Newtownshandrum 1-12 Shanballymore 2-06

Newtownshandrum had a point to spare over Shanballymore in the Cavanagh’s Fermoy Div 1 HL playoff at Newtownshandrum on Sunday. Aided by the strong wind, the opening stages saw the home side settle better and at the end of the first quarter held a 0-3 to 0-1 lead when William O’Mahony, Eoin Coughlan and Sean Griffin had points.

As the half went on Shanballymore, fresh from their Co JBHC triumph against Bantry Blues, quickly settled. In their next attack Kenneth Barry and Colman O’Reilly combined to set up Dylan O’Callaghan who soloed through for a great goal and they followed with points from Brian O’Reilly (2) and Jamie Sheedy.

Dylan O’Callaghan was denied a second goal when his attempt struck the crossbar and went over for a point as Shanballymore raced into a 1-5 to 0-4 lead by the 20th minute. For the rest of the half Newtown, after making a number of positional switches, finished the half in a flurry and were back on level terms when Nigel Thompson (2) Sean Griffin and William O’Mahony pointed, 1-5 to 0-8.

Further pressure before the interval saw Sean Griffin add two more points to move two clear. Just before the break both teams traded goals. Newtown had their goal courtesy of Ciaran Herlihy following a goalmouth scramble with Shanballymore responding when Dylan O’Callaghan netted after Kenneth Barry and Micheal Burke combined well as Newtown held a 1-10 to 2-5 interval lead.

With the aid of the wind for the second-half Shanballymore seemed in a good position. However, they found scores hard to come by in this with a number of missed chances as well as a much improved display by the Newtown defence the order of the day. William O’Mahony took up a new role at centre-back as he tightened their defence considerably in this half.

In a low scoring half Sean Griffin continued to be very accurate from frees and by the end of the third quarter they moved into a 1-12 to 2-5 lead. Shanballymore had to wait till the 48th minute to register their first score of this half when Jamie Sheedy pointed a free.

In the last 10 minutes they staged a fightback and helped by points by Jamie Sheedy and Eoin O’Regan closed the deficit to the minimum. They went all out for the equalising goal late in the game to force extra-time but it was not to be with Newtown holding on for a close win.

Team: Declan Fitzgibbon, Richard Burke, Eoin McHugh, Jonathan Dennehy, Padraigh Fitzgerald, Sean Lynch, Eoin O’Regan 0-1, Micheal Burke, Kenneth Barry, Brian O’Reilly 0-3 Dylan O’Callaghan 2-1, Jamie Sheedy 0- 3f. Alan Sheedy, Brian Sheedy, Colman O’Reilly. Subs Paul Burke for Dylan O’Callaghan, Anthony Dennehy for Jonathan Dennehy (inj) Referee: Eoin Walsh (Dromina).

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