IT was a case of third-time lucky for Aghada who banished the ghosts of losing two previous finals to overcome Kilbree in the SE Systems Junior C championship decider at Castle Roadin idyllic weather conditions.
Kilbree/Killeen’s Mairead Crowley opened the scoring with a pointed free, but two in a row from Ali Smith and one from an Aoife Healy free had Aghada 0-3 to 0-1 in front insides 10 minutes.
Kilbree/Kilmeen stayed in touch with a c Crowley pointed free and just on the water break, it was Aghada who led by two after Roisin Keane slotted over from play.
Kilbree/ Kilmeen began to find gaps in Aghada’s defence and they were level when Crowley pointed a free. The sides swapped points with Abigail Ring and Crowley on target beforeSmith converted an Aghada free to give them a one-point lead, 0-6 to 0-5, at the break.
Kilbree/Kilmeen took control from the restart with midfielder Caoimhe Murphy setting up Aoife Dullea with an excellent delivery and Dullea made no mistake to fire Kilbree into the lead for the first time in the game.
Crowley added to their tally with a point to push Kilbree/Kilmeen two points in front. Aghada narrowed the gap with a point before the second water break.
Maeve O’Neill gave Kilbree/Kilmeen a three-point advantage on the resumption and they were boosted when keeper Heather Brimble denied Aghada with a penalty save as the game entered the final quarter.
Aghada failed to panic and showed their experience in the closing 10 minutes as they hit five points in a row.
Smith, Keane, and Healy were all to the fore as they killed of the strong Kilbree challenge and finally get their hands on the coveted Junior C Championship title after a strong test from a determined Kilbree side.
They will, no doubt, have learned so much from their first season participating at Junior C level after winning the 13-a-side title last season.
Aghada’s Aoife Healy was named as The Echo Player of the Match after turning in an excellent display for her side.
Cloughduv captured the Junior Second teams championship title after they overcame neighbours Éire Óg in an entertaining contest.
Caoimhe O’Mahony was on target with five first-half points, four from frees and one a 45, while a Caoimhe Foley goal was also crucial as Cloughduv opened up an interval lead of 1-7 to 0-2.
Foley and Katie Verling added points to an impressive first-half tally as Eire Óg had points from Ciara Beechinor and Emily Coffey in the opening half.
Eire Óg battled back in the second half with a Ciara Beechinor point and a 12th minute goal from Fiona Murphy.
Emily Coffey and Orla Beechinor added points, but Cloughduv responded well with an O’Mahony pointed free and a goal from former Cork senior Joanne O’Callaghan.
She was encouraged back from retirement for the closing stages of the championship and they did enough to secure the title thanks in the main to an excellent opening half display.