Late Foley goal gives Aghabullogue the honours

Aghabullogue 1-12, Courcey Rovers 2-8

There appeared to be no danger as the Rovers held a two-point advantage and were hurling confidently all over. But then Niall Buckley took a quick free in his own half, the ball was played across the face of the Courceys square to Foley who first timed the sliothar to the back of the net to give his side a dramatic victory.

Foley was Aghabullogue’s hero and deservedly so. He took over the freetaking duties after Denis O’Leary missed a couple, and he hit five points from placed balls which kept his side in the game at a stage when the Rovers were clearly the more dominant side and looking likely winners.

It was a very scrappy game in the opening half as both sides struggled for scores and after 15 minutes only one point had been registered, to the Coachford side.

Courceys did have a goal chance in the 10th minute but Aghabullogue keeper Donal Casey saved superbly from Niall Murphy’s penalty effort and the Rovers had to wait until the 16th minute for their opening score, and Casey will have to shoulder some of the responsibility for it.

Michael O’Donovan’s shot appeared to be going over the bar but Casey prevented it from doing so only to knock the ball down to the unmarked John Murphy who accepted the gift to shoot to the empty net.

That helped his side to a half time lead of 1-2 to 0-4.

There was a huge improvement in the standard on the changeover. In a devastating 10-minute spell, the Rovers, with Timmy Lordan a dominant figure at centreback, forged six points clear. They were helped by a second goal from Murphy and a place in the quarter-final against fellow south-east side Ballinhassig beckoned for the Ballinspittle side.

However, Aghabullogue refused to give up the chase and inspired by the brilliance of full back Richard Tarrant and centreback Niall Buckley, and the silken skills of Peter Kelleher, they hit back with a vengeance, and Finbarr Foley’s accuracy from frees had the deficit down to the minimum with seven minutes to go.

Amid tremendous excitement both on and off the field, Foley tied the game for the third time with his fifth point from a free, but Courceys found new reserves of energy, and Niall Murphy edged them in front with a point, their first score for 19 minutes and after Donal Casey denied Seamus Hayes a goal with a brilliant save, Murphy pointed a 65 and that appeared to be that.

However, there was one final twist in this contest and Finbarr Foley became the hero for the mid Cork side when he got on the end of Eddie Twomey’s cross to billow the net to give his side a win that two minutes earlier didn’t look remotely likely.

Scorers for Aghabullogue: F. Foley 1-6 (0-5 frees); D. O’Leary 0-3 (0-2 frees); P. Kelleher, D. Murphy, J. Kelleher 0-1 each.

Courcey Rovers: J. Murphy 2-2; N. Murphy 0-4 (0-2 frees, 0-1 65); Seamus Hayes 0-2.

AGHABULLOGUE: D. Casey; B. McElroy, R. Tarrant, S. Twomey; P. Murphy, N. Buckley, J. Foley; E. Twomey, P. Kelleher; D. Kiely, D. O’Leary, P. O’Rourke; D. Buckley, D. Murphy, F. Foley.

Subs: B. Kiely for O’Rourke; J. Kelleher for D. Murphy.

COURCEY ROVERS: A. Hegarty; B. Hayes, K. Moloney, G. Moloney; D. Murphy, T. Lordan, D. Hayes; L. Twomey, N. Murphy; S. Twomey, D. Twomey, S. Hayes; J. Murphy. M. O’Donovan, B. Hayes.

Sub: John Murphy for L. Twomey.

Referee: D. O’Flynn (Fr. O’Neills).

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.