Aghada GAA Notes
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Intermediate Hurling Championship Semi Final – Aghada 1-23 v Mayfield 0-11; Pairc Ui Rinn 07/10/2017.
Aghada will contest the 2017 Intermediate County final against Eire Og after producing an outstanding 60 minutes of hurling in Pairc Ui Rinn last Saturday evening. Facing last year’s All-Ireland junior champions from Mayfield, Aghada produced easily their best performance this year to make sure it was 4th time lucky in terms of getting past the semi final stage of this competition.
The opening exchanges were cagey enough. Mayfield played with their normal sweeper in place, which left Aghada corner back Tim Hartnett operating in the same role for Aghada and he excelled at the job for the hour. The Mayfield sweeper also started well, all of which meant after 10 minutes there was only 3 scores, 2 for Aghada from Will Leahy and John Looney from play, versus one free for Mayfield. In this period Mayfield could possibly have started better had not their final pass gone astray on a couple of occasions as they attempted to breach the Aghada full back line. However the most influential player in the opening 20 minutes was Aghada centre forward Will Leahy. Cian Fleming pointed a free after Aaron Stafford applied good pressure. Next Leahy picked up a Hartnett clearance before cleverly setting up Looney for his 2nd point. Leahy then pointed himself from play and then a minute later he made a fine catch before splitting the posts from out on the wing. Aghada had hit 4 points in less than 4 minutes to lead 6 points to 1. Mayfield hit a fine score from the left wing on 15 minutes, but John Looney replied almost instantly after good defensive play from Hartnett and Tom O’Neill. 5 points down, Mayfield rallied and hit two in a row on the 18th and 19th minutes. Scores slowed at this point and with 5 minutes to the break Aghada led by 3. The sides shared 5 more points leading to the short whistle; Aghada had 3 and Mayfield 2, one of which was a monster free from their goalkeeper. As the sides headed for the dressing rooms at half time, the score was 10 points versus 6.
Aghada were slow coming out of the changing rooms, but certainly weren’t slow to get the scoreboard moving, outscoring their opponents 4 points to 1 in the 1st 10 minutes after the restart. Kevin O’Hanlon had the 1st after a good run. A super pass from Leahy set up Ronan Kennedy for the second. More good defensive play involving Jake O’Donoghue, ‘keeper Trevor O Keeffe and Tom O’Neill, led to Looney getting the 3rd (his 5th). And Leahy scored the 4th himself after fielding a Stephen O’Keeffe pass. The Aghada full backline of Hartnett, John O’Connor and O’Donoghue were all on top of their men and Mayfield never really looked capable of running in a high score. At midfield Stafford and O’Keeffe were dominating, helped by a huge 2nd half performance from Ronan Kennedy. Upfront, John Looney took over the mantle of Aghada’s standout forward. He hit two great scores on the 41st and 44th minute after taking passes from Jack McDonald and substitute Daniel Creedon. Mayfield had 3 points from play in the same period and when they pointed a placed ball on 47 minutes there was 6 points between the sides. A couple of minutes later, a wild pull saw the city team reduced to 14 men and Aghada kicked for home from there. Mayfield scored only once more – a free in the 53rd minute. Aghada however were clinically efficient in the last 10 minutes scoring a whopping 1-7. Looney scored 2 of these to bring his tally to 9 points. For one of these points he picked up the ball on his own ’45 before soloing half the pitch and driving the sliothar over the crossbar. Even the Aghada substitutes hit the ground running when introduced. Charlie Terry set up Creedon for a well taken point. Terry also scored one himself. While on the 60th minute another substitute Pearse O’Neill made a great penetrating run, before finding Leahy with a pass, and Leahy buried the only goal of the game low to the ‘keepers right. When the final whistle sounded the Aghada players and mentors celebrated wildly as this team had finally made the final showdown after 3 previous semi-final defeats in the last 3 years. It was a very complete team performance from numbers 1-19 and the club, and parish, can now start getting excited about competing in an adult county final for the 1st time since 2005.
Aghada Team and scorers – Trevor O’Keeffe, Tim Hartnett, John O’Connor (capt), Jake O’Donoghue, Billy Hennessy, Tom O’Neill, Shane Wall, Stephen O’Keeffe, Aaron Stafford, Ronan Kennedy(0-1), Will Leahy (1-6), Jack McDonald(0-1), Kevin O’Hanlon (0-1), John Looney(0-9, 1’65), Cian Fleming(0-3, 2f’s). Subs Used Daniel Creedon (0-1), David Rice, Pearse O’Neill, Charlie Terry (0-1).
Imokilly also bidding for County Final
Well done to Manager Fergal Condon, and players Will Leahy and Cian Fleming who played out an enthralling draw versus East Cork rivals Sarsfields in the semi-final of the Senior Championship. The replay will probably be played nest weekend and the outcome will have a big bearing on when our own county final takes place.
The current Lotto jackpot is €4,250 and will take place in Healy’s Bar on Oct 12th. Congrats to Deirdre Triggs, Don O’Callaghan, Fergal Meagher, Eileen O’Driscoll and Eoin, Mags & Aine c/o Nigel Berry, who each won €30 in last weeks draw.