Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship – Aghada 1-17 v Kilworth 0-28; Castlelyons 18/9/21
A scoreline that doesn’t do justice to a brave Aghada performance last Saturday in sunny Castlelyons. For three quarters of the game the win was well within grasp, but a strong final quarter for our North Cork opponents leaves us with no win from 2 games and a matchup versus Ballincollig in Pairc Ui Chaoimh in our final game to avoid getting into relegation battles.
Kilworth had the two opening points in as many minutes, but Aghada couldn’t have wished for a better opening score. Will Leahy gathered possession before off loading to Jake O’Donoghue on the burst from midfield. He in turn found Darragh Ryan who rounded the last defender before firing home an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net. It was the 10th minute before we had our opening point – Jamie O Hanlon setting up John Looney for the score. At that point Kilworth had 5 on the board and had drawn a fine save from Ciaran O Shea who had an excellent day between the posts for Aghada. A lot of the Kilworth points were coming from the middle of the field or even further out and they added two more in the 11th and 13th minutes. Now however Aghada really came into the game. Michael Russell pointed from his own half. Next good defending from Jack McDonnell resulted in Pearse winning a free at the opposite end and Will converted. Looney intercepted the resulting puck out and a smart pass to Leahy saw the Aghada centre forward level the game at 1-4 v 0-7 and 20 minutes on the clock. Another Kilworth minor from play didn’t halt the Aghada momentum. It was all Aghada for the next 5 minutes as points from Leahy and John Looney (2), pushed Aghada 2 points clear. Significantly in this same period we hit 4 wides from very scoreable positions, as we piled on the pressure on our opponents. Kilworth knew they had been left off the hook slightly and responded in some style. From the 27th minute they hit 6 unanswered points, 3 from frees and 3 from play as they wrestled control of proceedings from Aghada. Leahy had the last say of the half when he pointed a free won by O Hanlon. That left the half time score -1-8 v 0-14 in Kilworth’s favour. Aghada had 7 wides to Kilworths 2 in that half, which tells another part of the 1st half story.
It was even stephen in the opening period after the restart, with the lead never fluctuating majorly in any direction. Aghada looked dangerous when running at the defence and Looney and Pearse won converted frees in this manner. When Fleming pointed our 6th of this half, on the run after 12 minutes it was a 2 point game on a 1-14 v 0-19 scoreline. That was as good as it got for us however as from the 14th minute once again the Avondhu outfit went on another 6 point scoring burst, again 3 each from play and placed balls. Leahy had Aghada’s next two scores, both from play, but Kilworth were still finding the target at the other end. Ciaran made a fantastic save from a penalty as the clock ticked down and though the game was beyond Aghada at this point the lads kept going admirably right to the end. Mark McCarthy pointed the last score of the day on 32 minutes as Kilworth finished the day deserving winners. A break in the hurling for now as we will be back to the big ball next week when our footballers take on Catletownbere in Dunmanway, Saturday at 4pm.
Aghada Team and Scorers – Ciaran O Shea, Dan Leahy, Jack McDonnell, Tim Hartnett, Michael Russell(0-1), Mark McCarthy(0-1), Daniel Creedon, Jake O’Donoghue, Cian Fleming (0-1), Kyle O Shea, Will Leahy (0-10, 6fs), Darragh Ryan (1-1), John Looney (0-3), Pearse O Neill, Jamie O Hanlon. Subs Used Aaron Stafford, Donagh Collins, David Rice.
East Cork Junior B Hurling Championship Aghada 2-23 v Sarsfields 3-13; Midleton 18/9/21
Better luck for our second hurling team as we defeated Sars in a rainy Midleton to keep us in the hunt to qualify out of our championship group. Aghada flew out of the blocks with Oisin Counihan pointing inside the opening minute and Mathew Leahy with another only a few seconds later. The start gave the supporters a false hope of what was to come as this 1st half would turn out to be a fairly brutal affair. Simple wides mixed with a general lethargic performance would sum up the half for Aghada. That said Craig Hogan was very solid in goals, Sean Og O’Keeffe battled hard with his midfield partner and older cousin, Stephen, in midfield. While upfront Vince Rohan was involved in a couple of scores and Matt Leahy was showing signs of the outstanding second half he was to produce. Pick of the bunch in this half was Brian Morrissey who was outstanding at full back. We trailed at half time on a 7 points v 1-6 scoreline, with Sars hitting 1-1 in the last minute of the half. Aghada looked to have that bit more than the 4th string of Sarsfields, if only we could fine tune our shooting radars. The sides exchanged 2 points each on resumption, 2 Leahy frees the Aghada scores. Trigger was played outfield this week after being in goals last week. Although some maintained that he spent a lot of last week playing out the field anyway!! For the second half he came out to wing forward and from here he helped Aghada finally get some momentum in proceedings. 5 minutes in, Matt Leahy made a searing run up the middle. He off loaded to corner forward Eoin Motherway, and the young forward riffled a fine finish to the right hand side netting. Motherway pointed 2 minutes later and 2 minutes after that we nearly had an action replay of his goal, with himself and Leahy again linking up. This time Sars got in a block but the ball was recycled well to Trigger who pointed smartly. Kevin O Hanlon finally found his range and pointed off his left on 13 minutes and a fine Scott White point gave us a 1 -13 tally at the second water break. This was much much better fare and Sars were still plugging away having hit 4 points of their own in this 3rd quarter. So we were 3 points clear but crucially well in the ascendancy by now. Mathew Leahy and Kevin O Hanlon( who would hit 1-1 in the space of a minute) each went on a scoring spree after resumption. The O Keeffe veterans – Stephen and Trevor – also chipped in with more scores. Jack Norris and Ben Stafford impressed in a defence well marshalled by Jordan Tynan at centre back. Aghada were out of sight as the clock ticked into injury time, but there was still time for 3 more Leahy points, with Sean O Callaghan involved in a couple of these scores. Sars did strike for a consolation goal, but Aghada were deserving victors.
Aghada Team and Scorers – Craig Hogan, Richie Condon, Brian Morrissey, Alan Walsh, Ben Stafford, Jordan Tynan, Jack Norris, Stephen O Keeffe(0-1), Sean Og O Keeffe(0-2), Oisin Counihan (0-1), Mathew Leahy(0-11, 7fs), Kevin O Hanlon(1-4), Vince Rohan, Trevor O Keeffe(0-2), Eoin Motherway (1-1). Subs Used Stephen Daly, Scott White(0-1), Sean O Callaghan, Callum Fletcher.