Newtownshandrum show Sars who’s boss

CORK SHC FINAL:

Newtownshandrum 3-22 Sarsfields 1-12

Over 10,000 spectators packed into Pairc Ui Chaoimh as Newtownshandrum were crowned Evening Echo Cork SHC champions thanks to a convincing 16-point win over Sarsfields this afternoon.

It was a spectucular second half display which earned Newtownshandrum their fourth title this decade and a first since 2005.

Both sides were reduced to 14 men in the closing stages with Newtownshandrum full-forward James Bowles and Sarsfields defender Joe Barry both shown red cards by referee Diarmuid Kirwan.

The respective defences were on top in the opening quarter with the sides tied at 0-6 apiece after 26 minutes.

Newtownshandrum dominated possession in the first 15 minutes but they were guilty of wasting a number of scoring chances.

The wind-assisted Sarsfields side kept in touch thanks to the free-taking accuracy of Pat Ryan.

The eventual winners broke 0-10 to 0-8 in front in injury-time, however Sarsfields had the final say of the opening half to cut the deficit to a point at the break.

Newtownshandrum upped their game on the restart with two excellent goals from Ben O'Connor and Jamie Coughlan, powering them into a 2-13 to 0-10 lead by the 40th minute.

O'Connor's goal arrived after the Cork star planted a low ball past the advancing Sarsfields goalkeeper Alan Kennedy.

This brace of goals gave Newtownshandrum the confidence to drive on and they failed to let up in the final quarter.

Ryan Clifford and Coughlan battled hard throughout the game with Conor O'Sullivan also giving a strong performance in defence.

Cathal Naughton provided some excellent scores in the closing stages to help seal a comfortable victory and book a place against the Tipperary champions in the Munster Club Championship.

After the game, Newtownshandrum captain Dermot Gleeson lifted the cup on behalf of his side.

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