Senior Football relegation play off – Aghada 1-6 v Newcestown 1-07; Carrigtwohill 28/9/18
Our 4th and final game in this year’s Senior football championship ended the with the same result as the previous 3, this time the defeat was by the narrowest of margins. Aghada played into the breeze from the throw in and started well, but failed to convert possession to scores. In fact the 1st score of the game was a sloppy goal conceded by Aghada on 5 minutes and it came very much against the run of play. A minute later Ronan Kennedy opened the scoring for Aghada, after David Rice made a strong run from defence before linking with Pearse O’Neill, who set up Kennedy. Newcestown pointed from play on 7 minutes, and then the scores dried up for both teams. Aghada were much more solid at the back a week on from the Ilen game, and while Ricer, Jake and Kaelen O’Donoghue were defending well, we didn’t really threaten the scoreboard much at the other side. 19 minutes were on the clock when Shane Bennett kicked Aghada’s second point. On 23 minutes Pearse and Conor O’Driscoll combined to set Mattie O’Connor up for Aghada’s 3rd point and that completed the scoring for both teams for the half, who were both guilty of kicking a lot of bad wides. 1-1 to 0-3 at the interval in Newcestown’s favour.
The 2nd half started with Aaron Berry beating his man at corner forward and after bearing down on the Newcestown goal, he blasted a good goal chance narrowly wide. 5 minutes later however, Jordan Tynan burst forward from defence, his first shot for a goal was saved, but he followed up himself and buried the rebound to give Aghada a two point lead. Now Aghada were camped in the Newcestown half, but again the scores failed to come as Aghada missed good chances from play and dead balls. On 13 minutes Newcestown pointed a free and then levelled the match again on 18 minutes with another from play. 2 minutes late, a major turning point when Mattie O’Connor very harshly received a second yellow. In a game with no bad tackles and no confrontations of any description between teams, how the referee found a way to flash 3 red cards in this contest, only he will know. So with a full 50 minutes of the game played, both teams had only 8 scores between team. Now for the final 10 there would be 7 scores kicked between the 2 sides. Twice, with points from play, Newcestown opened up a slender lead, but on both occasions, Aghada pegged them back, first with a point from Kevin O’Hanlon and then a super point from Tim Hartnett. The extra man was telling however, and Newcestown then opened a 2 point lead with scores from play on the 28th and 29th minutes. The 60 minutes came and went and now Aghada needed a goal. Pearse O’Neill caught a ball on the edge of the large parallelogram and as he drove towards goal he was fouled. Cian Fleming pointed the free. Here Newcestown lost a man to a red card, and they were down to 13 a minute later. Aghada got one last chance to draw the game. Charlie Terry seemed to be fouled in possession in front of goals, no whistle came, so he off loaded to Fleming, who shot wide with the outside of his foot and that was that.
It was a much better performance than last week, and the players showed great heart and resilience to give all they had on the night for their team and club and that’s all you can ask of from the players. This team still have a league final to look forward to, so hopefully after a disappointing year, it may yet end on a higher note.
All told in the last 3 years, we have won only one championship match out of 11 games, and our grading at this level will no doubt come up for discussion again at this year’s AGM.
Aghada Team and scorers - Andy O’Donoghue, David Rice, Jake O’Donoghue, Kaelan O’Donoghue, Jordan Tynan (1-0), Josh O’Shea, Mathew O’Connor (0-1), Tom O’Neill, Conor O’Driscoll, Tim Hartnett(0-1), Pearse O’Neill, Cian Fleming (0-1,1f), Aaron Berry, Shane Bennett (0-1), Ronan Kennedy (0-1). Subs Used – Kevin O’Hanlon (0-1), Kyle O’Shea, Daniel Creedon, Charlie Terry