WITH some time to go before we see action returning, we take this opportunity to look back at some of the memorable AUL seasons that provided us with highs as well as lows.
Today, we commence with 2009-'10 campaign — a season that was so full of ups and downs, but one that was also packed with drama and excitement.
Let’s begin with the highs.
One of the highs for me that season was witnessing the manner with which Kinsale won their fifth Premier title.
For their final game, they had to travel to take on Leeside in what was to be a must-win game if they were to lift the Premier title as nothing less than a win would have done Peter Jones’ troops that night.
They achieved what they set out to do to, win their fifth Premier title, in what was an enthralling encounter that evening.
I’ll always remember the superb goal that Derek McCarthy got which turned out to be the winner for Kinsale following a 2-1 victory in the end.
He lifted himself off the ground and controlled firstly with his chest before angling his body to send a thumping effort crashing into the top corner — an easy choice for goal of the season.
That achievement was Peter Jones’ fifth title out of six — not a bad record.
Then, what about Knockavilla?
They were fighting like hell to survive in the Premiership near the end and after getting the point they needed against Glenthorn to stay up, a fairytale for them occurred when they overcame red-hot favourites Leeside to win the AOH Cup soon afterwards.
It was always going to be about blood, sweat and tears for this Knockavilla side.
And I can remember the penalty shoot-out as if it only happened yesterday.
It was 5-5 each going into sudden death, but when Leeside’s Ken Dempsey blazed over, Kevin O’Crualaoi became the hero when he slotted his penalty home for Knockavilla to seal victory in what was a memorable triumph for the club.
What an end to the season for them.
The battle for survival in the Premiership was also fascinating near the end and Coachford rejoiced after beating Wilton with a late goal in a 3-2 victory to cling on to their Premiership status for the next season.
What a season Macroom enjoyed also.
In a tough Premier A section, they came out on top as champions in the end and their 3A team also did the club proud when they finished their campaign as champions of that section.
Killumney had a great season also when they did the double by winning League 1 as well as beat Park United B to lift the County Cup in Turner’s Cross.
What a sensational ending in 2A, when a last-minute goal clinched the title for Springfield A after a 1-1 draw gave them the point they needed against Millstreet.
So, there we had some of the highs, but unfortunately, the disappointments are also there for some and
if we were to feel very sorry for anyone that season, it had to be Leeside.
After creating such a magnificent impression from the very off, they fell short in the end when they were defeated by Knockavilla in the AOH Cup final and then pipped later by Kinsale in that Premiership decider.
They did so marvellously well also in the National Cups.
I’ll always remember the FAI Junior Cup seventh round game down in Little Island when they were caught cold with an early goal from Athlone side Willow Park. After totally outplaying their opponents for the rest of the game, they, unfortunately, bowed out after falling further behind due to a rather dubious penalty decision near the end.
However, they did not finish empty-handed as they landed the Mossie Linnane League Cup after defeating Park United in the final.
What about Kanturk who led Premier A for 99% of the season, but yet, finished in third spot at the final bell.
Millstreet had to feel gutted also when you look at the circumstances that saw them lose the 2A title after a last minute equaliser secured the point for Springfield which gave them the title in the end.
In 3A, Brooklodge were red-hot favourites to win this title as they led for most of the season, but Dunbar never left them out of their sights and in the end claimed the crown after gaining a point against them in a title decider.