In last season’s semi-final, Dohenys came out on top and on Saturday at Ovens they repeated the dose in the opening game of this year’s campaign.
After the teams were level on no fewer than six occasions, Dohenys came with a powerful late surge to deny Aghada turning the tables.
With a slight wind advantage on a glorious day Aghada dominated in the opening quarter but their only reward was two pointed frees from corner forward Cian Fleming. Dohenys, with far fewer opportunities, drew level with two excellent strikes from Ger McCarthy and the battle was set.
After a poor first-half, punctuated by a series of niggling frees, Aghada, with three brilliant points from play by Fleming, Stephen O’Keeffe and Trevor O’Keeffe, led 0-5 to 0-4 at the break.
The game did brighten up after the resumption with both sides finding their scoring touch and it was nip and tuck as the Dohenys came back to level on three occasion before the final quarter dawned.
Then towering midfielder Pearse O’Neill, whose high fielding was a major feature of the game, soloed through before kicking over a truly superb point to give Aghada the edge.
But Dohenys responded immediately. First, Denis Healy equalised and then in rapid succession impressive centre forward David Nyhan, full forward Donal O’Sullivan and corner forward Denis O’Mahony reeled off three unanswered points to put daylight between the teams with seven minutes remaining.
However, Aghada refused to go down tamely. It took a great foot save from goalkeeper Darragh Farr, to deny Pearse O’Neill an equalising goal in the 54th minute.
Stephen O’Neill managed to claw a point back when he converted a close-in free, but on the stroke of normal time David Nyhan sealed victory for the Dohenys with his fourth point.
Scorers for Dohenys: D. Nyhan 0-4; D. O’Sullivan 0-3; D. O’Mahony 0-2; G. McCarthy 0-2; D. Healy 0-1.
Aghada: C. Fleming 0-4 (0-2 from frees); S. O’Keeffe 0-2 (0-1 from free); T. O’Keeffe 0-2; P. O’Neill 0-1.
D. Farr; C. Collins, D. Lyons, A. Murray; T. Donovan, M. O’Donovan, P. Deane; P. Collins, M. Milner; M. Farr, D. Nyhan, D. Healy; D. O’Mahony, D. O’Sullivan, G. McCarthy. Substitute. D. O’Donovan for M. Farr.
AGHADA: E. Kennedy; K. O’Connor, B. Hennessy, B. Crowley; J. Connolly, A. Morrissey, J. O’Connor; R. Dwane, P. O’Neill; S. O’Keeffe, G. Melvin, T. O’Neill; V. Morrissey, T. O’Keeffe, C. Fleming.
Substitute. C. Hickey for Morrissey.
S. Dorgan (Nemo Rangers).