Crunch fixtures ahead for Aghada GAA Club across both codes

Crunch fixtures ahead for Aghada GAA Club across both codes

The Agahda hurling management team after their opening day IHC championship win over Midleton.

THIS is a crucial few weeks for Aghada GAA Club as they bid for a place in the knockout stages of both the Intermediate A Hurling Championship and the Premier Intermediate Football competition.

Both teams face similar tasks. A win and a defeat from their two games in both codes means that two positive results are required to keep their campaigns on track.

First up it's the hurlers who take centre stage against Lisgoold in Cloyne on Saturday (2pm), followed by the footballers' trip to Enniskeans to meet Castletownbere on the following weekend. No room for error in either match, but the huge incentive that victory would propel them in the latter stages of county Championship action as they bid to keep a double dream alive.

This Saturday's encounter against Lisgoold promises to be an intriguing encounter with Lisgoold looking to preserve a long standing unbeaten record. 

Ironically, Lisgoold are coached by Aghada man Trevor O'Keefe, who kept goal for his home club when they won the County intermediate title in 2017 . 

Interestingly Agahda's team manager is former Midleton man Willie Wallis, who guided his adopted club to a narrow win over the Magpies on the opening weekend of the group games.

The state of play in Group A sees Lisgoold in pole position with three points following their win over Blackrock and an exciting draw against Midleton last day out. Aghada and Blackrock are bracketed on two points with Midleton currently on one point, but still potential qualifiers, going in what could be a day of real drama in several competitions.

Shane Forde of Na Piarsaigh pulls away from Aidan O'Connell and Kyle O'Shea of Aghada. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Shane Forde of Na Piarsaigh pulls away from Aidan O'Connell and Kyle O'Shea of Aghada. Picture: Howard Crowdy

"Quite simply this is real championship hurling," Wallis. "As for the Blackrock game last time out, we looked like we had won, then we lost - but that's the nature of hurling. 

"We still took positives from the game and are working on these ahead of the weekend. We are looking forward to a challenge that Lisgoold will provide - they are a team that are in great form."

In terms of balancing both codes in this busy period Willie made the following assessment.

"There's a bit of hurt there from Aghada's point of view as both sides have won and lost and lost a championship game and in each case we could have won the game we elost. I think there is no better lesson going into a championship game than knowing what it feels like to win and it feels like to be beaten"

Lisgoold courtesy of the convincing opening day win over Blackrock have the healthiest scoring difference, which reads at +12. A draw would be sufficient to secure group honours for them and barring a huge Blackrock win over Midleton it would also be enough to guarantee them top spot although they would be reliant on results elsewhere to go their way to secure a semi final spot.

In football Aghada manager Philip Moore will have taken plenty of belief from his team's most recent game, which saw them record a comprehensive win over Na Piarsaigh in Carrigtwohill. The result was a must as it sets up a straight shoot out against Castletownbere for a place in the knockout stages. 

Bantry who have recorded two narrow wins are in the box seat with maximum points, so much of the focus in Group B now turns to the Aghada-Castletownbere encounter on Sunday week.

"I don't think we performed in our opening loss to Bantry, so the most important thing against Na Piarsaigh was to get the performance as we know what our team is capable of producing. In championship football, you have to get into the game straight away and I think we did that against Na Piarsaigh. 

"Castletownbere are going to present a very serious challenge. We know what they are like from the last two years when we played them. 

"It's real championship football now, whoever loses out is gone, so we have to go for the win. Both the hurlers and ourselves know the situation. I think overall, we are dovetailing well and hopefully we can keep that going."

Aghada have another big football date looming on the horizon. Following their 2-12 to 0-10 win over Éire Óg in the U19 Premier 2 Championship, it's now a final showdown against St Michael's. 

A number of the players from this team are involved with both intermediate panels.

Overall, a hectic few weeks ahead for one the busiest clubs in East Cork who continued to enhance their facilities with the opening of a new walking track just recently.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more