Newtown show the stuff of champions

THE Evening Echo Cork County SHC was in full swing over the weekend with champions Newtownshandrum, Erin’s Own, Cloyne and Bride Rovers all booking quarter-final berths, and Blackrock and Midleton forced to meet again after playing out a draw in Páirc Uí Chaoímh, writes Bob Lester.

A CHASTENING lesson for newcomers Ballinhassig as a well-oiled Newtownshandrum machine rolled them over at Páirc Ui Chaoimh, winning 3-19 to 1-8.

Ballinhassig, shock but deserved winners over Na Piarsaigh last time out, started promisingly enough, but once Newtown moved into top gear the game as a meaningful contest died.

With Fintan O’Leary sparkling up front and Brendan Lombard impressive at centre-back, Ballinhassig were just a point behind when left half forward Cathal Naughton soloed through and gave goalkeeper Martin Coleman no chance with a cracking drive in the eighth minute.

But once Cork ace Ben O’Connor got Newtown’s second goal it crushed the life out of Ballinhassig and heralded the opening of the floodgates.

Scorers: Newtownshandrum: B. O’Connor 1-7 (0-3 from frees); J. Bowles 1-3; C. Naughton 1-0; J. P. King 0-3; R. Clifford 0-2; M. Farrell, J. O’Connor and S. O’Riordan 0-1 each. Ballinhassig: M. Coleman 1-0 (1-0 from free); F. O’Leary 0-4; D. Dineen 0-3 (0-4 from frees); D. O’Sullivan 0-1.

BEATEN in the last two finals, Cloyne produced a performance against Glen Rovers at Páirc Uí Chaoímh yesterday to suggest that the coveted title could finally be theirs this year, winning 3-16 to 0-14.

It was an awesome display which left the Blackpool side floundering. Defensively Cloyne were majestic with Donal Og Cusack orchestrating matters from goal; full back Killian Cronin was never beaten by a succession of opponents, while Eoin O’Sullivan, Liam O’Driscoll and Donal O’Sullivan were equally efficient.

James Nyhan and John Cotter gave the east Cork side a grip on midfield while in attack, Paudie O’Sullivan was a revelation at right corner forward and Conor Cusack finished as their top scorer with 2-2.

Scorers: Cloyne: C. Cusack 2-2; P. O’Sullivan 0-5 (0-3 f); D. O’Sullivan 0-4 (0-1 f); P. Cahill 1-0; M. Naughton 0-3; J. Cotter, J. Nyhan 0-1 each. Glen Rovers: J. Anderson 0-6 (f); G. Callanan, K. O’Callaghan 0-3 each; P. Horgan, D. Dorris 0-1 each.

HARDLY a performance Erin’s Own desired despite their 2-15 to 3-8 win over Douglas at Riverstown. But a win is a win, their place secure, despite failing to stamp their authority after a terrific start.

Spare a thought for gutsy Douglas though. They gave Erin’s Own one tough ride, battling tooth and nail right to Gary Wade’s 64th minute goal. Erin’s Own were sloppy and wasteful. True they were never in danger of losing the match, but the balance never looked right.

Maybe they underestimated Douglas, maybe 10 first-half wides while playing against the strong wind was unsettling. Truth is they never quite gelled and Douglas were always snapping at their heels.

Scorers: Erin’s Own: E. Murphy 0-6 (0-3 frees), K. Murphy 0-4 (0-1 65, 0-1 free), F. Murphy 1-1, B. Corcoran 1-0, R. Carroll, S. Cronin, P. Kelly, C. O’Connor 0-1 each. Douglas: G. Wade 1-4 (all frees), S. Moylan 1-1, B, Ryan 1-0, P. Barry 0-1 (free), W. Coveney, M. Harrington 0-1 each.

THE famine continues for St Finbarr’s as Bride Rovers accomplished another giant-killing feat with a 1-16 to 1-14 win at Páirc Uí Chaoímh.

Promoted to senior ranks just two years ago, Bride Rovers claimed the scalp of mighty Glen Rovers 12 months ago and have now added the Blues to their list of conquests. And the brave and resilient Rathcormack side were full value for their triumph.

With Brian Murphy in outstanding form, they withstood a desperate last-ditch rally by the Blues, who in perfect conditions, had their fair quota of chances to rescue the game. But failure to convert some gilt-edged point opportunities, particularly near the end, cost them dearly.

Scorers: Bride Rovers: R. Cahill 1-1; J. O’Driscoll 0-7 (0-4 from frees; 0-1 from 65); B. Johnson 0-3 (0-3 from frees); T. Broderick 0-2; S. Ryan 0-2; P. Murphy 0-1. St Finbarr’s: R. O’Mahony 1-2; K. Murray 0-8 (0-8 from frees); G. McCarthy 0-2; C. McCarthy and R. Curran 0-1.

A DRAW was about right in this keenly contested Evening Echo SHC third round clash at Páirc Uí Chaoímh yesterday where Mickey O’Connell’s injury time pointed free earned Midleton a second bite of the cherry 1-11 to 0-14.

Now in the twilight of a great career Fergal Ryan rolled back the years with a majestic display at corner-back for the Rockies. Next to him John Browne was equally as good at full back, while the evergreen Frank Barry made one wonder save which kept his side in the game at a time when Midleton made their push for home.

Helped by the pace of Dara Cott, Midleton exposed the Rockies defence with a goal out of nothing, Joe Keane stroking the ball home.

Scorers: Midleton: M. O’Connell 0-7 (0-4 frees); J. Keane 1-0; D. Cott 0-2; K. Ryan, S. Hennessy 0-1 each. Blackrock: A. Coughlan 0-7 (frees); B. O’Keeffe 0-3; A. Browne, 0-2; D. Cashman, J. Young 0-1 each.

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