Watergrasshill 2-15 Aghada 0-11
AN inspirational performance from Shane Óg O’Regan ensured that Watergrasshill will be playing in the Co-op Superstores Cork PIHC in 2022 as they saw off the challenge of Aghada in this relegation playoff in Dungourney on Saturday.
In a tempestuous affair, that saw referee David Daly produce four red cards, O’Regan’s class shone through as he struck for 1-11, 1-5 off play, while he also laid on a goal for Seán Desmond that put the game to bed just after half-time.
The threat of demotion always ensures that players are on edge in games like this and that emotion spilled over just before the throw-in when a brief melee saw the Hill’s Pádraig O’Regan and Aghada’s Michael Russell see red before the ball was thrown in.
When proceedings eventually got underway, Aghada were keen to take advantage of the strong wind at their backs and early scores from Mark McCarthy, Aaron Berry and Darragh Ryan gave them the early impetus.
Three points from Óg O’Regan soon had the Watergrasshill level before two further frees from McCarthy and another from O’Regan saw Aghada leading by 0-5 to 0-4 with twelve minutes played.
Then Desmond set up O’Regan for the game’s first goal. Aghada answered the goal well with points from Cian Fleming and Jamie O’Hanlon to level the game up before yet another score from O’Regan gave his side the edge at the water break, 1-5 to 0-7.
Aghada then outscored their rivals by 0-3 to 0-2 to leave the sides level at the interval but as they turned to face the elements, their backs were against the wall.
Their problems grew on the resumption when a splendid cross-field ball from O’Regan was claimed by Desmond and when he cracked the sliotar to the net, there was an air of inevitability to proceedings. O’Regan twisted the knife with two quick points from play before Aghada were reduced to 13 men after Danny Creedon picked up his second yellow card.
They trailed by 2-9 to 0-10 at that stage, and all the Hill had to do from there was to keep the scoreboard ticking over. That they did as they outscored Aghada, who suffered another red card, by 0-6 to 0-1 down the stretch.
It all means that all’s well that ends well for Watergrasshill while Agahda will ply their trade at Intermediate A next year.