U21 Premier 2 hurling Championship Aghada 4-18 v Ahan Gaels 3-20
In as high a scoring contest as you are likely to see this year, Aghada emerged victorious by a single point in this year’s U21 hurling 1st round. The win came courtesy of a very difficult free in the 61st minute. Aghada had lost a 6 point lead in the closing 10 minutes of this absorbing contest, and now Mark McCarthy, who was excellent from placed balls all night, stood over the free right out on the sideline. The young forward kept cool under pressure and slotted the sliothar between the uprights and Aghada had their victory.
The action on the night opened with a fine save from Ciaran O’Shea in the Aghada goals, and thereafter Aghada quickly settled into their stride. With a quarter gone, we led 1-4 to a goal. Kevin O’Hanlon was our goalscorer, albeit, the goal itself was a soft one for Ahan to concede. On 20 minutes, Hanlon had his second goal and this one was a super score. Charlie Terry was the standout player on the night, with some outstanding catching and point scoring and when he superbly hit Aghada’s third goal 2 minutes into 1st half injury time, it gave Aghada a commanding 7 point lead at the break. That 3rd goal was the result of some excellent work from Marcus and Mathew Leahy.
4 minutes after the restart, Charlie had his second and Aghada’s fourth goal, this time from a penalty, and it looked like we would kick on to a comfortable victory from here. Gradually Ahan Gaels came more and more into the contest. They hit 9 points in the next 15 minutes to Aghada’s 5 points. Aghada scores were brilliant points from O Hanlon x 2, McCarthy , and two more for Charlie including one fantastic strike on 43 minutes. So with 10 minutes to play it was Aghada 4-12 v Ahan 1-15. Next up however, Ahan were awarded a penalty, which they goaled. 3 points apiece were then exchanged by both sides, before a second Ahan Gaels goal on 56 minutes brought the sides level. They took the lead two minutes later, but only briefly, before Mark and Charlie had Aghada in front again as the clock started to run out. Ahan equalised again on 60 minutes, before Mark hit that free to seal and incredible win for Aghada. When you think there were 8 scores in the closing 5 minutes alone, you get some idea of how end to end this game was. Both sides are still in the championship, so who knows a rematch might be in the offing down the line!
Aghada team and Scorers – Ciaran O’Shea, Aaron Butler, Mark Healy, Declan Foley, Jordan Tynan, Daniel Creedon, Aaron Berry, Kalen O’Donoghue, Charlie Terry (2-6, 1-0f), Luke O’Connell, Kevin O’Hanlon (2-4), Marcus Leahy, Mark McCarthy (0-8, 5f). Subs Used Jamie O’Hanlon, Kyle O’Shea, Darragh Murphy.