It was no more than the Coachford side deserved. In a rousing contest they missed four goal chances, hit the crossbar three times and kicked 11 wides before Finnegan’s point sealed the victory.
Better known for their hurling, Aghabullogue produced a marvellous brand of no-nonsense football, and in 17 year-old John Corkery they had the best player on the field.
Corkery tormented the Fermoy defence all night with his electrifying pace and superb ball control and finished the game with three points, all from play.
Corkery was ably assisted by centre-back Dan Twomey, midfielder Niall Buckley, and former county minor Patrick Finnegan.
Fermoy made the better start and led after four minutes with a Ronan O’Callaghan point. Earlier they were grateful to goalkeeper Ivan O’Callaghan, who saved brilliantly to deny John Corkery a goal.
Niall Buckley gave the Mid Cork side a grip at midfield and with the sides evenly matched elsewhere, scores were at a premium. At the end of the opening quarter the teams were level at 0-2 each.
As the half wore on Aghabullgue began to take control but they missed another goal chance in the 20th minute when John Hogan blazed over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.
That point gave the Mid Cork side the lead for the first time and when John Corkery tacked on two more, Aghabullogue’s superiority was confirmed.
However, in a breakaway attack, Fermoy tied the game with a Sean McCarthy goal, when he fisted Brian O’Sullivan’s cross to the net, and Tom Clancy’s point in injury-time saw the north Cork side take a 1-3 to 0-5 lead to the dressingroom.
Played improved immeasurably on the changeover and while scores continued to be scarce, there was no shortage excitement as both sides wasted chances.
Fermoy edged two points clear by the 40th minute but Aghabullogue hit back strongly and Dan Twomey’s point tied the game for the third time before the game took a dramatic turn.
After another superb run, John Corkery was upended in full flight and full-back Liam Coleman saw red for the challenge.
The crossbar denied Aghabullogue the lead score but they were not to be denied when Patrick Finnegan pointed a free in the 56th minute and the Mid Cork side hung on for a deserved victory.
Scorers – Aghabullogue: P. Finnegan (0-2 frees), J. Corkery 0-3 each; J. Hogan, D. Twomey 0-1 each.
Fermoy: S. McCarthy 1-0; R. O’Callaghan 0-2 (0-1 free); J. Hutchins (free), T. Clancy 0-1 each.
AGHABULLOGUE: J. Buckley; Jerome Corkery,M. O’Brien, F. O’Leary; F. Merrick, D. Twomey, M., Twomey; N, Buckley, B. Buckley; B. Kiely, P. Finnegan, E. Kennedy; J., Hogan, John Corkery, P. Murphy.
Subs: M. O’Sullivan for Hogan (40); D. Kiely for R. Buckley (50); P. Twomey for Merrrick 56).
FERMOY: I. O’Callaghan; P. Pratt, L. Coleman, B. Hanrahan; N. Crowley, J., O’Sullivan, A., Baragy; T. Clancy, J,. Hutchins; B. O’Sullivan, A. O’Callaghan, J. O’Callaghan; S. McCarthy, R. O’Hagan, R. O’Callaghan.
Subs: T. Gumbridge for J. O’Callaghan (40); P. Shanahan for A. O’Callaghan (40); A. O’Connor for R. O’Callaghan (53).
Referee: S. Collins (Carrigaline)