Aghinagh land historic first Muskerry title with Liam Twohig on fire

Centre-forward Twohig kicked 1-11 of Aghinagh's 1-12 as Ballincollig were defeated in the Mid Cork JAFC final
Aghinagh land historic first Muskerry title with Liam Twohig on fire

Aghinagh celebrate after defeating Ballincollig in the Ross Oil Cork County JAFC final at Macroom. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Aghinagh 1-12 Ballincollig 0-9 

A HISTORIC night for Aghinagh: Muskerry Junior A Football champions for the first time ever.

The Mid-Cork club overcame Ballincollig's second team in a highly entertaining final at Macroom in front of a large crowd, a game that all associated with Aghinagh GAA will remember for quite some time.

They were good value for this victory but were made to work all the way by a spirited Ballincollig side, playing their second game in four days, having beaten Canovee after extra-time and penalties.

Liam Twohig was in deadly form for Aghinagh, hitting a staggering 1-11 of their 1-12 haul, and he helped to settle his side down in the opening stages.

Man of the Match Liam Twohig. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Man of the Match Liam Twohig. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Things got even better for Aghinagh when they found the back of the net in the sixth minute. After linking up well with Gearoid O’Sullivan, Twohig blasted the ball home with clinical precision.

A Stephen Wills effort got Ballincollig up and running in the contest before Twohig responded in kind with a free for Aghinagh.

Ballincollig kept the pressure on and points from Wills and also a neat effort from Liam O’Connell, a Cork minor last year, kept them in touch.

But Aghinagh were determined and Twohig got a cracker of a point from distance, before ending the half with another score from a free.

They led 1-5 to the 0-4 at half-time but Ballincollig had a goal chance early in the second half, though Sean O’Donoghue saw his effort saved by Aghinagh keeper Jason McCarthy.

Aghinagh's Matthew McCarthy shoots as he is tackled by Ballincollig's Mattie O'Sullivan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Aghinagh's Matthew McCarthy shoots as he is tackled by Ballincollig's Mattie O'Sullivan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

It was a good opening spell to the second half from Collig, who got points through Dylan Ebili and Jordan O’Connor. Twohig kept the Aghinagh scoreboard ticking over with yet another point for his side and Ballincollig were gathering momentum as the second half progressed. 

Wills' free-taking closed the gap for the underdogs, though Aghinagh got a much-needed score through Michael Horgan.

There were just two points between the teams at the second water break and the question was if the nerves would get to Aghinagh. 

Twohig (who else) capped off a sensational showing with the final scores of the game, including a sweet score when his deft footwork created space before he split the posts.

The full time whistle was greeted with wild scenes of celebration, as the Rusheen-based club basked in the glory of their breakthrough title. 

Aghinagh captain Matthew McCarthy raises the trophy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Aghinagh captain Matthew McCarthy raises the trophy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

On Tuesday night, they take on Duhallow kingpins Boherbue in the county quarter-final, but November 2 will forever be remembered as the day history was made by Aghinagh.

Scorers for for Aghinagh: L Twohig (0-7 f) 1-11, M Horgan 0-1.

Ballincollig: S Wills (0-5 f) 0-6, D Ebili, J O’Connor, L O’Connell 0-1 each.

AGHINAGH: J McCarthy; D O’Riordan, D Barry, J Lynch; D Corkery, L O’Leary, D Ambrose; M O’Brien, G O’Sullivan; M McCarthy, L Twohig, R O’Sullivan; S Kelleher, M Horgan, TJ Buckley.

Subs: A Twomey for McCarthy (38), T Sheehan for O’Sullivan (56)(blood sub).

BALLINCOLLIG: S Hogan; P Harrington, S Buckley, C Twomey; S O’Donoghue, J O’Connor, M O’Sullivan; S Dore, C Sheehan; L O’Connell, J O’Connor, H Ahearne; F Denny, D Ebili, S Wills.

Subs: R Bourke for Sheehan (35), O Dorgan for Ebili (48), E O'Reilly for O’Connor (55), A Wills for O’Donoghue (57).

Referee: David Murnane (Macroom).

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