Intermediate Hurling League Division 2 – Aghada 1-19 v Castlelyons 2-16 ; 12/3/2016.
The main pitch in Rostellan was opened to host our second league game of the year on Sunday morning last and what a game it turned out to be. 24 scores in the 1st half alone, 3 of them majors, all bar 2 from play and two teams displaying very high skill levels and plenty of determination. Castleyons had a blistering start scoring 2-1 in the opening 4 minutes, and despite playing into a strong wind, they were to dominate the 1st 15 mins in every sector. Aghada were just trying to hang on in this period. Points from John Looney, Will Leahy, Kevin O’Hanlon, Pearse O Neill and Cian Fleming did help in this regard. Hanlon’s point was probably the pick of the bunch. Ronan Kennedy made a good catch in midfield, passed to Kevin, who neatly flicked the ball over his markers head, before catching the sliothar and dispatching between the posts. Still Castlelyons were very impressive and would have gone even further ahead but for a great save from Trevor O’Keeffe in the Aghada goals on 16 minutes. The Aghada full back line needed help and Ronan Kennedy was re positioned as sweeper, which certainly helped to turn the tide. Two minutes later Leahy hit a super point for Aghada, but from the puck out Castlelyons hit a like score to leave them with an 8 point lead and only 10 mins to go to the short whistle. Incredibly though they wouldn’t score again in the half. Instead Aghada got on top and took full advantage hitting 8 scores in the final 10 minutes. 1st Will hit another monster, then a long delivery from Cian Fleming was well caught by Kevin O’Hanlon, who raced in on goal and finished well to the net. Game on. Leahy hit the next two, followed by Hanlon again and when Aaron Stafford split the posts on 28 minutes, the sides were level. Good work from impressive wing back Mark Healy set up Pearse for the lead score and seconds later Charlie Terry hit a fine score to send Aghada in 2 points to the good at halftime.
The second half started in a whirlwind also. 4 points shared between the sides in the opening 4 minutes. Will Leahy the 1st and John Looney, after he had nicely rounded his man for Aghada’s 2nd. Leahy then pointed a free he had done well to earn himself. Castlelyons hit the next two, before Looney who was playing well at full forward, hit his second of the half. Substitute Daniel Creedon pointed not long after his introduction and with 10 minutes to go the scoreboard read 1-18 to 2-12 in Aghada’s favour. Castlelyons now however got on top again. Points on the 23rd and 24th minutes were nearly followed up with a goal, however Trigger again made a great save to deflect the sliothar over the bar. The sides were now level again and the points were very definitely up for grabs. Castlelyons hit the front on 29 minutes, but from the puck out Looney equalised. The last minute as well as the couple of added minutes yielded no further scores and at referees Arthur Murphy’s final whistle the spoils were shared in an absorbing draw.
Aghada team and scorers – Trevor O’Keeffe, Jake O’Donoghue, John O’Connor, Tim Hartnett, Andrew O’Donoghue, Jack McDonald, Mark Healy, Aaron Stafford (0-1), Ronan Kennedy, Pearse O’Neill (0-2), Will Leahy(0-7,2f), Charlie Terry(0-1), Kevin O’Hanlon(1-2), John Looney(0-4), Cian Fleming (0-1). Subs Used – Daniel Creedon(0-1), Conal Rabbitte, Aiden O’Connell.