Aghada see off tough Rockies challenge

Aghada 0-16Blackrock 0-12

Aghada were considered to be under significant pressure coming into the game due to the absence of Pearse O’Neill, injured prior to Cork’s defeat of Kerry in the Senior football championship and four of the team’s absence due to the Euro 2012 championships.

However, a slick opening from the East Cork outfit saw them point three times without reply but a let-off, when top scorer Trevor O’Keeffe rifled the ball off the crossbar, woke Blackrock up sufficiently for them to make a game of it.

O’Keeffe, Tony Wall and John Connolly had all pointed inside the third minute before O’Keeffe’s gilt-edged goal chance.

Having to settle for a point through Wall, Aghada then conceded two points in succession, one from lively half-forward Donal Cremin and the other from Blackrock captain Brian Cashman.

Cashman ended the game with 0-9 (0-8f’s) and his imperious display from placed balls in the opening half brought Blackrock level by the 20th minute at 0-6 apiece.

Aghada took the lead through William Leahy in the next exchange but Cashman was again on hand to level up proceedings.

The game swung in Blackrock ‘s favour on the stroke of half-time when Cashman slotted over to give Blackrock the lead for the first time.

A slow start to the second-half saw neither side exert much energy, Cremin for Blackrock and O’Keeffe (2) for Aghada raising white flags to ensure parity at the 40-minute mark.

O’Keeffe was hero and villain during the second-half, guilty of some poor wides, but in the same token tipping away with scores to cancel out the negatives, Blackrock failing miserably in their attempts to curb the influence of the busy full-forward.

With the sides all square at 0-12 apiece and 52 minutes on the clock, O’Keeffe hit a purple patch and raised four white flags without reply, two from frees and two from play.

An injury time Blackrock chance, saved off the line by John Connelly, wouldn’t have changed the outcome but ensured Aghada got the result they deserved on the back of their immense effort and commitment over the course of the hour.

Scorers for Aghada: T O’Keeffe 0-11(0-6f), T Wall 0-2, J Connelly, W Leahy, G Melvin 0-1 each.

Scorers for Blackrock: B Cashman 0-9 (0-8f), D Cremin 0-2, M Drummond 0-1.

AGHADA: M Day; T O’Neill, JP O’Connor, K O’Connor; S Wall, M Russell, T Hartnett; G Melvin, C Rice; J Connelly, E Healy, E Savage; T Wall, T O’Keeffe, W Leahy.

Sub: R Kennedy for T Hartnett (47)

BLACKROCK: G Ahern; F Ryan, I Giltenan, A Hogan; A O’Driscoll, E O’Mara, S O’Brien; C Kilcoyne, M Drummond; D Cremin, B O’Sullivan, E Buckley; M O’Donoghue, J Young, B Cashman.

Subs: J Heylin for S O’Brien (5)inj, D Moran for J Young (50), C Bonus for E Buckley (52), S Murphy for C Kilcoyne (53).

Referee: N Wall (Carrigaline).

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