Better second-half shooting was key as Newcestown’s dual dreams remained alive with victory over Killeagh in Saturday’s Co-op SuperStores Cork SAHC quarter-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
After firing ten wides in the opening half, the West Cork side ran out winners on a 1-19 to 2-10 scoreline, setting up a semi-final meeting with Carrigtwohill. After hitting three points on the trot to move 0-11 to 1-5 in front after the restart, Edmund Kenneally’s goal put Newcestown 1-11 to 1-5 in front and they pushed on from there.
“I’m not sure we were at our best by any means in the first half but we stuck in there,” manager Charlie Wilson said.
“A few things just didn’t come off for us. Maybe we could have had a couple of points’ lead at half-time but maybe we were lucky to be level as well.
“That’s the way it goes and you face into it and get yourself organised for the second half. Now, we got a fortuitous goal but we took off after that and began to take over.
“We were getting the pockets of space that we weren’t getting early on. I think the wind was a hard one – there were a couple of efforts I was sure were gone over and they just tailed off and it happened Killeagh in the second half. That was a killer for them when they were trying to catch up.
“At the Blackrock goal, they seemed to go straighter.”
With a Bon Secours Hospital Cork SAFC semi-final against Kanturk next weekend, Newcestown will be saying Novens that there is no reduction in manpower, having lost Colm O’Donovan to a serious injury last week while Seán O’Donovan was forced off with a hamstring problem. Wilson accepts that such occurrences are an occupational hazard for a dual club
“We had a number of fellas carrying injuries” he said.
“Conor O’Neill played today, he had been missing with a broken foot. Thank God the timing came right, but we’re tight and you’re back into football now next week and they’ll need those.
“We’ll be crossing our fingers and toes, hoping that they could out of it safely – and safely is fine but how do you get them fresh to go at it again the next day?”
Their next opponents Carrigtwohill don’t have such concerns but will have to contend with a longer lay-off after securing an automatic semi-final berth.
“They’ll be focusing on hurling – but you never know, maybe they’ll get bored of it!” Wilson laughed.
“On our side, winning is a habit and it’s a case of which one is the better one? I honestly don’t know.
“Obviously, as a dual club, you’d prefer to avoid the quarter-finals but it is what it is. It’s up to ourselves now.
“You have to take your chances when they come. We’ll have 15 on the pitch and they’ll have 15 on the pitch.”