Gutsy Mallow pull out all the stops

Mallow 3-20 Newcestown 3-19 (AET)

A point from Cormac Murphy levelled the game after 60 odd minutes. And again, when the initiative looked to have gone Newcestown’s way in extra-time, Mallow saved the best till last, blitzing a gallant Newcestown with two brilliant goals in the final period of extra-time. And yet, they only won by one point. This was due to an equally whole-hearted display from Newcestown, who must now go into the hat for the third round draw. But, surely they will take huge positives from this performance, and their never-say-die mentality will stand to them as they go forward. They were understandably devastated at the final whistle.

Newcestown had the better of the opening exchanges but when Mallow full-forward Denis Hayes found the net on 18 minutes, they took the lead momentarily, 1-3 to 0-5. Hayes was foremost in all that was good in their attack and coupled with Aaron Sheehan provided the north Cork side went plenty of armour up front.

However, Newcestown also had the ability to put the Mallow defence under pressure and when Trevor Horgan netted, followed by Mikey Bradfield points they were ahead at the break, 1-8 to 1-6. While the shooting wasn’t always the most accurate, Newcestown pulled away in the third quarter to lead 1-15 to 1-11 but Mallow rallied rifling over four unanswered points to tie the match.

Extra-time ensued and it was Newcestown who restarted brightly with a brace of points before Bradfield registered a wonderful goal after his link up with Trevor Horgan. This put it up to Mallow but they refused to lie down. Sheehan (3) and Murphy showed their accuracy and at the end of the first period of extra time Newcestown had a two-point advantage, 2-18 to 1-19.

Chris Moloney and Daniel Twomey exchanged white flags as the game remained in the melting pot – but more in Newcestown’s favour. But, in a cracking two minutes Mallow turned this match on its head. Hayes, whose aerial ability at the edge of the square had always been a threat kick-started the revival. For the first goal he laid off to Pa Herlihy and moments later he found Moloney.

These two strikes pushed Mallow 3-20 to 2-19 to the fore. Then their number 12 Kevin Sheehan was red-carded minutes before Daniel Twomey got a goal back for Newcestown. However, 14-man Mallow held out for a great victory.

Scorers for Mallow: A Sheehan 0-10 (0-6 frees), C Moloney 1-2, C Murphy 0-4, D Hayes and P Herlihy 1-0 each, C Leahy 0-3, K Sheehan 0-1.

Scorers for Newcestown: M Bradfield 1-7 (0-5 frees), D Twomey 1-4, T Horgan 1-2, G O’Rourke 0-2, F Keane, T Twomey, B Horgan and G O’Driscoll 0-1 each.

MALLOW: A Long; F O’Neill, C Kerrisk, J Culloty; K McCarthy, D Kerrisk, T O’Riordan; C Murphy, P Herlihy; K Sheehan, C Moloney, M Maher; C Leahy, D Hayes, A Sheehan.

NEWCESTOWN: J O’Sullivan; D Heffernan, J Crowley, K Long; G O’Driscoll, N O’Sullivan, J Desmond; T Twomey, G O’Rourke; F Keane, D Twomey, T Horgan; S Ryan, M Bradfield, B Horgan.

Subs: O Keane for D Heffernan (43 mins inj), C Twomey for S Ryan (55).

Referee: J Bermingham (Bride Rovers).

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