7 in a row proved elusive for the Dubs and so too for Aghada U21 footballers. Although technically our reign at this level did last 7 years alright!! But on Friday night in Glanmire the home side deservedly were victorious in the final of last year’s U21 A football championship. Glanmire lived up to their favourites billing, but Aghada short a number of regulars, not least two intermediate starters in Diarmuid Phelan and Diarmuid Byrne, will wonder what may of happened had we the full deck to pick from.
Our hosts started the better, hitting the opening 2 points before Fintan Cody got Aghada’s 1st when he pointed from play on 4 minutes. Glanmire looked far more dangerous up front and struck for their 1st goal on 7 minutes. It was like one of those freaky YouTube clips as after rattling the crossbar the ball spun the height of the uprights before reversing back down into our square and then spinning cruelly up into the top corner of the net. 3 more unanswered points followed and Glanmire opened up a 1-5 v 1 point lead. Next up a major moment when Alan Hogan made a great run, beat two defenders but saw his shot on goal well saved by the ‘keeper. From this Glanmire swept the length of the field and buried goal number 2 (albeit with the help of a lot of steps in the process). Now Aghada had the proverbial mountain to climb. 3 more Glanmire points followed with a Jamie O Hanlon free Aghada’s only response. Then on 29 minutes another Hogan run and shot for goal, but this time his effort cannoned off the upright and out to safety. A Fintan Cody pointed free brought the 1st half curtain down with Glanmire leading on a 2-7v 0-3 scoreline.
The opening quarter of the second half belonged to Aghada. With Kyle O Shea driving forward from centre back and Jack Norris and Donagh Collins shoring up the defence in the full line, Aghada dominated possession, but scores were hard to come by. Oisin Counihan who impressed on introduction, pointed as did Jamie O Hanlon from a free. Glanmire were limited to just a point in this quarter although John Manning did make a fine save also. 2-8 v 0-5 at the final waterbreak.
Although Glanmire had the next point on resumption, Aghada still continued to dominate. Eoin Motherway, Hogan and O Hanlon all pointed as we again won this final quarter but we never really threatened the goal we needed to give us any kind of a chance at a real comeback. Glanmire were undoubtedly the better the team on the night but from 1 to 19 the Aghada lads gave it everything they had for the hour plus and never showed even a hint of letting the heads drop at any stage. So Congrats to Glanmire and well done to our own lads for giving their all on the night.
Aghada Team and Scorers – John Manning, Sean Og O Keeffe, Jack Norris, Ben Stafford, Donagh Collins, Kyle O Shea, Dan Leahy, Ciaran Galligan, Donagh Rice, Max Ahern, Mark McCarthy, Jamie O Hanlon (0-3, 3f), Alan Hogan (0-1), Vince Rohan, Fintan Cody (0-2, 1f). Subs Used – Oisin Counihan (0-1), Eoin Motherway (0-1), Jack Corkery, Ben Walsh.