Newtown hurlers hold off Glen Rovers comeback to seal county semi-final

Avondhu side were in control at half-time but needed all their composure to grab a massive PSHC victory coming down the stretch
Newtown hurlers hold off Glen Rovers comeback to seal county semi-final

Newtownshandrum's Tim O'Mahony shoots over a point from Glen Rovers' Eoin Downey during the Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier SHC at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Newtownshandrum 1-23 Glen Rovers 0-23   

NEWTOWNSHANDRUM rolled back the years in Páirc Uí Chaoimh as they qualified for Co-op Superstores Cork PSHC semi-final for the first time since 2011 as they stunned Glen Rovers with a superb performance full of skill and substance.

In what was close to the perfect team performance, Newtown will be hailing returning hero Cathal Naughton who’s late two-point salvo saw them home while the excellent Cormac O’Brien hit 1-4 from centre-forward. 

Their side led by seven points moments into the second half, but a gallant Glen outfit reeled them in as the sides were level three times inside the last fifteen minutes. Indeed, when Eoin Downey’s sixth point of the evening gave them the lead for the first time since the second minute, Newtown’s performance seemed set to be filed under the ‘nearly’ tab.

They’re made from tougher stuff in that corner of North Cork, however, as the outstanding Jamie Coughlan brought them level before corner-back Kieran O’Sullivan put them back in the lead. Coughlan then doubled their lead as his side took over but did everything bar making the game safe as they proceeded to hit five wides to leave the Glen in with a chance. 

Glen Rovers' Brian Moylan is tackled by Newtownshandrum's Jamie Coughlan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Glen Rovers' Brian Moylan is tackled by Newtownshandrum's Jamie Coughlan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Then came Naughton’s time to shine as he pointed with a trademark effort from the right wing and while David Dooling brought the Glen to within two, Naughton answered immediately to cap a memorable win for the Avondhu side.

The Glen were down the considerable talents of Patrick Horgan and thus moved Downey to 11, where he was picked up by his Cork teammate, Tim O’Mahony. The move had an immediate impact as Downey opened the scoring with a fine score inside thirty seconds. 

However, Newtown, who were playing with the aid of a strong breeze, had every intent of using it as Michael Thompson dispossessed Stephen McDonnell before Ronan Geary picked up the loose ball and fed Cormac O’Brien who buried it past Cathal Hickey.

Cathal Naughton followed up with a point that was cancelled out by a score from Eoin O’Leary before another point from Downey and a long-range effort from Adam O’Donovan sandwiched a classy score from Coughlan to leave it 0-4 to 1-2 with ten played.

A feature of Newtown’s early play was the ferocious work rate of their forwards, and they soon profited from it as they hit the next five points. Tim O’Mahony announced his presence with two of them while Coughlan, Naughton and Jerry Lane also hit the target. 

O’Leary then traded frees with Coughlan to keep six between them before the Glen enjoyed their own purple patch. Three from O’Leary and one each from Simon Kennefick outnumbered an O’Brien point for Newtown to leave two between them.

Newtown, who had hit five wides, finished with a flourish as two monstrous scores from O’Mahony and another from O’Brien left them 1-12 to 0-10 to the good at the interval.

Five became seven for Newtown on the resumption as quick-fire scores from Ronan Geary and Conor Griffin opened their accounts. Gradually though, the Glen began to close the gap. They reduced the gap to a goal with scores from Dean Brosnan, O’Leary, Dooling and Kennifick before O’Brien answered for Newtown. 

The Glen then outscored their rivals by 0-6 to 0-2, with Mark Dooley hitting the pick of them to level the game for the first time at 1-17 to 0-20. From there, they seemed set to push on for victory, but Newtown had other ideas as they avenged their defeat at the same stage of last year’s championship.

Scorers for Newtownshandrum: C O’Brien 1-4, J Coughlan 0-6 (0-3 f), C Naughton T O’Mahony, 0-4 each, K O’Sullivan, J Lane, R Geary, M Thompson, C Griffin 0-1 each.

Glen Rovers: E O’Leary 0-7 (0-5 f), E Downey 0-6, D Dooling 0-3, M Dooley, D Brosnan, S Kennefick 0-2 each, A O’Donovan 0-1.

NEWTOWNSHANDRUM: J Bowles; K O’Sullivan, P O’Sullivan, M Ryan; J Herlihy, T O’Mahony, C Twomey, J Lane, C Naughton; J Coughlan, C O’Brien, D O’Connor; M Thompson, J Twomey, R Geary. 

Subs: T Hawe for Herlihy (inj, 27), C Griffin for J Twomey (h/t), S Griffin for Thompson (48), M Bowles for Geary (57).

GLEN ROVERS: C Hickey; S McDonnell, B Murphy, A Lynch; B Moylan, R Downey, D Dooling; D Noonan, A O’Donovan; M Dooley, E Downey, D Brosnan; E O’Leary, C Dorris, S Kennefick. 

Subs: L Coughlan for Dorris (38), C Healy for O’Donovan (58).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers).

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