Senior football Championship Rd 2b – Aghada 0-13 v Kiskeam 0-14 – 11/06/2017 5.30pm, Glanworth
This championship game was decided by a point kicked, heading into the 5th minute of injury time. No matter what team would lose under these circumstances, they would be kicking themselves. Had Kiskeam lost it, they would have rued 3 great saves from Aghada keeper Andy O’Donoghue, plus another cleared off the line by a defender. As it was, it was Aghada that lost it and we will point to the fact that we led by 2 points with 5 minutes of normal time to play and a strong wind behind us. We really should have been able to close it out from here. Aghada never kicked on though and Kiskeam pointed a free on full time to tie the game. 4 minutes passed and then Aghada’s 2 best forwards John Looney and Cian Fleming combined, but Fleming shot narrowly wide. Kiskeam won the breaking ball from the resulting kickout, and patiently worked one final shooting opportunity which they pointed. And when the final whistle sounded, the newly promoted Duhallow outfit celebrated retaining their senior status for at least 2 years by avoiding the relegation playoffs.
Kiskeam started the better; they led 3 points to no score before the excellent John Looney opened Aghada’s account after a fine solo burst. In this time Kiskeam also drew a fine save from Andy O’Donoghue when they got in one v one with the Aghada ‘keeper. Next up Aaron Berry attacked the kickout and set up Fleming for Aghada’s 2nd point. Tommy O’Donoghue impressed at centre back in the 1st half and a powerful run from defence from him, ended with Tom O’Neill pointing a fine left legged effort on 16 minutes. Young Marcus Leahy debuting at midfield caught a good kickout, he found Berry who in turn found Looney who pointed his 2nd and Aghada’s 4th. Suddenly despite Kiskeam playing most of the football, Aghada were a point to the good. A big blow to Aghada however was the loss of impressive full back Michael Russell midway through the half. On 20 minutes Kiskeam levelled matters with a point from play. Next Aghada’s other debutant Jordan Ryan, made a fine mark from a kickout and he quickly fed Fleming, who pointed smartly. A Kiskeam placed ball levelled matters again and they retook the lead on 28 minutes with a fisted point. They were two up after Andy O’Donoughue tipped over a goal attempt on 30 minutes, but Tom O’Neill won the resulting kickout and Fleming was on hand to reduce the gap to 1 heading for the break. The last score came from Kiskeam from a placed ball, which Aghada could feel rightly aggrieved with. The ball bounced in the left corner over Tim Hartnett’s head and has he turned and chased it, the Kiskeam forward blocked his run and then fell over but amazingly won the free. That decision was ever harder to take considering that in injury time at the end of the game, 1st Fleming in the right corner and then Pearse in the left corner were both clearly fouled but neither got a free. Kiskeam went in with a deserved 2 point lead at the break.
It was a 3 point lead straight from the restart when Kiskeam fisted another. But with the wind now firmly behind Aghada, Pearse O’Neill put Will Leahy through on goals. He also fisted a point, when maybe a goal might have been on. A minute later another Tommy run from defence set up Looney for Aghada’s 8th point of the night. On 6 minutes Kiskeam pointed another free. From the kickout, Looney 1st won possession cleanly, before taking off on yet another electric solo run and finished with another score. Andy made another save on 15 minutes and when Aghada worked the ball well up the field, Pearse O’Neill pointed with his left peg. The former Cork senior was now operating at full forward, hampered by a knee injury he brought into the game, and from the next kickout he pointed with his right leg after being found by a great pass from wingback Aaron Berry. Andy made another outstanding save when he tipped over a Kiskeam goal bound effort on 22 minutes and the sides were level on 11 points each. Aghada now got on top. Fleming pointed from way out on the left wing, and then Looney made yet another run and kicked a fine score from distance to put Aghada firmly in the driving seat heading down the home straight. 2 frees brought Kiskeam level, before the match winning point with the virtually the last kick of the game.
Huge disappointment for Aghada who probably didn’t play aswell as in their previous championship games this year, and ultimately didn’t do enough to advance to round 3. That’s the end of our senior football campaign for 2017 but well done to all involved for a great effort and we showed a lot more promise at this level than we have in a number of years. One of the advantages of being a duel club is that the most of these players can now turn their attention to the small ball, and hopefully have a right good cut off the intermediate hurling championship for the rest of the summer.
Aghada team – Andy O’Donoghue, Tim Hartnett(capt), Michael Russell, Jordan Tynan, Aaron Berry, Kalen O Donoghue, Kyle O’Shea, Tom O Neill(0-1), Marcus Leahy, Will Leahy(0-1),John Looney (0-5), Jordan Ryan, Pearse O’Neill(0-2), Cian Fleming(0-4), Shane Bennett. Subs Used Jake O’Donohghue, Jack Farmer, Josh O’Shea, Daniel Creedon, Conor O’Driscoll.