U21 A Football – 1st Rd of County – Aghada 1-11 v Kilmurry 1-13; Ballygarvan 28/6/2017
Aghada bowed out of this championship in the cruellest of fashions last Wednesday in Ballygarvan. Leading 1-11 v 0-12 with normal time elapsed, Kilmurry scored a goal and a point in injury time to steal the victory from a gutsy Aghada outfit.
To be fair at the end of the 1st half, it never looked likely that Aghada would be in such a strong position going into those dramatic final moments. Kilmurry led by 4 points at half time and if the lead had been twice that, Aghada could not have argued with it. The Muskerry outfit started well, with a point in the opening minute from play. 2 minutes later they had another, before Aaron Berry kicked Aghada’s 1st point from a free when Cian O’Driscoll was fouled after Jordan Ryan had made a fine catch from the kickout. On 8 minutes the sides were level. This time a surging run up the middle from Jordan Tynan earned another free which Danny Creedon pointed. By the time Kilmurry retook the lead on 15 minutes with another from play, they had also missed 3 very scoreable close in frees. Marcus Leahy drew Aghada level again on 19 minutes when he kicked a fine score after being set up by impressive wing back Mark Healy. Kilmurry continued to waste chances and incredibly Aghada hit the front with 10 to go to the break. Jack Farmer the scorer on this occasion after Marcus Leahy made a great turnover deep in the Aghada defence. With 5 minutes to the short whistle, Kilmurry finally found their shooting boots. And how. 5 points in 6 minutes, 2 frees and 3 from play, gave them the 4 point lead they more than deserved going in at half time.
The lead was 5 points just after the restart when Kilmurry started where they had left off and it was looking ominous for Aghada. Daniel Creedon pointed his 2nd free on 7 minutes, as Mark Healy was fouled when breaking forward. From the kickout however Kilmurry pointed a free of their own. Now however Aghada started to get on top for the 1st time on the night. With the O’Donoughue brothers prominent at full and centreback and Jordan Tynan and Danny Creedon more involved along with Marcus Leahy at midfield, Aghada now had the legs on the Kilmurry outfit. Substitute Kevin O’Hanlon kicked a fine score on 10 minutes after taking a pass from Berry. Next up another substitute Luke O’Connell broke through but saw his goal attempt saved. Danny Creedon however pointed from the resulting failure of Kilmurry to clear the lines. A minute later, tenacious tackling from Aghada forced a turnover in the form of a free and Creedon pointed again. From the kickout, good work from Jack Farmer sent Tynan off on another burst and he in turn fed Jordan Ryan who pointed smartly. It was now a one point game and Aghada were running Kilmurry ragged. Charlie Terry flicked the ball to himself 45 yards out and then bore down on goals. He shimmed past a Kilmurry defender and finished superbly low to the back of the net. 18 minutes gone and Aghada were now in front by 2. Neither team scored for the next 5 minutes and then Kilmurry fisted a point. They levelled proceedings again with a free on 25 minutes. From the kick out Aghada came again, but Hanlon kicked wide at the end of the move. However the same player won the break from the resulting kickout and made no mistake this time with his 2nd point. Next Ryan made a fine solo run and finished from distance to restore the 2 point lead on 28 minutes. From here it looked like Aghada would hold on for victory. Then came the dramatic finish with Kilmurry hitting 1-1 and Aghada were down by 2. Aghada did mount a final attack and Luke O’Connell hit a super shot at goals from distance, but agonisingly, he saw his attempt rocket off the crossbar and rebound away to safety. That was that, and Aghada were out. It was hard luck on the night after a great effort from all involved and all the players can be proud of the never say die attitude they displayed that just failed to get them over the line.
Aghada Team and scorers – Ciaran O’Shea, Aaron Butler, Jake O’Donoghue, Kyle O’Shea, Mark Healy, Tommy O’Donoghue, Shane Dorney, Marcus Leahy(0-1), Charlie Terry(1-0), Jordan Ryan (0-2), Jordan Tynan, Jack Farmer(0-1), Aaron Berry(0-1,1f), Daniel Creedon (0-4, 3f), Cian O’Driscoll. Subs Used: Luke O’Connell, Kevin O’Hanlon(0-2)