AGHABULLOGUE are gearing up for their IHC quarter-final clash against fellow Muskerry side Cloughduv.
A glance at this Aghabullogue side and it’s clear there is plenty of talent and ability right throughout the team.
Cork senior footballer Paul Ring is gifted with a camán as well, while other key men include Shane Tarrant and Matthew Bradley.
Another name to keep an eye out for Aghabullogue is Luke Casey, who knows how to find the back of the net in hurling and football for his club, and also for Rockmount, when playing soccer in the Munster Senior League.
Another interesting aspect to this side is the fact that there are a few Cill Na Martra footballers who line out with the Aghabullogue intermediates in the hurling. The West Muskerry club are already through to the PIFC semi-finals as a top seed.
Among them are Cork footballers Dano Dineen, who scored 0-4 in the 2020 County IAHC final against Éire Óg, and also Tadhg Corkery.
All eyes will be on the clash with Cloughduv this Saturday at Ovens. After losing last year’s, delayed, decider in a Mid Cork derby, Aghabullogue will be fully focused. To get out of the group stages they recorded victories against Glen Rovers’ second team and Dungourney.
Now they are in the final six, Aghabullogue will be determined to remain right in contention at the business end of the competition.
“We are into a quarter-final. We were beaten in a county final just a few short months ago,” said Aghabullogue PRO Michael Dilworth when asked to assess the hurling year from Aghabullogue so far.
“The target at the start of the year was to get into the quarter finals again and out of the group really. So we are where we are and are delighted to have come out of a tough group.
“We are in a position blessed that we have probably six scoring forwards. Every team wants scoring forwards, you don’t want to be relying on one man.
“Our scores can come from any one of the six forwards, the middle of the field and we regularly have our half backs chipping in what a score here and there.
“Nobody wants to rely on one man, so we are lucky to have lads that can score from different areas of the pitch.
“I think there are six teams left in the Intermediate Championship and any one of those six teams could win the championship. You can’t write anybody off, any one of the six teams could win it.
“You are always hoping to get there. Two years ago we got to the semi-final and we were beaten by the eventual champions Blackrock.
“Last year we got to the 2020 final. You are always hoping we are quite close. But there are a lot of other teams that are very close as well. We are looking no further ahead than the game against Cloughduv.
“Hopefully we are still in the competition after the game against Cloughduv.”
Aghabullogue are a currently competing at intermediate level in both football and hurling.
The Aghabullogue footballers are also into the quarter-finals in the IFC grade, where they will face Dromtarriffe.
“If it was football this week we put everything in towards the football. If it is hurling then we put everything in towards hurling,” said Dilworth on how Aghabullogue manage to compete in both codes at a high level.
“The two sets of managers work very well. Aghabullogue is a dual club and we are delighted to be competing in both levels.
“But we won’t ever look ahead past the next game. Our next game in the hurling is a local battle, a Mid Cork battle against Cloughduv.
“They are the third ranked team in the Championship and they have topped a very difficult group.
“So we will just go out there on Saturday and we will give it everything. Hopefully it will be enough on the day.
“We are thrilled to be competing on the two fronts. We will go as far as we can in both."
After going close in the 2020 championship, losing out in the decider to Éire Óg, Aghabullogue will be fully determined to go the extra step in 2021.
Affairs between Aghabullogue and Cloughduv are always eagerly contested and this upcoming clash on Saturday should be no different.
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