Junior A football championship Rd Robin – Aghada 0-8 v Cobh 1-11; Ballinacurra 4/7/21
Our newly promoted Junior A footballers got their 2021 championship season underway when they faced Cobh in Ballinacurra on Sunday last. Aghada weren’t helped with a number of player pull outs on the day of the match and ultimately came up short against a good Cobh outfit. Despite a 6 point difference on the scoreboard, it would only have needed a few small things to have gone more in our favour to have left us in with a shout of winning. Cobh started with the wind at their backs, but the 1st quarter was a bit of a non event with the sides level at 2 points apiece at the water break. Cobh slightly on top, but Aghada defending in numbers, and defending well. Cobh found their shooting boots during the water break and hit a rich vein of form in front of goals from here to the interval. They hit 7 points in a devastating 10 minute spell with Aghada only having one shot at goal in this second quarter and that went wide from a free. So 9 v 2 at half time and Aghada needed to start well to have any chance. The opposite happened however with Cobh striking a fine goal just after the restart. The score will disappoint Aghada however, as it came from our own line ball on our ’45 where we needlessly gave away possession. All credit though there was no sign of anyone giving up the ghost and Aghada rallied after this setback. The two wing forwards started to move the Aghada scoreboard. Max Ahern hit a point while Scott Whyte who impressed when introduced, hit two beauties – one from play and one ’45. Corner forward Eoin Motherway also scored a nice point from play and it was all Aghada now. In fact apart from the goal, it would be injury time before Cobh scored again. When Alan Hogan pointed on 30 minutes the lead was just 4 points. Cobh did get the next score to push on for victory. Aghada then had a certain goal chance pulled back, when with Eoin Motherway straight through on goals the play was called back for an earlier free for Aghada. With that went our last chance of completing an unlikely comeback and Cobh had the last score of the day in the 7th minute of injury time to earn a deserved victory. Aghada had good performances also from Jack Norris, Jack Colbert and Aiden O’Connell. Lisgoold and Dungourney are the other 2 teams in this group, so 2 wins maybe needed to progress from here.
Aghada Team and scorers – Ciaran O Shea, Ben Stafford, Jack Norris, Jack Colbert, Donagh Collins, Mark Healy, Conall Rooney, Diarmuid Byrne, Aiden O Connell, Max Ahern (0-1, 1f), Cein O Driscoll, Alan Hogan (0-1), Eoin Motherway (0-1), Luke O’Connell, Jamie O’Hanlon (0-3, 2f). Subs Used Stephen Murphy, Scott Whyte (0-2, 1 ’45)
Junior C football Championship – Aghada 2-13 v Ballinacurra 4-8; Shanagarry 4/7/21
A few hours after our Junior A game our 3rd adult football team kicked of their championship year. Again we came up short, this time by the narrowest of margins and this time Aghada will feel like they left this one behind them in a big way. In fact in less than a minute Aghada opened the scoring and took the lead with an excellent Vince Rohan point, and it would be one minute into injury time of the second half before Ballinacurra would ever lead in this contest after they scored their 4th goal. In between on a couple of occasions Aghada built commanding leads. With 22 minutes gone Aghada led 1-5 v 0-2. Mattie O Connor was doing most of the Aghada scoring and also had a big hand in the Aghada’s 1st goal. A super kick pass from Rob Whelan and a dummy from O’Connor saw him racing in on goal. The Ballinacurra ‘keeper made a good save however but young Ben Walsh reacted quickest and bravest to the rebound and brilliantly finished to the roof of the net. However that sparked a switch off from Aghada and a resurgence from our neighbours as they rattled off 3 points without reply to leave it 1-5 v 0-5 at the short whistle.
The 10 minutes after the restart would see Aghada build another commanding lead. Oisin Counihan was very much to the fore and kicked two excellent points in this period. The young forward also had the assist for Aghada’s second goal when his perfectly timed pass released wing back Shay Keane. Shay who was one of Aghada’s top performers buried a great strike to the corner of the net and Aghada now led 2-8 to 6 points. Aghada had lost David Rice from full back at half time through injury and now the loss of one of Aghada’s best defenders started to be felt. Ballinacurra started to run at the heart of the Aghada defense and earned and scored 2 penalties in the space of 3 minutes. Another Mattie O Connor point split these scores and Aghada still led by 3. The sides next exchanged points, Keane adding to his tally with Aghada’s point. But next Ballinacurra struck for their 3rd goal to level up proceedings. The game was up for grabs now and Aghada rallied with player manager O Connor once again leading by example with 2 fine points from play. Ballinacurra had one from play of their own as the clock ticked into injury time. Then came their 4th goal and suddenly they were two points up with time running out. Aghada came again in search of the score or scores they needed but an O Connor pointed free after he was scythed down going through on goals was as much as we could muster and Ballinacurra held on for the victory. Aghada also had strong performances from Richie Condon and Dan Leahy. We will now need to defeat Lisgoolds second team to be in with a chance of advancing to the next stage.
Aghada Team and scorers – John Manning, Richie Condon, David Rice, Alan Walsh, Shay Keane(1-1), Dan Leahy, Sean Og O Keeffe, Sean Byrne, Rob Stafford, Stephen Daly, Oisin Counihan(0-2), Vince Rohan (0-1), Mattie O Connor(0-9,4f), Rob Whelan, Ben Walsh(1-0). Subs Used – Lar Collins, Darragh Ryan, Sean O Callaghan, Callum Fletcher