Champions of 2015 and 2016, Glen Rovers moved a step closer to regaining the Cork senior hurling championship title following their single point win over Newtownshandrum at Páirc Uí Rinn tonight.
In less than ideal conditions, they survived a titanic battle with the north Cork side before progressing to a semi-final meeting with Carrigtwohill.
The city team, who had a penalty, taken by Patrick Horgan, saved by James Bowles in the second half, were also grateful to an outstanding display from goalkeeper Cathal Hickey who made three brilliant stops throughout the hour including one at the death when the game hung in the balance.
Even though Cormac O’Brien opened the scoring after a mere 20 seconds for Newtownshandrum, it was Glen Rovers who went on to have the better start. Unanswered scores between the seventh and 11th minutes courtesy of Conor Dorris, Patrick Horgan (free), Simon Kennefick and Dean Brosnan put them 0-5 to 0-2 ahead.
It wasn’t long before Newtownshandrum pulled back the deficit and by the 20th minute they had edged in front – Jamie Coughlan (two frees), Johnny Geary and Tim O’Mahony (free) – 0-6 to 0-5.
The Glen put some distance between themselves and Newtownshandrum on the approach to the interval, Patrick Horgan’s fourth point from a placed ball pushing them two up with normal time elapsed.
Coughlan then bagged his fourth point – also from the dead ball – to leave his side trailing by a solitary point at the break, 0-9 to 0-8, after the sides had been level on five occasions.
Newtownshandrum were three points clear at the three-quarter mark before David Cunningham pounced for the only goal of the game, 1-10 to 0-13. Points from Horgan and Dorris put Glen Rovers in the ascendancy once more.
In a frenetic finish, all Newtownshandrum could muster was a Tim O’Mahony free.
Scorers for Glen Rovers: P Horgan (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 65), D Cunningham (1-0), C Dorris (0-2), D Dooling, D Brosnan, S Kennefick and L Coughlan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Newtownshandrum: J Coughlan (0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65), T O’Mahony (0-3 frees), M Ryan, C O’Brien, J Twomey and J Geary (0-1 each).
Glen Rovers: C Hickey; S McDonnell, D Dooling, C Healy; R Downey, B Moylan (Capt), D Noonan; D Cronin, A O’Donovan; D Brosnan, P Horgan, D Cunningham; S Kennefick, C Dorris, L Coughlan.
Subs: D Busteed for S Kennefick (46), A Lynch for D Dooling (59 inj), D Tynan for D Cunningham (62).
Newtownshandrum: J Bowles; J O’Mahony, M Ryan, K O’Sullivan; M Thompson, C Twomey (Capt), C O’Brien; T O’Mahony, D Guiney; C Griffin, D O’Connor, J Lane; S Griffin, J Geary, J Coughlan.
Subs: K Coughlan for J O’Mahony (26), J Twomey for D Guiney (half-time), P O’Sullivan for S Griffin (half-time), D Hawe for D O’Connor (54).
Referee: Nathan Wall (Carrigaline).