An injury-time 20m free goaled by Diarmuid O’Sullivan putting a gloss on the final scoreline, and yet, had Cloyne availed of the several goal-scoring opportunities created in both halves, this might have been a lot closer. Twice in the first half Cloyne came close, through Paudie O’Sullivan and Kevin O’Lomasney, and those misses were very costly.
Newtownshandrum changed ends leading by two points, 0-7 to 0-5, with the wind and sun now at their backs, team captain Jerry O’Connor having opted to play into the elements in the opening period.
In the second half Paudie O’Sullivan won a penalty for himself in the 39th minute – more on that anon – then presented corner-forward Mickey Walsh with a gilt-edged goal chance in the 50th minute, which was missed.
Cloyne missed four clear opportunities but the one that generated most reaction in the stands was the penalty.
Newtownshandrum upped the pace after the break, corner-forward Jamie Coughlan drilling a superb shot past Cork keeper Donal Óg Cusack within seconds of the throw-in, brilliantly set up by Michael Bowles.
Paudie O’Sullivan replied with a point for Cloyne, but three points without reply had Newtown ahead by seven, 1-10 to 0-6, when O’Sullivan won his penalty.
A goal was required and Paudie blasted the ball past the Newtown defenders, but no goal; a fractious first half had been constantly interrupted by the blast of referee John Sexton’s whistle – it came again now. The goal was disallowed because at least two Cloyne attackers had breached the 20m line ahead of the free-taker.
The ball was thrown in and the chance lost, and even with over 20 minutes to play, it was game lost for Cloyne.
Where Newtownshandrum had looked content to play the containing game against the elements in the first half (Jerry O’Mahony brilliant at corner-back), now they were rampant, captain Jerry pulling the strings from his roving centre-forward role, aided and abetted by brothers Ben and John, with the two flying wing-forwards, Michael Bowles and (especially) Ryan Clifford to the fore.
Goals were what Cloyne needed to stem the flow of Newtown points, because against a powerful and dominant Newtownshandrum half-back line of Jack O’Herlihy, Pat Mulcahy and Phillip Noonan, long-range shooting opportunities were at a premium for the men from the east.
They managed two majors, both scored by Diarmuid O’Sullivan, former full-back ‘Rock’ of the Cork defence, who lined out at centre-forward but was well outplayed by former Cork comrade-in-arms Pat Mulcahy, but how they could have done with the four they missed.
In the final minutes of a game over-whistled from the start, Paudie O’Sullivan saw red when he picked up a second yellow card, but at that stage, 58th minute and Newtown leading by ten points, it was already all over.
Not Newtownshandrum’s best but enough on this day.
Scorers for Newtownshandrum: B O’Connor (0-6, 0-3 frees); R Clifford (0-5); Jerry O’Connor (0-4); J Coughlan (1-0); M Bowles (0-2); John O’Connor, PJ Copse (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cloyne: Diarmuid O’Sullivan (2-0, 1-0 free); P O’Sullivan (0-5, 0-3 frees, 0-1 s/l); M Walsh, L O’Driscoll (0-1 each).
NEWTOWNSHANDRUM: W Biggane; J O’Mahony, G O’Mahony, D Gleeson; J O’Herlihy, P Mulcahy, P Noonan; PJ Copse, C Naughton; R Clifford, Jerry O’Connor (capt), M Bowles; J Coughlan, J Bowles, B O’Connor.
Subs: John O’Connor for J Bowles (inj. 30); M Ryan for Naughton (49); B Mulcahy for Gleeson (56); E O’Connor for Coughlan (inj. 60).
CLOYNE: D Óg Cusack; B Fleming, E O’Sullivan, B McCarthy; L O’Driscoll, K Cronin, D Jermyn; Donal O’Sullivan, J Cotter; C O’Sullivan, Diarmuid O’Sullivan (capt), J Nyhan; P O’Sullivan, K O’Lomasney, M Walsh.Subs: D Dineen for C O’Sullivan (30+1); M Lynch for Jermyn (40); K Dennehy for Cotter (51).
Referee: J Sexton (Ballyhea).