Aghada GAA Juvenile News
Hi folks what an amazing week for Aghada juvenile club as we commenced our U10 parish league competitions and the boys who played in those competitions only five and six years ago were winning a premier 1 hurling final, great credit to all who have helped in their development, the commitment, workrate, skill and never say die attitude brought them to glory on what will surely rank as one of the juvenile clubs greatest achievements to date. Also, in a memorable week the second U15 team and U12 hurlers qualified for finals as we look to the future with confidence. Many thanks to our over worked secretary Mark White and our excellent joint role CPO Anthony Oosthuizen who helped with info for this weeks publication.
Slip sliding away U15 football Youghal 4-4 Aghada 0-5. On a wet and miserable Sunday morning our U15 Div 1 football team made the trek to Youghal. The conditions had a big impact on the game, with the normal fluid passing game this side play disrupted by lost footings and dropped balls. The Aghada defence, led by Hugh and Seán Santos, were under pressure throughout, but coped well with the Youghal onslaught. Playing the ball to the forwards was the challenge in this game, with Youghal’s centre and full backs showing that as well as being big and strong, they had speed and skill also. Aghada struggled with forward play, and the big Youghal defenders dropped a constant barrage onto the Aghada midfield and back lines. Not the best day out for these players. Management were, as always with these lads, happy with the effort and application, but this was definitely one to put down as learning experience. Much to work on in training, and Chief Coach Declan has hinted at some tactical and positional changes to bring these lads back to their best.
U15 premier 1 Hurling shield final Inniscarra 1-18 Aghada 4-11 This team will not be forgotten in what history will most likely deem the Covid years of 2020 & 2021. Dogged resilience brought them an U14 Premier 2 title by the smallest of margins in ‘20 and that never say die attitude has brought them reward in ‘21 playing at the highest level of hurling in the county. It may have been a shield final but boy did the vocal support on the bank in Ballyanly the scene of the clubs first junior football final win in 1989 make it feel like an All Ireland!
The sun shone brightly on a clear crisp morning in Muskerry where the lads were greeted by hordes of young Camáns playing blitzs in the vast Inniscarra complex. Coming into the game, Inniscarra had dispatched Feile champions Midleton in a hard fought game in tough conditions while our boys got the better of a dogged St. Finbarr’s side in the sunshine.
Made to wait for pitch space while the home side got their spot first, the Aghada boys followed their leader Fergal “Rasper” Condon onto the turf in determined and jovial mood. The warm ups were completed under the guidance of the wise and wonderful wider management team and captain David Wallace made his way for the toss. Whatever the outcome, Aghada played down the hill from the throw in, which must be a 1st for most of these lads!
Lining out in a more or less settled formation, the lads took a while to settle which in no small part was down to the tenacious harrying and tackling from the home side. Indeed the first 2 points came from them with a little too much space being afforded by the visitors. It was helter skelter stuff with not one player holding back with the referee seemingly happy to let the game off. Hugh pointed a 70m free from the centre of the pitch to get us on the board on 8 minutes. With Jude and Samuel creating space on the half forward line, Callum was beginning to make a nuisance of himself with his physicality and fearlessness. A superb score when he cut the ball over from the most of 30m when the ball failed to rise a couple of times. we looked to be getting a foothold now and winning 2nd balls which saw Samuel through on goal only for a good save which was cleared out to the corner flag. Isaac won the foot race and unselfishly clipped the ball to Jude just to the right of the goal on the 20 for a tidy finish.
To this point it was clear to see we were not dominant around the middle third of the pitch and the ball found its way time and again into the home forwards who got the next 2 points to bring them to the 1st water break leading by the narrowest of margins. They you imagine were the happier, though the visitors seemed unworried to be trailing by 1 as they hadn’t played yet.
The hill wasn’t an issue for Inniscarra as they tore into our lads on the restart and it seems that they had acres of space at times and popped over 2 good points.Then Aghada Hearts fluttered a little as some good interplay saw Isaac getting the ball from Tomás and was through on goal. Just as he sized up the shot the ball was fumbled and then cleared for a 65 which was superbly converted by Hugh, playing at half back today. From the puck out, Inniscarra got an easy point and then the clinical and efficient full forward caught a high ball, slipped his man and finished past James with no chance in goal. The proverbial six point turnaround in a minute. The momentum was with the home side now and we were really struggling to win our own puck outs, breaking ball seemed to be coming easily and, getting in on goal where James made a super save only for the ball to be recycled and popped over. Quickly followed by 2 points, we were really finding it hard to make our way down the pitch. Hugh stepped up on 29mins to drive another 70m free over and then came the break we were hoping for. Evan thundered out with the ball, knocking 2 men out of his way, delivered to Tomás who found Isaac off to his right. This time he made no mistake and rifled the ball into the bottom left corner from the 20 for our opening goal. The short whistle arrived soon after to bring a temporary halt to a rip roaring affair. HT: Aghada 1-5 Inniscarra 1-10.
Strong words were shared and that was just on the bank as the lads took on water and sustenance provided by Margaret and Bridget. The calmness was ended on the resumption as the game restarted with both sides trading pointed frees before James Hurley drilled over a lovely score after great workrate in midfield. Jack L came on for the hard working Callum. The middle third was an issue in the 1st half but the lads were making headway there now with James H and Colm O’D getting on ball and ending with Samuel finishing over the bar after making space from a ball broken down off their puck out.
James Motherway made no mistake from 60m after a poor foul on Colm as the home side started to loose a little of the good tenacity they showed in the 1st half. Pressure was coming on by the Aghada lads to be fair.
The home side chalked up the next 3 points though, as they didn’t lie down. A little controversy for the middle score as the home side claimed it had dropped under the bar but thankfully there were 2 umpires in position and common sense prevailed with the referee asserting his decision much to the annoyance of the home support.
Conor B came on for the absolutely emptied captain David W and settled into the game making some good clearances and interventions along with the teak tough Ronan D. Colm O’D pushed up the field and it paid dividends on 15mins with a great finish following a massive battle for the ball 14m out. Again the home side raised it getting the next 3 scores though the lads will be disappointed with a couple as it was the first touch or maybe not getting the ball in hand faster that created the chances. A free, 1 from play and a 65 after yet another timely intervention from James O’D in goal who was in defiant mood. The home side leading by 5 again at the 2nd water break, as it was at half time.
A glorious roar of determination rang around the pitch from both sides as the final quarter began. Samuel got a typical score when he gathered twisted and turned to make room for the shot on the 40m mark. The workrate of James M, Jude, Samuel, Isaac and Tomás meant the ball wasn’t getting down the pitch as easily now. The lads were also really getting to grips around the middle third and with plenty of ball going up the left wing, Isaac controlled a super clearance from Jack L, burned his man over 20m and hand passed to Tomás who finished well after initially being blocked. 3-10 1-17 with 8 mins to go. The home side got the next score and then moved a man back to cover the pace of Tomás and Isaac and they cleared ball after ball as we took time to work it out. All the while the warrior that is Seán Santos O’S was keeping the odd Inniscarra attack at bay with some mind boggling blocks and exhilarating clearances. James O’D was calmness personified in the face of relentless pressure. Evan and Conor B along with Jack L, Hugh and the magnificent Robert D at centre back were now on top. Isaac was through again and unfortunately fumbled under pressure, we then had a couple of wides and it looked like it wasn’t to be as the lads hammered away trying to get the scores that mattered. The home side were resilient, doing what needed to be done and then gave away a free 24m out inside the D. They lined the goal, the referee said only 5, their umpire waked out to the point of the free and had a word and the next thing there were 8 Inniscarra men on the line. They say that from little acorns great oaks grow. Well, we have our mighty oak in this Aghada team, green blooded to the core with roots in Limerick and Ballymacoda, resilient and strong even on a day when things didn’t happen for him as he would like in general play. Hugh’s piledriver arrowed towards the underside of the crossbar, striking a defender’s stick and finishing in the top right corner. Agonising for the home side but exhilaration on the green sideline with jumps of joy all round, none more so than serial offender Jim M who followed up last year’s effort with even more passion. The puck out was won in midfield and a free was awarded which James M, unerring all day from the placed ball, stepped up to finish calmly from the left on 30m for the final score of the day 4-11 1-18. The long whistle arrived to equal scenes of jubilation and devastation on the puck out. David gave a speech worthy of captain fantastic and the cup was hoisted high with his exuberant teammates. 30 lads togged out and everyone of them as happy as the next. Club president Johnty joined the lads for a chorus of “Aghada you are everything I’ve ever had”, pitch side for a fitting end to the day. After the customary spin around the parish, the lads retired to Rostellan for well earned sustenance and settled on the pitch with a hum of happiness drifting on the breeze to the parents watching on proudly in the place we are so lucky to call home. AthFhdaAbú Team James O’ Donnell, Ronan Devoy, Seán Santos O’ Sullivan, Evan Crowley, Hugh Mulcahy, Robert Dean, David Wallace, James Hurley, Colm O’ Donoghue, Jude Devoy, Callum Roberts, Samuel O’ Driscoll, Issac Oosthuizen, Tomás Condon, James Motherway subs used Conor Bakx, Jack Linehan.
U15 c3 Hurling semi-final Donoughmore 1-8 Aghada 3-15 For the second morning in a row our dedicated band of Players, Parents, Mentors and Supporters made a long trek, this time to Donoughmore to take on the home side in the semi-final and they were not to be disappointed as our lads put in another terrific performance to power their way into the final and a potential meeting with either Courcey Rovers or Ballinora who contest the other side of the draw. In a close first quarter we rattled off 5 points the pick from corner forward Nathanael O’ Driscoll as the home side drew parity with a goal on the stroke of the whistle for the first water break. We came out all guns blazing with our talisman Isaac Oosthuizen striking for 2 green flags and Isaac, Andrew Murphy and Jude Devoy pointing to put us in a commanding 1-3 to 2-12 half-time position, with Seán O’ Brien, Conor Bakx, Rodger McGrath and Colm White impressing. There was no let up from our boys in the second half all our substitutions paid dividends with Pierce Noonan scrambling home goal number 3 and more good work from Isaac and Jack Linehan had us in the ascendancy and dreaming of more final glory. Congratulations to players and management who are certainly delivering in spades this year. Team & scorers James O’ Donnell, Colm White, Evan Crowley, Cillian Falvey, Rodger McGrath, Colm O’ Donoghue, Seán O’ Brien, Jack Linehan 0-2, Conor Bakx, Andrew Murphy 0-1, Jude Devoy 0-5, Seán Corkery, Cormac Walsh, Isaac Oosthuizen 2-6, Nathanael O’ Driscoll 0-1. subs used Emmet O’ Keeffe, Pierce Noonan 1-0, Joe Connolly.
They say a good start is half the battle and that was certainly the case as our U12 hurlers produced a blistering first quarter to put Mayfield to the sword in the shield semi-final at a sundrenched Rostellan on Sunday morning. The opening exchanges were tense as both teams battled for supremacy, Robbie Oosthuizen converting a free after being fouled himself as Mayfield responded also from a dead ball situation, before our boys burst into life midfielder Donncha Walsh found corner forward Dara O’ Brien and he made no mistake crashing home a brilliant ground stroke. Soon after full forward Shay Rooney with a fine piece of high fielding billowed the net from close range and this was followed by a super Cathal Lowney point as the momentum was well and truly with the boys in Green. The icing on the cake in what was a really impressive spell of clinical hurling came when Kaylan Cunningham hit a rocket to the net to make the score 3-2 to 0-1 in our favour at the first water break. The second quarter was evenly contested with mighty battles all over the pitch, Eoin O’ Donoghue and Cormac Cashman solid in the corner back positions as they flanked the rock steady full back lynchpin Rossa White, outside them the majestic Finbar Alcock and Matthew Condon hurled supremely as centre back Jake Morrissey was his usual commanding self and with the midfield duo of Donncha Walsh and Eoghan O’ Shea dropping deep to help out at times, scores were at a premium just one point for either side, that suited us just fine, our score coming from a tremendous Robbie effort to leave the half time score 3-3 to 0-2. Mayfield to their credit took the game to us in the second half and fired over a few nice scores although we were not overly worried as composed goalkeeper Rian O’ Brien Higgins was keeping cool under pressure of course we wouldn’t make life easy for ourselves and late drama ensued to test the nerves of our large and vocal supporters, as Mayfield hit us with 2 quickfire goals to put 2 points between the teams, and in a hectic finish the wizardry of David Murphy came to the fore with two powerful runs being unjustly halted as Robbie dually obliged to send both frees over the crossbar and send us into the final 3-5 to 2-5. Team & scorers R O’ Brien Higgins, E O’ Donoghue, R White, C Cashman, F Alcock, J Morrissey, M Condon, D Walsh, E O’ Shea, C Lowney 0-1, R Oosthuizen 0-4 0-3f K Cunningham 1-0, D Murphy, S Rooney 1-0, D O’ Brien 1-0. subs used John Dorney, Dylan Kearns
Hannah Looney put in a tremendous midfield performance in the All Ireland camogie final last weekend, excelling in both defence and attack, scoring 2 quality points and in this scribes eyes was surely in line for player of the match if Cork could have managed to get over the line. I know its only a consolidation but Hannah will surely add another all star to her list of achievements after another wonderful year on the national stage.
More dates for your diary as our U10 parish leagues continue over the next few weekends with football on at 5.45 on Fridays and hurling Sunday mornings at 11.30 while also our famous club Willie Ryan U12 hurling competition takes place next Saturday morning at 10am in what will be the 40th running of the successful competition and 40 years since he passed away on February 19th 1981 so why not head down to Rostellan and enjoy the exploits of our younger generation.
The Go Games were once again in overdrive our U11 footballers were at a Blitz in Ballynoe and were in top form in all 3 Games with impressive displays our U10f were in Ovens at the fine Eire Óg Complex, our U9f in Castlemartyr, our U8f in Youghal and our U7f at home to KiIlleagh, Fr O’ Neills and Kiltha Óg in another blitz expertly organised by our own John Connolly and a big thankyou to all involved in making these such enjoyable occasions for all concerned.
FIXTURES: Fri 24th Rebel Óg East U13 Div 1 Football League playoff Aghada V Youghal 19:30 Rostellan Sat 25th Rebel Óg East U17 Div2 Football Championship Playoff
Slán go fóill BE SEEN WEAR THE GREEN