How Newcestown put the clampers on Dohenys' deadly duo

On Saturday, they ground out the threat of Fionn Herlihy and Mark Buckley.
How Newcestown put the clampers on Dohenys' deadly duo

WELL-MINDED: Doheny's Fionn Herlihy gathers the ball from Newcestown's Trevor Horgan. Pic: Eddie O'Hare

When Newcestown fell to neighbours Dohenys in July’s Senior A football opener, it stretched out their winless championship run to six games and 22 months.

The one-point Premier SFC group win over Carbery Rangers on September 26, 2021, continued to stand as their last championship victory. Relegation had darkened their door the following autumn and now hopes of a quick return were hanging by a thread.

One further group setback and Newcestown would be spending at least a second season in the second tier. But there was to be no further setback. There were instead five consecutive wins and promotion back to where they had come from.

“This is a great day,” said Newcestown boss Tim Buckley of football final glory and their Senior A double. “But last year was very, very difficult. We were very hurt. Then the first game against Dohenys this season, which we lost, we were on the backfoot after that.

“Every game was a knockout game after that, so it wasn't easy. We had five games and we had to win each of them. I am delighted for the club. We have a great club, great committee, and great members. It is a great little village.

“The double is a phenomenal achievement. The panel we have there, they really knuckled down and they worked hard. There is a bit of lip now and then, but they are a good, honest bunch of lads. They know how to grind out games.” 

On Saturday, they ground out the threat of Fionn Herlihy and Mark Buckley. The pair had kicked 1-10 between them during Dohenys’ semi-final win over Knocknagree. All bar one point of that total had come from play, including every one of Herlihy’s eight white flags.

Here, the pair were held scoreless. Buckley was called ashore before the finish.

“We saw Fionn and the other boys' performance in the semi-final and what they kicked. The lads on them did some job. Trevor Horgan, Niall Murray, Cian Twomey did some jobs on their men,” said Newcestown half-back and captain Luke Meade.

“We got back well, tackled well, and denied them that space. And broke then from there. To only concede two points in the second half, fierce performance.” 

Buckley was always confident the containment job would be executed as stiflingly as it was.

“It was some defensive effort. But in the first round we held Dohenys to 0-9. We knew we'd hold them to 0-9.

“We've known Fionn and Mark and all them fellas since they were knee-high to a grasshopper. We know how to defend against them, and we played a very good defensive game. We've done it all year. We've the best defence in the championship. We had no fear that way. We wanted to score 13 or 14 points and we did that.” 

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