As Aghada went into the final water break, the tails were well and truly up. They just had their best period in the game and with the help of 4 unanswered points had turned a 2 point deficit into a 2 point lead. In all they hit 6 points in that third quarter and were good value for their lead. Curse that water break! Within 2 minutes of the restart, Newmarket had 6 more points on the board courtesy of two well finished goals. They were good moves that led to Ray Savages net being billowed but Aghada will be disappointed that not everyone was as tuned in as they should have been on the resumption. One was bad enough but it only gave the North Cork side a one point lead. But the second was a huge blow coming in the very next play to open up a 4 point lead in what was a low scoring game. Another minute later on 19 minutes, Newmarket kicked a fine point and in the space of 3 minutes had gone 5 clear. Still Aghada continued to play well enough from here, but rattled by the goals, probably took some wrong decisions up front especially on shot selection as they were trying to force their way back into the game. Incredibly after seeing 11 scores in the opening 19 minutes of the second half (17 really if you leave out the water break), there would only be 2 more for the rest of the game. Aaron Berry made a fine solo run on 28 minutes but was fouled as he got near the opposition goals. Cian Fleming pointed the free. It was down to 4 and Aghada were throwing the kitchen sink trying to manufacture a goal chance but the Newmarket defence was standing firm. They then kicked the last score of the match on 35 minutes when they pointed a free to deservedly win although the 5 point margin was generous.
The opening quarter was cagy to say the least. Almost 5 minutes passed before the opening score came and then Newmarket hit two points inside a minute. On 6 minutes Danny Creedon opened the Aghada account, when he pointed a free after Kevin O’Hanlon was fouled. In truth the opening quarter was Aghada’s worst period. Lots of poor ball played into the forwards, but also some ball that should have been won by the attackers, but the ball just didn’t stick on a number of occasions. If Newmarket were glad of the water pit stop in the 2nd period, than it was Aghada who were glad of it in the 1st. Trailing 4 points to 1 and not having played at all in an attacking sense, things improved significantly on resumption. Tim Hartnett attacked from wing back, played a one two with Creedon and then set up O Hanlon, who finished well on the run. A minute later the same combo as Hartnett again linked up with Creedon, this time the wing back floated a lovely ball over the bar from the right sideline. It was 4 v 3 at this point and we had a game on our hands. Newmarket got going again. They pointed a free on 26 minutes, drew a safe from Ray in the Aghada goals on 29 minutes and then pointed another placed ball on 30 minutes. Aghada had the last score of the half, when midfielder Charlie Terry pointed well after some patient build up play. 6 plays 4 at half time and Aghada would have a slight breeze for second half.
Charlie started the 2nd half where he left off in the 1st. On 2 minutes Aghada first almost created a goal chance, and then did, but Kevin’s shot was well blocked. Cha picked up the break and tapped over the point. On 7 minutes Ray Savage found Russell with a well placed kickout. He in turn found his midfield partner and this time Charlie pointed a fine score from further out on the run. Newmarket answered both these scores with excellent points from play themselves on 5 and 8 minutes. But now Aghada took over. Cian Fleming started to run hard at the Newmarket defence. Two such runs yielded 2 frees as he was pulled down going through and Creedon punished both discretions on minutes 9 and 13. From the kickout more hard work from Terry, released Pearse O’Neill on a run and he fed Creedon who pointed well from a narrow angle. That man Terry again helped create the next score. His fine shoulder in midfield caused the turnover and Aaron Berry put Russell through who fisted Aghada’s 10th point of the game. Then came that blasted waterbreak and the two majors for Newmarket that ultimately decided this contest. So we have one win and one loss in our group, and are still well in contention to qualify for the next round. We have a 2 week break until hurling v Courceys on the 28th of this month and then we will face Na Piarsaig in the last football game of this group on Saturday the 5th of the 9th in Carrigtwohill.
Aghada Team and Scorers – Ray Savage, Jake O’Donoghue, Ed Leahy, Kyle O’Shea, Tim Hartnett (0-1), Diarmuid Phelan, Aaron Stafford, Michael Russell (0-1), Charlie Terry (0-3), Aaron Berry, Pearse O’Neill, Cian Fleming(0-1f), Kevin O’Hanlon(0-1), John Looney, Daniel Creedon(0-4, 3f). Subs Used – Ronnie Power, Shane Bennett, Shane Dorney, Jamie O’Hanlon.