Aghada march into the quarterfinal stages of this year’s football championship after a fine win over city side Na Piarsaigh last Saturday night. In a break from the norm this game was actually decided in the 1st quarter, if not even in the 1st 10 minutes of the encounter. Aghada got off to the proverbial flyer. Cian Fleming picked up the ball in the left corner before intelligently maneuvering himself into a better shooting position and pointed inside a minute. 3 minutes later, Kevin O Hanlon let fly on a loose ball for Aghada’s second point. Aghada were defending well when they had to in this period and were about to get their full reward as we would hit 3 goals in a blistering 4 minute spell. The two Diarmuids – Byrne and Phelan were well on top at midfield, and when a long shot from Dugga dropped short, Kevin came flying in at the back post to palm home the opening goal. Next up dangerous full forward Shane Bennett was pulled down in the large square, and he duly picked himself up and buried the penalty himself. Our third goal was as good a goal as has been seen anywhere. Tim Hartnett broke up a Na Piarsaigh attack inside our own 21. He was fouled and played a quick free to Kyle O Shea on the sideline. Kyle fired a 50 yard kick pass up the line to Danny Creedon around the half way line. Creedon played a replica foot pass up the sideline to Cian Fleming rushing out from the corner. In two kicks we had gone the length of the field. At this stage Aaron Berry and Kevin O Hanlon were tearing up the middle of the pitch. A cross field kick pass from Fleming found Berry, he slipped the perfect hand pass to O Hanlon who drove straight at the goal before blasting home to the roof of the net. 3-2 to no score, the Aghada support were in dreamland. The reality is that when all was said and done the Na Piarsaigh total only matched this Aghada 10 minute scoring burst. Our opponents did open their account on 15 minutes with a pointed free. At this stage the rain started to pour down and from here to the final whistle it was a more even contest. Aghada only scored once in the second quarter – a pointed free from Creedon. Na Piarsaigh hit 3 from play in this period and the half time score was Aghada 3-3 v Na Piarsaigh 0-4
The city lads got the flyer in the second half when they opened the scoring with a goal on 3 minutes. Shane Bennett pointed from play a minute later. On 12 minutes wing forward Tim Hartnett broke up another attack deep in his own half. Some good interplay between himself, Berry and O Hanlon put Timmy on the charge which was illegally halted 30 metres from goal and Creedon easily pointed the free. Straight from the kickout Bennett won possession and pointed again to cap a great response to the Na Piarsaigh major. Worryingly Aghada dropped right off the pace from here and it was Na Piarsaigh doing all the scoring and most of the attacking. They hit 4 points and it could have been more as they hit uprights and posts in this period aswell. It was only a four point game at this stage. The Aghada defence with Jack McDonnell and Donagh Colins to the fore, stood up manfully and one final display of power and pace ended with a great point from substitute Neil Cunningham. We were in injury time by now and for once the Aghada support were comfortable knowing the win was in the bag. The final whistle went soon after and Aghada now find themselves in a quarter final against Nemo Rangers. This game is fixed for Cobh 0n Sunday the 31st of October at 2pm. Well done to all, and hopefully more to come.
Aghada Team and Scorers – Ciaran O Shea, Kyle O Shea, Jack McDonnell, Jordan Tynan, Donagh Collins, Jake O Donoghue, Aaron Stafford, Diarmuid Byrne, Diarmuid Phelan, Aaron Berry, Daniel Creedon (0-2, 2f) Tim Hartnett, Kevin O Hanlon(2-1), Shane Bennett(1-2, 1-0 peno), Cian Fleming (0-1). Subs Used Pearse O Neill, Michael Russell, Neil Cunningham(0-1), Dan Leahy.