Aghabullogue 3-11 Buttevant 2-11
MUSKERRY outfit Aghabullogue are through to the final of the Cork County U21 B Football Championship as they defeated Buttevant in a thrilling encounter in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday afternoon.
A superb second-half display — inspired by the clinical David Thompson — was enough to see Aghabullogue reach the showpiece occasion where they will meet Newcestown.
And they grabbed the first score of the game here inside the first minute as full-forward David Thompson fired over the bar from long range.
Buttevant quickly levelled the scores thanks to Mark Lenahan and his older brother Kevin soon followed his lead as he raised a couple of white flags — one from a free and one from play — to put their club 0-3 to 0-1 ahead by the 10th minute.
And the North County Cork club extended their advantage even further moments later as they grabbed the first goal through Mark Lenahan.
The half-forward collected Denis O’Sullivan’s clever hand pass before drilling the ball into the back of the net, giving the ’keeper absolutely no chance.
Aghabullogue responded perfectly to that set back as they charged up towards the other end of the field and Pádraig O’Sullivan fired a stunning shot into the roof of the net to put them right back in the contest.
The North West Cork team now had the momentum and they notched three points without reply through David Thompson, Tadhg Bradley and Niall Barry Murphy to see them edge in front by the midway juncture in the first period, 1-4 to 1-3.
They scored their second goal of the afternoon with 19 minutes on the clock and it came from the penalty spot after Tadgh Bradley was fouled inside the square. David Thompson took responsibility for the kick and planted the ball into the bottom left corner to put them ahead by four points.
Buttevant hit back with a couple of frees from the accurate Kevin Lenahan before Neil Barry Murphy kicked over the blackspot to keep Aghabullogue in the lead by a goal.
But the black and ambers finished the first period strongly as they equalised when Marcus O’Connell punched Diarmuid Doody’s 45 home before they added another brace of points to make it 2-7 to 2-5 at the break.
They tallied two more points at the start of the second half but Aghabullogue regained their composure and regained a grip on proceedings.
Led by David Thompson’s deadly frees, they tucked over six points without reply before substitute Keelan O’Sullivan blasted in what proved to be the winning goal.
Buttevant battled until the end but despite points from Denis O’Sullivan and Kevin Lenahan late on, Aghabullogue hung on to the victory.
Scorers for Aghabullogue: D Thompson 1-7 (0-5 f, 1-0 pen), P O’Sullivan and K O’Sullivan 1-0 each, N Barry Murphy 0-2, S O’Connell and T Bradley 0-1 each.
Buttevant: K Lenahan 0-8 (0-6 f), M Lenahan 1-2, M O’Connell 1-0, D O’Sullivan 0-1.
AGHABULLOGUE: D Lane; K Barry Murphy, C Smith, T Long; P Dilworth, P Ring, J Murphy; S Tarrant, S O’Connell; J Oldham, N Barry Murphy, P O’Sullivan; A Healy, D Thompson, T Bradley.
Subs: K O’Sullivan for J Oldham (36), C Dineen for A Healy (50).
BUTTEVANT: D Doody; N O’Riordan, J Riordan, C Cremin; G Carey, M Walsh, B Flynn; K Lenahan, N Crowley; M Lenahan, J O’Neill, S O’Callaghan; D O’Sullivan, J Copps, M O’Connell.
Sub: J O’Brien for C Cremin (26).
Referee: Alan O’Connor (Ballygarvan).