U21 A County Football Quarter Final – Aghada 1-9 v Kilmurray 2-13; Pairc Ui Rinn 18/7/2018
More disappointment when our U21 footballers bowed out of the county championship at quarter final stage after defeat to Kilmurray for the 2nd year in a row. Again we were back in Pairc Ui Rinn, and just like in the senior game we started quicker out of the blocks. On this occasion however, we also finished a lot of the chances we created. A well worked goal on 2 minutes, finished home by Diarmaid Phelan after being put in by a neat pass from Alan Hogan, was Aghada’s opening score. 2 minutes latter Kalen O’Donoghue made an incredible burst from full back, played a one two with Charlie Terry, and then pointed himself on the run. On 13 minutes Alan Hogan was fouled when through on goals and when Daniel Creedon pointed the free, the scoreboard read 1-3 v 0-2 in Aghada’s favour. Both Kilmurray points had come from play. Now Aghada really started to dominate, with Marcus Leahy and Charlie Terry bossing the opposition kickouts. A Kevin O’Hanlon mazy run was stopped illegally and Creedon kicked his 2nd free. Charlie caught the next kickout aswell and this time Aaron Berry was put through on goal and he fired over the bar from close range. Next up wing back Cal Bawden made a surging run from wing back and pointed on 20 minutes. A minute later Charlie found O Hanlon, who again beat his man and bore down on the Kilmurray goal. His shot for the roof of the net, was tipped over by the Kilmurray ‘keeper, but still and all, Aghada now had a 7 point lead, and were on top all over the field. The mid Cork men pointed a free on 23 minutes, which was quickly cancelled out by another fine score from O’Hanlon. Kilmurray then had the last point of the half to leave the score at the break, Aghada 1-7 v Kilmurray 0-4. Going into the dressing room at halftime full value for the 6 point lead and playing well in all areas of the pitch, things looked good for Aghada. But how it all changed after the restart.
Kilmurray came out a transformed side for the second half. They took over the kickouts and especially the breaking ball, and were on the front foot from the minute go. The 6 point lead was gone in 5 minutes. 1-2 was kicked from play and one pointed free. The goal was a bit of a scrambled effort after an initial save from Ciaran O Shea in the Aghada goal. Still Aghada retook the lead on the 38 minute. Berry and Hanlon combining to set up Charlie for a point. The Aghada supporters must still have thought, given the 1st half showing, that Aghada would get another period of dominance at some point in the 2nd half. It never happened though, as Kilmurray went from strength to strength. They kicked the next 3 points from play, before a Danny free after Niall Hill was fouled, made it just a one point game with 10 minutes to play. That wasn’t the real story however. In reality the opening 20 minutes had gone 1-6 versus 2 points in Kilmurray’s favour and despite the best efforts of Kalen O Donoghue, Kyle O’Shea and others, that ascendency didn’t look like being challenged in the last 10 minutes. It wasn’t, and Kilmurray kicked another 1-4 in the closing stages. The goal an exceptional finish to the roof of the Aghada net. Aghada’s only response was to draw a brilliant treble save from the Kilmurray rear-guard, when Aghada seemed certain to score a 2nd goal of their own. So it finished 2-13 v 1-9. Kilmurray deservedly go through to the semi-final stages. For Aghada, the lads can still be very proud of their efforts after giving us an entertaining year that started with the 1st East Cork game as far back as the 23rd of February would you believe. Another East Cork title in the bag and plenty to be positive about looking ahead to the future of the club.
Aghada Team and Scorers – Ciaran O’Shea, Aaron Butler, Kalen O’Donoghue(0-1), Kyle O’Shea, Cal Bawden(0-1), Jordan Tynan, Ben Stafford, Marcus Leahy, Paul Daly, Daniel Creedon (0-3 f’s), Charlie Terry (0-1), Diarmuid Phelan (1-0), Aaron Berry (0-1), Kevin O’Hanlon (0-2), Alan Hogan . Subs Used – Niall Hill, Stephen Daly.