Sarsfields 7-18 Aghada 3-9
Sarsfields won the East Cork derby clash as they were crowned Rebel Óg U16 Premier 1 hurling champions on Saturday night, making it three titles in a row for this group of players after U14 and U15 victories.
They were simply too strong for their rivals and from start to finish never looked like losing, despite the best efforts of their opponents who must be credited for battling all the way to the end.
There were many outstanding performances for the winners with Jack Huggins in control at centre-back and their midfield duo of Sean Bracken and Darragh O’Donovan worked tirelessly all through.
Up front the likes of Harry Cogan, Zach Herlihy and Rory McCarthy were a handful for the Aghada defence but one player stood head and shoulders above all the rest.
Their corner-forward Barry O’Flynn was simply outstanding and it was the first of his goals in the third minute that laid down a marker as Sars grew in confidence from their first green flag. O’Flynn finished with 4-8 and had there been a Player of the Game award it would have been a foregone conclusion he was going to take that accolade.
His goal was one of three they scored in the first nine minutes and even though it was early in the contest it was already an uphill struggle for Aghada. Sars first three scores were all goals, with Cogan and Danny McCarthy also raising green flags. James Hurley had raised two white flags for Aghada but a second goal from O’Flynn, after 11 minutes, made it 4-0 to 0-3 at that stage.
Two minutes later and they registered their first point when O’Donovan scored from distance with Cogan adding a second. Credit to Aghada they didn’t panic and bit back with a green flag of their own when Jude Devoy scored.
They had a chance for a second green flag but Hugh Mulcahy’s effort from a penalty just went over the bar. O’Flynn and Herlihy raised white flags for Sars with the impressive Tomas Condon and Colm O’Donoghue replying for Aghada.
By half-time it was 4-5 to 1-6 and in reality, the game was over as a contest, especially as Sars were now turning to play with the strong wind.
Early points from Cogan, McCarthy, and Herlihy increased their lead and when Rory McCarthy got their fourth goal it was game over.
O’Flynn hit four points without reply before Aghada raised two green flags in two minutes. Hurley scored one from a free and from the restart they worked the ball back in for James Motherway to find the back of the net, to make it 5-13 to 3-7.
O’Flynn added another 1-2 without reply and he raised another green flag late on as Sars ran out deserving winners of a game they dominated from start to finish.
B O’Flynn 4-8, H Cogan 1-3, R McCarthy 1-1, D McCarthy 1-0, Z Herlihy 0-3 (0-2 f), D O’Donovan 0-2, D O’Flynn 0-1.
J Hurley 1-3 (1-2 f), J Devoy, J Motherway 1-0 each, T Condon, C O’Donoghue 0-2 each, H Mulcahy (pen), C Roberts 0-1 each.
J Austin; C Quirke, R Barry, B Galvin; J McMahon, J Huggins, L Hogan; S Bracken, D O’Donovan; C Austin, H Cogan, D McCarthy; B O’Flynn, R McCarthy, Z Herlihy.
F O’Connor for Z Herlihy, J Tierney for S Bracken (both 47), R Higgins for H Cogan, D O’Flynn for C Austin (both 52), P O’Brien for C Quirke (55).
J O’Donnell; R Devoy, S O’Sullivan, E Crowley; C O’Donoghue, S O’Callaghan, R Dean; D Wallace, J Hurley; J Motherway, H Mulcahy, C Roberts; J Devoy, T Condon, S O’Driscoll.
J Lenihan for C Roberty (ht), I Oosthuizen for J Motherway (47), C Bax for S O’Driscoll (52), C White for S O’Sullivan (58).
Cathal Egan, Clyda Rovers.