Dramatic first for Newtownshandrum


Newtownshandrum swept to their first Cork county title in controversial circumstances at Pairc Ui Chaoimh yesterday. Leading by two points entering injury-time, Newtown conceded a penalty after Sean Dunne's penetrating run came to a crashing halt.

Erin's Own goalkeeper Kieran Murphy dashed from the other end of the pitch to take the penalty, but his weak effort was parried by the defenders standing on the line. Murphy and corner forward Tomas O'Leary, son of former Cork great Seanie, managed to bundle the rebound to the back of the net. Their joy was shortlived, however, as referee Diarmuid Kirwan awarded a free out for a foul on defender Philip Noonan.

Newtown, appearing in their first senior decider, marched downfield to clinch victory with a free from inter-county player Ben O'Connor. The final whistle sounded after the puck-out sparking wild scenes of celebration from the north Cork supporters.

There was no doubting the merit of Newtown's victory, though they made hard work of it against an Erin's Own side which depended largely on the free-taking of John Corcoran for scores.

Newtown led 0-9 to 0-8 at the interval, having played against the strong wind. They were five points in front after 24 minutes before Erin's Own scored the last four points of the half to set up an intriguing second period.

Young Mark O'Connor pointed in the 35th minute to restore equality, only for the O'Connor twins, Jerry and Ben, to nudge Newtown ahead, 0-12 to 0-9, with 12 minutes remaining.

Corcoran's scores kept Erin's Own in the hunt only for the disallowed goal to wreck their dreams of a second title in a disappointing contest.

Newtownshandrum: P Morrissey; J Griffin, B Mulcahy, J McCarthy; A O'Brien, P Mulcahy (0-1), P Noonan; I Kelleher, D Murphy (0-2); J King, M Morrissey (0-1), J O'Connor (0-3); B Troy, D Mulcahy (0-1), B O'Connor (0-6). Sub: D Riordan for Troy.

Erin's Own: K Murphy; T O'Keeffe, M Dunne, D Mulcahy; T Kelleher, B Corcoran, S Murphy; F Horgan, P Kelly; K Murphy, M O'Connor (0-3), J Corcoran (0-7); S Dunne, P Geasley, T O'Leary (0-1). Subs: F Murphy for Geasley, K O'Shea for S Murphy.

Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).