Cork Premier IHC: Newcestown 2-14 Kilbrittain 1-8
The rivalry between these two Carbery division sides goes back a long way, but the sparks that often marked such meetings in the past were strangely absent in a one-sided first round clash at Charlie Hurley Park, Bandon on Saturday.
Kilbrittain had the first and last say on the scoreboard but, in between, Newcestown adapted much better to the greasy surface conditions on a night of torrential rain.
In determined mood, Newcestown cruised comfortably to victory with an impressive winning margin and could afford to leave 12 point chances and a bit more behind them.
The losers had to play catch-up from the moment Fionn Keane smashed home Newcestown’s opening goal after six minutes, Keane taking advantage of an excellent sideline delivery from Eoin Kelly.
Newcestown selector Eugene Desmond was surprised by the ease of passage.
“To be honest, we expected it to be much tougher,” he said, “but we were up for it.
“It really wouldn’t be hard to get up for a game against Kilbrittain, we haven’t met them for a good while.
“Taking everything into account, you would be pleased with the outcome, although there were a lot of wides and probably a couple of goal chances as well. By right, the game should have been put away in the first half but the conditions were dirty and it wasn’t easy to keep control. At the end of the day, we’re delighted.”
The outcome wasn’t actually decided at the break but Newcestown, with seven wides and a missed goal-scoring opportunity, when Kilbrittain keeper Robert Hayes just did enough to deny Luke Meade his moment of glory, still managed to secure a six-point lead.
Alan Hayes, Jamie Wall and David Desmond picked off points for the losers, but Keane’s crucial score was followed by points from Eoin Kelly (three), Trevor Horgan (two) and the goalscorer tacked on a late first-half point to help his side into a 1-6 to 0-3 lead at the break.
Although Kilbrittain battled hard throughout the third quarter, outscoring their rivals by three points to two, it really was only a damage limitation exercise.
From the midway point of the second half, Newcestown began to pull away with two frees from Kelly and a point from play by Daniel Twomey, who then combined with Cathrach Keane to give the earlier goal hero Keane the space to smash home his second for a 2-11 to 0-7 lead.
At that, it was game over.
Horgan (two) and Meade added points as Newcestown hammered home the advantage they enjoyed in every area of the pitch.
Gutsy Kilbrittain never gave up but even a well-worked goal from captain Wall and an injury-time point from Maurice Sexton didn’t cause the slightest concern for the worthy winners .
Scorers for Newcestown: F Keane 2-2, E Kelly 0-5 (3f), T Horgan 0-4, T Twomey, D Twomey, L Meade 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilbrittain: J Wall 1-3 (0-3f), A Hayes, D Desmond, J Deasy, M Sexton, R Cashman 0-1 each.
NEWCESTOWN: G Courtney; M McSweeney, J Crowley, L O’Donovan; D Heffernan, J Desmond, G O’Driscoll; O Keane, L Meade; E Kelly, T Horgan, D Twomey (capt); F Keane, C Keane, T Twomey.
Sub: L Twomey for Horgan (blood 6-14).
KILBRITTAIN: R Hayes; D Desmond, J Murphy, C McCarthy; C O’Leary, R Cashman, J Hurley; C Hickey, D Desmond; M Sexton, T Harrington, P Hurley; A Hayes, J Wall (capt), D Harrington.
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