We played Newtownshandrum last Tuesday week in Shanballymore in round 2 of the Cavanaghs of Fermoy hurling league and unfortunately it turned out to be a similar story as with past games between ourselves and Newtown. We were short a few due to injuries and work but still put out a very strong team in the hope of claiming a victory and keeping our good run going but against a team like Newtown if you don’t take your chances you will get punished.
We played with the wind at our backs in the first half and for the first few minutes it was a pretty even game but over the next few minutes we started to get on top and put Newtown under pressure but we couldn’t turn that pressure into scores and many times when points were there for the taking we somehow put them wide.
We did get in for a very good goal ten minutes before half time from Colman O’Reilly and soon followed this with two well taken points from Jonathan Dennehy. Our midfield of young Robert McHugh and Darren Roche put in a fierce amount of work and our back line like always were outstanding with Eoin McHugh, Alan Sheedy and Sean Lynch keeping the Newtown forwards at bay. We registered 14 wides in the first half which tells it’s own story.
We should have went into half time with a commanding lead but just on the stroke of half time Newtown were awarded a 21 yard free for a wild pull and their center forward stuck an unstoppable shot to the corner of the net to leave the score 1-6 to 1-5 in favour of us at the short whistle. We would be facing a strong wind in the second half and from the off Newtown started to play some very open fast hurling and they slowly got on top with some well taken points from distance.
We tried hard to battle and had some good points from Brian O’Reilly and Dylan O’Callaghan but as we were getting back in the game Newtown got in for their second goal when again their center forward made a great run through the heart of our defence and laid the ball off to his wing forward who made no mistake from close range. This was a blow for us as we had come within four points but now had to go in search of goals to be in with a chance of getting anything from the game.
We got the first of two goals when the ball was forced over the line by Jonathan Dennehy after a goal mouth scramble but Newtown hit back with two quick fire points to lead by six points with time almost up. Our third goal of the game came from a 65 and when the ball wasn’t cleared Dylan was on hand to score and see the lead reduce to three points with time almost up. We had one last chance but the attack broke down and when Newtown cleared down field referee Walter Cole blew for full time and it was Newtown who claimed the points on offer.
Team: Stephen Donegan, James Hayes, Eoin McHugh, Alan Sheedy, Eoin O’Regan, Sean Lynch, Brian Sheedy, Darren Roche, Robert McHugh, Dylan O’Callaghan, Brian O’Reilly, Haulie Burke, Paul Burke, Jonathan Dennehy, Colman O’Reilly: Subs: Kenneth Barry for Darren Roche inj, Padraig Fitzgerald for Eoin O’Regan, Eamon Fitzgerald for Paul Burke.