Senior football Championship Preliminary Rd – Aghada 0-13 v Dohenys 1-8 – 15/4/2017 6pm, Ovens
The Aghada Senior footballers had to go to the well more than once in a tense tight game against Doheny’s from Dunmanway last Saturday evening, but when the final whistle sounded, it was Aghada that celebrated after winning their opening championship game for the 1st time in a number of years. The result only puts Aghada into the 1st round proper v UCC, but also the win removes Aghada from the relegation playoffs for 2017.
Played in Ovens in ideal weather conditions, Aghada got off to a great start and would lead 4 points to no score with just over 10 minutes played. Will Leahy fisted the opening point after a good run up field from wing back Jordan Tynan. Next Conor O’Driscoll, who played very well at midfield, did the donkey work to release Aaron Berry, who in turn put Pearse O’Neill in for the second point. 2 minutes after that O’Neill had his second, this time Shane Bennett was the provider. Aaron fielded the resulting kick out and slipped in Matt O’Connor, who finished nicely from the right corner. Aghada were flying at this point, but then seemed to play a bit more conservatively for the rest of the half. There was no score for either team for 10 minutes but gradually the West Cork side were getting on top. Mike Russell was doing a fine job on Doheny’s danger man Mark Buckley. The Cork U21 had missed a few efforts under pressure from Russell, but he finally opened Dohenys account with a point from play on 23 minutes. He hit 2 more in the next 4 minutes, 1 ’45 and another from play, All of a sudden with 5 minutes to go to the break Aghada’s good start was all but wiped out. Doheny’s continued to press. Outstanding centre back Jake O’Donoghue broke up one of their attacks with a fine blockdown, and when Aghada broke up the field, Shane Bennett drew a free which Cian Fleming pointed. At half time Aghada led 5 V 3 and would have the slightest of breezes for the second period.
On resumption Cian Fleming was first to trouble the scoreboard with a point from play after a great drive out of defence from young Kyle O’Shea. The was to signal the start of a fantastic second half from the Aghada full forward, who would finish with a 7 point tally, each score better than the next. The Dunmanway outfit had the next 3 points however, a Buckley free and 2 from play from corner forward Mark Quinn and now the sides were level. On 10 minutes Jake tackled 2 Dohenys men and forced a turnover. He was then fouled and Fleming slotted over the free. A minute later the same two players were instrumental again as Jake broke up another Dohenys attack and Fleming finished the counter attack with a fine point from play. Next Fleming hit an excellent ’45 and Aghada were 3 to the good again. Like the 1st half there was no score for the next 10 minutes or so. Both defences were on top and in truth both teams made some basic errors in passing and picking off ground etc. Debutant wing back Kyle O’Shea drove up the field on 21 minutes and kicked a super point from the left wing to restore Aghada’s 4 point lead. Back came Doheny’s again. They earned a penalty on 24 minutes when the Doheny’s forward was brought down when through on goals. Buckley buried a fine penalty. Next he pointed from play and in 2 minutes the lead was gone again and the sides were all square heading down the home stretch. Substitute Daryel O’Brien set up Fleming, who kicked a monster point on 28 minutes, but as normal time elapsed a Buckley free had the sides all square yet again. A couple of stoppages in the second half meant that 2 or 3 minutes was always going to be added on and in the 32nd minute, Fleming spoiled a short Doheny’s kick out and after winning possession popped over the lead point. Doheny’s went long with the next two kick outs, but the evergreen Pearse O’Neill went highest on both occasions to make two marks, just as his team , and Aghada supporters, needed them most. After getting the second mark, he nonchalantly drove his foot through the ball and it flew straight between the posts for the insurance point. Celebrations started for the Aghada faithful when the final whistle sounded from the resulting kick out. A great win, plenty guts shown from the Aghada team, who will now face UCC this coming weekend.
Aghada team – Andy O’Donoghue, Tim Hartnett, Mike Russell, Kalen O Donoghue, Jordan Tynan, Jake O Donoghue, Kyle O’Shea(0-1), Tom O Neill, Conor O Driscoll, Will Leahy(0-1), Pearse O’Neill(0-3), Aaron Berry, Shane Bennett, Cian Fleming(0-7, 2f,1’45), Matt O’Conner(0-1). Subs Used Ronan Kennedy, John Looney, Jack Farmer, Daryel O’Brien.