U21 A Football – East Cork Final – Aghada 4-10 v Fr. O’Neills 1-6 31/3/2017
In the end they did it in style, retained the title of champions of East Cork, however the final tally on the scoreboard in no way reflects how close the match was for the majority of the night. With 25 minutes played in Shanagarry in the 2nd half it was a 3 point game. Aghada hadn’t scored since the 10th minute of the half and O’Neills were well on top since they had goaled in the 18th minute. Aghada were struggling to get past the half way line, but O’Neills, despite the possession, weren’t finishing aswell as they could have. Wingback Jordan Tynan disposed his opponent on his own ’45 and took off on a solo run. He played a one two with Marcus Leahy and then another with John Looney and when he then rounded another O’Neills defender, he was through on goals. One on one with the ‘keeper, he calmly slotted home for a super goal and the cup was heading back to Aghada for the 4th successive year. A John Looney free as normal time elapsed was followed by two goals in injury time. The 1st a super soccer finish from Jordan Ryan after a great pass from Aaron Berry, and the 2nd came within a minute when substitute Cian O’Driscoll smashed home to put an unlikely gloss on the scoreboard and sparked celebrations among the Aghada faithful.
O’Neills had started the game in fine fashion, drawing a good save from Ciaran O’Shea inside 2 minutes, and then pointing the free which resulted from the scramble that followed. A second free doubled the lead on 5 minutes and Aghada were yet to mount any attack. Full back Kalen “Tommy” O’Donoghue lifted the siege with a strong run from defence, before finding John Looney with a pass. Looney in turn found centre forward Luke O’Connell who pointed smartly to open Aghada’s account on 6 minutes. Next big brother Jake O’Donoghue followed Tommy’s lead, when he broke forward from centre back, before being brought down when through on goals. Danny Creedon pointed the free and the sides were level, 11 minutes gone. Aaron Berry hit a fine point with the outside of his boot and Looney had another after good play from Ryan and O’Connell. O Connell then hit his second after taking a pass from Creedon, but O’Neills had 2 from play themselves to leave just the minimum in it. O’Connell then set up Ryan for another score, and good work defensively from Charlie Terry helped setup Berry for another outside of his boot special. A minute later Aghada had a let off when the O’Neills hit the side netting when through on goals. The Ladysbridge/Ballymacoda outfit had the last say of the half with a fisted point on 31 minutes.
Fr. O’Neills turned to play with the wind in the 2nd half, but John Looney had the opening two scores. First a point and then after the O’Neills keeper had saved from Jack Farmer and Kevin O’Hanlon, he volleyed to the back of the net to give Aghada a good lead. O’Neills pointed on 7 minutes, before Farmer pointed after being set-up by Leahy. O’Neills almost goaled on 14 minutes, shooting just wide, but made no mistake on 18 minutes to leave the score Aghada 1-9 v O’Neills 1-6. That was the end of the scoring until Aghada’s late scoring burst which yielded 10 points in 6 minutes.
All that was left was for Captain Tommy O’Donoghue to accept the cup on behalf of the squad, from proud Aghada man Michael O’Brien. Congratulations and well done to all involved. Aghada Team and scorers – Ciaran O’Shea, Aaron Butler, Tommy O’Donoghue, Kyle O’Shea, Mark Healy, Jake O’Donoghue, Jordan Tynan(1-0), Marcus Leahy, Charlie Terry, John Looney (1-3 1f), Luke O’Connell (0-2), Aaron Berry (0-2), Jordan Ryan (1-1), Daniel Creedon (0-1 f) Kevin O’Hanlon. Subs Used: Jack Farmer (0-1), Shane Dorney, Aaron Stafford, Cian O’Driscoll (1-0).