Newcestown looked flat but Jack Meade will be wondering how he missed a good goal opportunity in the sixth minute that saw the Cloyne goalkeeper Dylan Costine injured and forced him out of the game.
The main difference between the sides was Cloyne’s ability to win the majority of dirty ball with Cork senior ace Luke Meade struggling to win any possession.
It proved to be the Brian O’Shea show in the closing quarter and it was fitting he finished with a sideline cut that saw the sliotar go straight between the posts and ensured Cloyne went in at the break commanding a 0-15 to 0-9 lead.
On the restart, both sides shared four points in the opening two minutes but suddenly Newcestown went into meltdown that allowed their opponents take total command.
The striking of O’Shea even had the neutrals at Blackrock applauding his skills and entering the final quarter Cloyne had extended their lead to nine points.
It got worse for Newcestown four minutes later when a high ball was not dealt with in the square by Seamus O’Sullivan as Michael Cahill punished them with a clinical finish to the back of the net.
Naturally both sides were being kept informed on the Fermoy and Mallow game but for Cloyne it was a case of driving on and getting the job done.
Newcestown looked shell-shocked at the final whistle but in truth they looked leg weary and in the end can have few excuses for this shock defeat.
Onwards and upwards for Cloyne on an evening when the hurling purists in their club were jumping for joy at the final whistle as Bride Rovers await them in the quarter-final.
B O’Shea 0-15 (0-10 f, 0-1 sl), M Cahill 1-3, C Mullins 0-3, B Walsh 0-2, P O’Sullivan, E Motherway, D Byrne 0-1 each.
C Dineen 0-4, E Kenneally 0-3 (0-2f), J Meade 0-3, L Meade, J Kelleher, E Collins, R O’Sullivan, S O’Donovan, T Twomey (0-1 each).
D Costine; J Sherlock, A Sherlock, D Byrne; E Motherway, S Beausang, Eoin Motherway; T O’Regan, B O’Shea; B Walsh, B Minihane, C Cahill; M Cahill, P O’Sullivan, C Mullins.
D Cronin for D Costine (inj10).
C Wilson; M McSweeney, C Twomey, S O’Sullivan; J Kelleher, E Collins, F Keane; T Twomey, L Meade; C Dineen, J Meade, S O’Donovan; C O’Neill, E Kenneally, R O’Sullivan.
M Courtney for F Keane (h-t), G O’Donovan for C O’Neill (h-t), T Horgan for T Twomey (37), N Murray for C Twomey (inj 57).
Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers).