Newcestown 1-13 Tracton 0-12 (Cork PIHC quarter-final): A repeat result of their first-round meeting returned the Newcestown hurlers to the premier intermediate semi-final juncture, but no statement of intent did they issue yesterday afternoon.
Last year’s defeated finalists, though rarely troubled by Tracton, stuttered all afternoon and will have been scratching their heads as to how their opponents were within one score of them heading into second-half stoppage time.
Ahead by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break, Carthach Keane (0-3) and Eoin Kelly (0-2) inflicting most of the damage, Newcestown extended their advantage on 36 minutes when full-forward Kelly capitalised on poor defending to strike the opening goal of the contest.
Tadgh Twomey’s delivery evaded a clutch of players camped on the edge of the square and Kelly ghosted in behind to pounce.
Tracton’s Shane Brick and Kelly (free) exchanged minors in the ensuing passages, Newcestown had a 1-11 to 0-8 lead after 43 minutes.
The winner’s subsequent easing off on the throttle is sure to have irked management, Tracton poured forward to land three white flags on the bounce: Ronan Walsh (free), Michael O’Sullivan and Shane Brick on target.
Kelly’s third placed-ball of the game, the lively Luke Meade winning the free following a superb catch, quelled somewhat their opponents’ groundswell of momentum and returned Newcestown four in front entering the final quarter.
A drab and error-ridden contest produced not a single score in the ensuing nine-minutes. Ronan Walsh broke the stalemate after John Good was upended.
Newcestown’s Colm Dineen wrapped up the win with an injury-time point. Keeper Kieran Kelly repelled a Shane Brick 20m free at the death.
“The goal was a big score,” said Newcestown joint-manager Eugene Sheehy. “We got it at the right time. They were after coming back into the game. It gave us a lift because we had a shaky start to the second-half.”
“We knew coming into the game that Tracton were always going to be a tough outfit, well-trained and well-drilled. They had a fantastic win against Courcey Rovers in the last round. We went back and had a look at the video of our first-round game. We knew we would have to work our hearts off and we did.”
Scorers for Newcestown:
E Kelly (1-4, 0-3 frees); C Keane (0-3); T Twomey (0-2); J Meade, L Meade, D Twomey, C Dineen (0-1 each).
Scorers for Tracton:
R Walsh (0-4, 0-4 frees); S Brick (0-3); J Kingston (0-2); M O’Sullivan, J Good, G Kingston (0-1 each).
K Kelly; M McSweeney, J Crowley, G Murphy; F Keane, J Desmond, C O’Neill; T Twomey, J Meade; D Heffernan, C Keane, C Twomey; L Meade, E Kelly, D Twomey.
S O’Donovan for Heffernan (h-t), O Keane for Desmond (34, inj), C Dineen for J Meade (57).
D O’Neill; G Jagoe, M Barry, C McGuinness; K Lynch, B Lynch, K Healy; T McGuinness, J Good; J Kingston, S Brick, M O’Sullivan; R Walsh, D O’Callaghan, F Lynch.
A Gleasure for C McGuinness (10 mins, inj), G Kingston for F Lynch (h-t), R Cronin for T McGuinness (53).
T O’Donovan (Douglas)
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