Goold’s goal a real steal

MIGHTY battlers Macroom. And they needed to be in Carrigadrohid on Saturday where a last gasp David Goold goal left Aghabullogue stunned, just when some skilful, no-nonsense defending looked like earning the more renowned hurling battlers a place in the Evening Echo Cork Co IFC semi-final.

Cruel luck on the losers, maybe, but, on a miserable night for football, referee Martin Collins did the game no favours either, blowing for a staggering 65 frees overall. Both spectators and players alike were more than bemused by the Clonakilty official’s display and he certainly made a dull contest look even worse.

I’ve rarely seen poorer football than that produced in the opening half of this quarter-final clash between the near neighbours. Poor shooting, sloppy passing, a miserable night and a whistle-a-minute referee were making it a real drab affair.

Aghabullogue’s cause wasn’t helped either by the loss of wing back David O’Leary through injury after only five minute.

True Fintan Goold, Macroom’s top man, opened with a peach of a point, but that’s as good as it got, the sides level after the opening quarter at 0-2 apiece.

Pat Finnegan and John Hogan did the business for Aghabullogue from placed balls, with Goold equalising in similar fashion.

Just two more scores in the second quarter, David Moynihan restoring Aghabullogue’s lead with a free, only for Ivan Casey to level it at the break at 0-3 apiece with a point from play. It just had to improve and, thankfully, it did in the second-half.

Fintan Goold got the point of the match in the 33rd minute, after super combination work with brother David and Casey. But Aghabullogue, solid in defence, were well up for it and, with Con Lucey, Dan Buckley and Dan Twomey standing firm in defence, a point from John Kelleher – at last from play – and a couple from Declan Kiely had them 0-7 to 0-5 ahead entering the final quarter.

Time to stand up and be counted now as another free from Goold again left just the minimum between the sides in the 47th minute. How Macroom — a much more youthful look about them this year — could have done with a sharpshooter like ‘Scobie’ Twomey, especially when Aghabullogue substitute Robert O’Keeffe put his side 0-8 to 0-6 clear with another free three minutes from time.

It looked all over for Macroom, whose shooting was far from best. But their never-say-die battling qualities were then to surface, paying handsome dividends right at the death, thanks mainly to some sterling play from the Goolds, Philip Corrigan and Michael Cahill.

First Fintan Goold fired over a huge free and then, the coup de grace. After soaking all that Macroom could muster, John Goold’s long delivery bounced invitingly outside the square and the third part of the Goold equation, David, was quickest to respond for a goal that broke Aghabullogue hearts

A cruel score for Aghabullogue, but one that made Macroom boss Colman Corrigan jump higher than he ever did as a player, and his side now play either Valley Rovers or Grenagh in the semi-final.

Scorers: Macroom: F. Goold 0-5 (0-3 frees), D. Goold 1-1 (0-1 free), I. Casey 0-1. Aghabullogue: J. Hogan (0-1 free, 0-1 45) and D. Kiely (0-1 free) 0-2 each, P. Finnegan, D. Moynihan, J. Kelleher, R. O’Keeffe (free) 0-1 each.

MACROOM: B. O’Connell; R. Buckley, E. O’Mahony, P. Lynch; P. Corrigan, M. Cahill, P. Kelleher, F. Goold, K. O’Shea; C. Cronin, I. Casey, D. Goold; G. Morris, J. Ryan, J. Goold.

Subs: S. Kiely for Cronin (25m), O. Murphy for O’Shea (27), S. Casey for Ryan (40), B. O’Donnell for Kelleher (42), C. Murphy for I. Casey (55).

AGHABULLOGUE: I. O’Sullivan; D. Murphy, C. Lucey, D. Buckley; M. O’Brien, D. Twomey, D. O’Leary; N. Buckley, E. Twomey; P. Finnegan, J. Hogan, D. Moynihan; P. O’Rourke, J. Kelleher, D. Kiely.

Subs: B. Kiely for O’Leary (5m), R. O’Keeffe for O’Rourke (41).

Referee: Martin Collins (Clonakilty).

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