Newtown 6; Bandon Grammar 23
Newtown’s undoubted spirit and prolonged spells of defensive discipline weren’t enough to stave off a 17-point cup defeat at home to Bandon on Wednesday afternoon.
Some superb tackles from prop George Walsh and scrum half Ben Cross repelled Bandon’s early advances, with towering lock David Reynolds leading the Corkmen’s charge.
Bandon eventually took the lead via Darren Sweetnam off the kicking tee after 17 minutes after one too many Newtown bodies had strayed offside.
Yet Newtown’s response was instant, with Ben Cross bisecting the posts to level the scores 90 seconds later. A further penalty in the 25th minute, again from Cross, put Newtown three ahead.
Despite conceding a series of penalties within yards of their own line, referee Michael Corrigan (excellent throughout) resisted the temptation to brandish yellow.
But Bandon finished the half the stronger, with a try recorded by flanker James Bendon, which Sweetnam converted. Bandon led 10-6 at the break.
Within seven minutes of the restart, Sweetnam had landed another penalty to extend Bandon’s lead to seven points and they strode forward again from Ben Cross’s restart.
After left wing Robert Skuse knocked on with a try at his mercy, Bandon’s superb number eight James Travers didn’t make the same mistake in the 53rd minute, crossing the whitewash to strengthen their position.
A third Bandon try was inevitable given their dominance of both possession and territory, with right wing Conor Moloney diving over in the corner to complete the scoring on the stroke of full-time.
Newtown: Andrew Heffernan, Brendan Perkins, Stephen Scallan, Emmett O’Shea, Clive Kennington, Patrick Kiersey, Ben Cross; George Walsh, Paul Murray, Willie O’Morochoe, David Bailey, Jack Joyce, Finn Troy, Conor Bellew, Alex Gurnee.
Subs: Ollie Joy for Walsh (64 mins), Thomas O’Brien for Perkins (64 mins).
Scorers: Ben Cross (2 pens).
Subs not used: Octo Fitzherbert, Stephen Ennis, Sliabh Wells and Adam Torrie.
Bandon Grammar: Conor Pullin, Conor Moloney, Conor Stafford, William Godsil, Robert Skuse, Darren Sweetnam, Jack Robinson; Scott Kingston, Derek Boyd, Niall Willoughby, David Reynolds, Andrew Tanner, Sam McElroy, James Bendon, Henry Travers.
Subs: Chris Pringle for Reynolds (HT), Howard Bateman for Robinson (69 mins), Lawrence Pybus for Boyd (71 mins).
Scorers: Darren Sweetnam (2 pens, 1 con), James Bendon, Henry Travers and Conor Moloney (1 try each).
Subs not used: Eanna Tyrell and Ian Skuse.
Referee: Michael Corrigan (MAR).