After being promoted as champions from Division 4 last year, Aghada were keen to get off to a good start in Division 3 for 2019. This they did in some style, when Naomh Aban were defeated in Rostellan last Sunday. Overall a sometimes niggly game (2 reds and 2 black cards were shared equally by both teams), produced some top drawer scores from both teams and kept the crowd entertained throughout. Danny Creedon at full forward was to the fore for Aghada in the opening quarter. He kicked 2 frees and a super point from play, before providing the assist for Aghada’s 4th point on 13 minutes, which was finished well by Pearse O’Neill.. That score gave Aghada a 2 point lead as the visitors had 2 from play of their own in that period. Next up both Mattie O’Connor at left half back and ahead of him, Cian Fleming at left half forward, started to strongly influence proceedings. An O’Connor pass set up Fleming for his 1st point on 14 minutes and two minutes later the same player finished a fine solo run with his second. Next up the marauding O’Connor, up again on the attack from wing back, was fouled for Creedon to point another free. At this point Aghada were well in control and led 7 pts to 2. Naomh Aban rallied however just before half time. They pointed on 28 minutes and from the kick out, pounced on possession and scored a scrappy goal to suddenly leave just a point between the teams. Aghada steadied the ship on the stroke at half time, when O’Neill found O’Connor on the run again and the wing back pointed with the last kick of the half. So 2 points up at the interval, but turning slightly into the wind for the 2nd half. Aghada got the perfect start on resumption. Aiden O’Connell, who played well after coming on for the black carded Creedon, won good possession on the left wing, and a well-timed pass put Aaron Berry through on goal. Berry, who was a handful for the visitors defence all through, buried a great shot to the back of the net. With Tim Hartnett playing well in defence and O’Neill and Conor O’Driscoll winning the midfield battle, Aghada remained on top of proceedings. Tommy O’Donoghue forced a good turnover on 9 mins and from that Aghada worked the ball up the field for Fleming to be fouled and Berry to point the resulting free. Now Aghada turned the screw. 2 points in a minute followed, Fleming from a placed ball and O’Connell from play and Aghada were comfortably 7 points clear. The Ballyvourney men dug in however and hit 3 super points from play in as many minutes. Kevin O’Hanlon scored an equally good point for Aghada after a fine run from defence by Shane Dorney. Aghada and Berry could have had a second goal soon after, but the opposition ‘keeper made a super save. The sides again exchanged points with 10 minutes to play, O’Connell setting up Fleming for the Aghada one, which left 5 points in it. Stalemate ensued for the next 8 minutes, both sides being reduced to 14 men in this period, before Berry put the game to bed on 28 minutes. O’Neill won a throw in and off loaded to Berry who still had an amount of ground to cover. But this he did before rifling another unstoppable shot to the net to make sure of the victory for Aghada. Naomh Aban never gave up and camped in the Aghada half for the last number of minutes scoring 1-1 in the process, but it was never going to be enough to wrestle the game back form Aghada. There is a new scoring format for this year’s league. Its one point for playing a game, 2 points for a draw and 4 points for a win. So after one game we now have 5 points on the league table!. God be with the days we could go through an entire league campaign and only get 5 points; and still stay up!! Aghada Team and Scorers – Ciaran O’Shea, Tommy O’Donoghue, Shane Wall, Jake O’Donoghue, Shane Dorney, Jordan Tynan, Mathew O’Connor(0-1), Conor O’Driscoll, Pearse O’Neill(0-1) Cian Fleming (0-4, 3 f’s), Kevin O’Hanlon (0-1), Danny Creedon (0-4, 3f’s), Aaron Berry (2-1, 1f), Shane Bennett, Timmy Hartnett. Subs Used – Aiden O’Connell (0-1), Charlie Terry, David Rice.