Our Junior C's continued preparation for championship with the final game of our league campaign on Monday night last with a great win against Cobh’s 2nd string. Knowing they needed to win by 10 points to qualify for a league final, it was heartbreak in the end but plenty of room for optimism after a marvellous effort throughout the 60 minutes. It looked likely with 10 minutes to go that the necessary margin would be reached after an excellent goal by Luke (assisted superbly by the returning Jordan Ryan) but with 3 minutes to go, Cobh rattled the net with an unstoppable finish to leave us chasing the game once again.
Aghada started brightly against a strong Cobh outfit with 2 magnificent points by Luke O’Connell with some good patient build up by Oisin Counihan and Steve Daly. Cobh then started to get their hands on the ball and mounted several attacks, all of which were repelled by some super defending by Mike Gilroy in particular who was marshalling a tight defence ably assisted by Jack Norris and Shay Keane. Before the water break Aghada then counter-attacked through quick restarts by John Manning to Sean Og O’ Keeffe and Sean Byrne in particular to set up 2 goals from Neil Cunningham and Alan Hogan after both knifed through the defence of Cobh. The remainder of the 2nd half Cobh continued to attack and pick off some points under pressure but with Rob Stafford and Ciaran Galligan imposing themselves physically around midfield, these chances were few and far between as Aghada were able to build some good attacks through Ben Stafford and Mike Gilroy resulting in points from Jordan Ryan and Hogan again. HT Aghada 2-06 Cobh 0-04
The 2nd half started positively for Aghada with a point from Neil and when Luke poached a goal after a good team move, it left us 10 ahead and within touching distance of the result we needed. Cobh, however, came into the game strongly then and when a high ball came into the square it ended up with a black card and a penalty goal which put Aghada on the back foot. 2 more points followed for Cobh to leave the result in doubt as the momentum had shifted but credit to Aghada, once again rallied with another goal by Luke after super work by Jordan Ryan and Rob Stafford. Rob Whelan was now full forward and was causing havoc in the Cobh defence and another point left the margin at 11 with 5 to go. Unfortunately the unlikely 10 point winning margin could not be reached as when Cobh got the all important goal it forced Aghada to chase the result once more. With this in mind, there was time for 1 more attack and when Alan Hogan took off on a 50 metre run in the last minute, his rasping shot was saved superbly on the line and the final whistle blew to conclude a magnificent effort from the whole Aghada team.
Full Time Aghada 4-09 Cobh 2-07
Aghada Team and Scorers - John Manning. Shay Keane. Ben Stafford. Alan Walsh. Sean Byrne. Jack Norris. Sean Og O’Keeffe. Ciaran Galligan. Rob Stafford. Oisin Counihan. Luke O’Connell (2-05). Stevie Daly. Alan Hogan(1-02). Neil Cunningham(1-01). Mike Gilroy.
Subs Jordan Ryan(0-01). Rob Whelan. Callum Fletcher