Prem Intermediate Hurling Championship – Aghada 1-9 v Ballincollig 2-18; Pairc Ui Chaoimh 9/10/21
There was no third lucky for Aghada as we went down fighting on our return to Pairc Ui Chaoimh last Saturday night. The 1st time the club has played at the new stadium, but ultimately it wasn’t a good news story for us as Ballincollig ran out fully deserving winners and consign us to a relegation battle against East Cork rivals – Watergrasshill. Ballincollig led from start to finish as yet again Aghada were forced to line out without a number of key players due to injury. 6pts to 1 and the 1st waterbreak, Aghada bravely hung in there with a Cian Fleming sideline finding Darragh Ryan who kicked home the opening goal after bursting through the ‘Collig defence. Ballincollig however answered this with 3 points of their own. Aghada had their best spell coming up to the half time whistle. Super play from Donagh Collins in keeping a ball alive resulted in a Mark McCarthy point from play and Aaron Berry also hit a great score after a great solo run up the right wing before splitting the posts with a strike off the hurley.
As the short whistle sounded it was only a 3 point game 1-5 playing 11 points. Aghada opened the 2nd half scoring with a Mark McCarthy free earned by Ryan. But now, aswell as continuing to hit some nice points Ballincollig were starting to create a number of goal chances. Luckily for Aghada, Ciaran O Shea was in outstanding form between the sticks and made a number of excellent saves in this second half. Outside him Dan Leahy and Jack McDonnell fought manfully to keep the attacks at bay, while Tim Hartnett had an outstanding hour for Aghada also in defence. A quick Ballincollig free set up their 1st green flag and from there on there was only one winner. Cian Fleming and Mark Mc kept the scoreboard ticking over for Aghada but Ballincollig were scoring two for every one of ours. Further injuries to Aaron Berry and Jamie O Hanlon made a difficult task even harder and the longer the game went on the more of a rearguard action it became for Aghada. Ciaran continued to rescue his side but was beaten for the 2nd time with 35 minutes on the clock, and when the final whistle blew, Ballincollig had won on double scores.
Aghada Team and Scorers – Ciaran O Shea, Dan Leahy, Jack McDonnell, David Rice, Jordan Tynan, Daniel Creedon, Tim Hartnett, Donagh Collins, Mark McCarthy (0-6, 5f), John Looney (0-1), Aaron Berry (0-1), Darragh Ryan (1-0), Jamie O Hanlon, Cian Fleming (0-1), Kyle O Shea. Subs Used Aaron Stafford, Mathew Leahy.
Junior B Hurling Championship - ¼ final – Aghada 1-20 v Castlemartyr 0-9; Dungourney 10/10/21
A storming and as close to perfect final quarter as you could get, saw Aghada power into the semi-finals of this year’s East Cork Championship. As the sides headed for the sideline for the final waterbreak, Aghada led by 4 points. But we had just lost both midfielders – Stevie Keeffe and Rory O Connell – to injuries and Castlemartyr had hit the last 3 points on the trot. On top of that they had left the world of points behind with a high wide count albeit a lot of the shots were taken while under pressure from a tenacious Aghada backline. But just after the restart, after hard work from Lar Collins and a pass from Trevor O Keeffe, John Connolly struck an unstoppable rocket to the roof of our opponents net. It was just the lift the side needed. Outstanding full back Brian Morrissey also made a real thou shalt not pass crunching tackle and that along with the goal set the tone for the final quarter. The defenders were ferocious in the tackle from here to the end and would hold our opponents scoreless for this quarter. Luke O’Connell excelled at centre back with Ben Stafford and Stephen Daly also prominent. Driven on by Scott White, who starred at midfield when introduced, the Aghada attack now also went up a gear. Collins set up Kevin O Hanlon for a point from play, Trigger converted a free soon after and now Aghada were really in the zone. Scott , Charlie, Connolly and Kevin all hit great points from well out the field. Alan Walsh was batting ball for fun at corner back while outside him young Sean Og O Keeffe hit the point of the day from distance after breaking forward from wing back. That point completed Aghada’s 1-7 scoring burst and we were full value for the win as the final whistle sounded.
There was no hint of this runaway victory in the early stages. Aghada down 4 starters from last week’s win over Midleton, found themselves trailing 4 points to 2 after 10 minutes. Rory and Stevie really started to influence proceedings and with Trevor sharp from placed balls, Aghada slowly got on top. Alan Creedon, O Hanlon and Connolly all had scores from play to go with Trevor’s frees, but at the other end Castlemartyr couldn’t buy a point. They hit 5 wides in a row and the half time score of Aghada 11 pts v Castlemartyr 6pts could and should have been very different had the reds radar been better tuned.
The second half started with 2 fine Aghada points – 1 each from O Hanlon and lively corner forward Eoin Motherway. But from here to the water break Castlemartyr were the better side as they carried the game to Aghada and finally started to find the posts more regularly. Then came the magic water break and Aghada drove on to an impressive overall victory. The game also saw the return of Charlie Terry from injury so hopefully Charlie along with the injuries we did pick up, will stay fit for the rest of the year. All players sprung from the bench in the 2nd half contributed to this fine win, with youngsters Sean O Callaghan and Jack Corkery both very influential when introduced. The semi final will see us paired with Bride Rovers who we already played, and lost to, in this year’s Round Robin section. There wasn’t a lot in the game the 1st time around and will be a tight affair again when the sides clash in the coming weeks.
Aghada team and scorers – Craig Hogan, Stephen Daly, Brian Morrissey, Alan Walsh, Ben Stafford, Luke O Connell, Sean Og O Keeffe,(0-1), Stephen O Keeffe, Rory O Connell (0-1), Trevor O Keeffe(0-7, 7f), John Connolly(1-3), Vincey Rohan, Eoin Motherway (0-1), Kevin O Hanlon (0-4), Alan Creedon (0-1). Subs Used Scott White(0-1), Lar Collins, Charlie Terry(0-1), Sean O Callaghan, Jack Corkery.