IT was easy to see, straight from the throw-in, proud Newtownshandrum were up for this must-win Cork Premier SHC last-round clash with Douglas in Mourneabbey on Sunday.
There was a total urgency in their play and inside a minute Jamie Coughlan and Jack Twomey had points on the board.
Making full use of the strong wind at their backs they never let a fancied Douglas side settle. Jamie Coughlan was imperious, the former Cork attacker firing over 12 points, his free taking masterful.
Tim O'Mahony marshaled his defence with authority and wing-back Conor Twomey kept Douglas dangerman scoreless from play. Cormac O’Brien scored a cracking 26th-minute goal and it all added up to a 1-26 to 2-17 victory for the proud Newtownshandrum hurling town.
And how they celebrated.
Now it’s a quarter-final clash with Glen Rovers although for Douglas there was also joy of sorts, a mouth-watering city clash with St Finbarr’s.
Newtown boss Shane Naughton was a happy camper afterwards.
"We've been building towards this all year, it was our best performance that’s for sure. In the first two games, we should definitely have been further ahead against Kanturk in the wind and rain. We then felt the Midleton game was closer than it was and we had a point to prove today.
“Most of the players agreed there is a kick in the team and a bite. We have 32 players involved, we do not focus on any one player every one of them has a job to do.
“We are a small club and losing two players was not ideal for us.
“We started well in all our games, we know if we don’t we are on the backfoot. Passion and pride in the jersey is key for us, we are so happy what the players did out there today.
“We had a target at the start of the year to get out of the group. Our mindset all year was if we can win two championship games this year, we are happy. We are in the quarter-final now and we are happy, that’s for sure.”
For Douglas boss Mark O’Callaghan it was a different story.
“We just didn’t turn up. We were outplayed, outworked and outscored as the scoreboard relates. After two fine victories it is hard to put a finger on how we played today. We just never got going.
“Fair play to Newtown, they were very impressive today. No complaints, but the main thing is we are through to the quarter-finals.
"There is more in us for sure, but we have lots of work to do."