Aghada 2-13 Cloyne 0-14
A FIERCE duel for supremacy in this all East Cork, Cork County PIHC opener at Castlemartyr yesterday ended with Aghada deservedly securing the bragging rights between the close neighbours.
The hurling at times might have been scrappy but that should not detract from the passion that was evident where both sides were concerned in their quest for the victory.
Numerous yellow cards were dished out, a Cloyne player received a red just before the conclusion but this was not what you’d term a dirty game.
Cloyne went in as the fancied side on the basis that Aghada were missing some key forwards because of injury, Will Leahy and John Looney, in particular, but that drove them on all that bit more.
The sides were deadlocked on a number of occasions, Cloyne missed too many scorable frees in the opening half while both goalkeepers, Trevor O’Keeffe and Donal Og Cusack were called on to make some terrific saves.
In the final analysis, the resilience of Aghada, particularly in defence in the closing stages, something that has been a characteristic of all Aghada teams down the years manifested itself again.
Cian Fleming was their scoring hero, firing home their brace of goals which made all the difference in the end.
Michael Russell converted some big points from the placed ball, Tim Hartnett got a couple too in what was a huge team effort for the most part.
The opening half was too much of a stop-start affair with the sides level five times. It was 1-5 for Aghada to 0-8 for Cloyne at the break, Fleming securing the Aghada goal in the 28th minute after good work by Pearse O’Neill.
Mark McCarthy secured a few of their points too with Dillon Cahill, Keith Dennehy and Paudie O’Sullivan on the mark for Cloyne.
Dennehy pointed for Cloyne again when they resumed as did O’Sullivan but Aghada were in for a second goal after 38 minutes when Fleming did the business again after being set up by sub Kaelin O’Donoghue.
However, Cloyne responded with points from Paudie O’Sullivan and Michael Cahill.
Then arrived an important spell for Aghada, four unanswered points from Aaron Berry, Hartnett with a brace and Russell. Two more from Russell had them four clear entering the closing minutes before Cloyne had a penalty awarded after Brian O’Shea was fouled.
However, O’Shea’s effort went over the bar and Dillon Cahill then got his marching orders for an off the ball incident.
Cian Fleming and Daniel Creedon added to the Aghada tally and their defence cleared two Cloyne 65s as the game ended in the 67th minute.
Aghada celebrated wildly at the end of a passionate contest and who could blame them. This was a victory of great significance for them.
Scorers for Aghada: C Fleming 2-1, M Russell 0-5 (0-4 f, 0-1 65) M McCarthy,T Hartnett 0-2 apiece, A Berry, D Creedon K O’Hanlon 0-1 each.
Cloyne: P O’Sullivan 0-4 (0-2 f, 0-1 65), K Dennehy 0-3, D Cahill 0-2, M Cahill 0-2, B O’Shea 0-2 (0-1 pen), pen C Motherway 0-1.
AGHADA: T O’Keeffe, J O’Donoghue, D Rice, A O’Connell. J McDonald, S Wall, M McCarthy, T Hartnett, M Russell, A Berry, D Credon, A Stafford, K O’Hanlon, P O’Neill, C Fleming.
Subs: K O’Donoghue for Stafford (23), J Tynan for Rice (50), R Kennedy for Berry (60).
CLOYNE: D Óg Cusack, J Sherlock, E Motherway, D Jermyn, B Minihane, P O’Sullivan, B O’Shea, C Motherway, C Smith, B Walsh, D O’Sullivan, D Cahill, M Cahill, C O’Sullivan, K Dennehy.
Subs: C Mullins for Walsh (h-t), I Cahill for Motherway (50), J Hallihan for D O’Sullivan inj (56).
Referee: G Scully (Killeagh).