Senior football Championship – Aghada 0-9 v Clyda Rovers 1-12
Major disappointment for the club when our senior our footballers bowed out of this year’s championship last Saturday night in Pairc Ui Rinn. A defeat that was all the harder to swallow, as had we brought our shooting boots it could have been a much different outcome.
In some ways the result was decided in the two 10 minute periods after the 1st and 2nd half throw in’s. We’ll take the 2nd one first, and with Aghada trailing by 2 points at the interval, they needed to come out fast for the second half, but instead it was the men from Mourne Abbey that dominated this period. They outscored Aghada 4 points to one to open up a five point gap, that they never really looked like surrendering from there. It was probably the opening 10 minutes of the match that will haunt Aghada most though. From the throw in a good move ended with wing forward Tim Hartnett pointing from play with just 22 seconds on the clock. From here it was all Aghada as they dominated possession and mounted a number of incisive attacks. However we were very wasteful in front of goals. Missed frees, balls dropped short into Clyda Keeper and a number just wide of the post. All from close distance, all extremely scorable. It was 8 minutes before we scored again, when captain Cian Fleming pointed a free after being fouled himself. A minute later Paudie Kissane burst through the Aghada rear-guard to open Clyda’s account. Had Aghada been 6 pts to no score up at this point, no one would have argued. The fact that we didn’t even score 6 points for the half, tells you how the wheels came off, as confidence waned on the back of our missed opportunities. From here to half time, Aghada were far more cagey in their approach, with the possible exception of Mattie O’Connor at wing back who continued to drive forward at pace. When he was fouled on the run in the 22nd minute, Fleming converted the free, but that was to draw us level after falling behind to points on the 14th and 17th minutes. The next score was a big one and it went the way of our opponents, when they breached the Aghada defense and buried a good goal low to Andy O’Donoghues right corner. Aghada did respond well. Marcus Leahy set Josh O’Shea through for a well taken point. A minute later Pearse O’Neill went through on goal, but saw his shot well saved by the Clyda ‘keeper. That brought half time and though disappointed with the scoreline, Aghada were well in it and would have a slight wind for the 2nd half. However then came the aforementioned dominant Clyda spell after the restart, and when Mathew O’Connor picked up his second yellow on ’45 minutes, Aghada had a mountain to climb. The free from this incident, gave Clyda a 6 point lead. As usual it was Pearse O’Neill that was doing most to get Aghada back in the game, with strong runs from midfield. Although some tactical fouling reduced the effectiveness of some of these runs. Fleming pointed from play on 49 minutes but that was in reply to Clyda’s 9th point on 45 minutes. Pearse kicked a fine score on 52 minutes, but Aghada continued to be wasteful in front of goals and now were making some wild and erratic shot selections aswell. When Clyda hit 2 in 2 minutes with just 2 minutes of normal time to play, the writing was firmly on the wall. Still there was 6 minutes of added time, and Aghada never gave up. Points from Pearse after a strong run from defence by Tommy O’Donoghue and a point from Ray Savage after being set up by Jake O’Donoghue, brought our tally to 9 points. Clyda had the final say, with a point from play on 64 minutes and they deservedly march on to the next round. For Aghada it is back to those dreaded relegation battles, however some consolation is that we can’t be relegated this year regardless of the results of those games.
Aghada Team and scorers – Andy O’Donoghue, Shane Wall, Michael Russell, Kalen O’Donoghue, Conor O’Driscoll, Jordan Tynan, Mathew O’Connor, Tom O’Neill, Marcus Leahy, Pearse O’Neill(0-2, 1f), Josh O’Shea(0-1), Tim Hartnett(0-1), Shane Bennett, Cian Fleming(0-4,3f), Kevin O’Hanlon. Subs Used – Aaron Berry, Dan Creedon, Ronan Kennedy, Jake O’Donoghue, Ray Savage(0-1).