Gritty Watergrasshill easily retain top status

Watergrasshill 1-21 Aghabullogue 0-12

At half-time Watergrasshill led 0-9 to 0-8 but they subsequently outscored Aghabullogue 0-12 to 0-4 in the second half.

Aghabullogue’s ill-discipline was punished severely by the accuracy of midfielder Paddy O’Regan who scored 0-7 of his 0-10 from placed balls after the interval.

Furthermore, Watergrasshill struck seven unanswered points from the 50th minute onwards after Donal Twomey had fired over Aghabullogue’s only score from play in the second half in the 49th minute which had brought the victors’ lead down to two (0-14 to 0-12).

Sean O’Callaghan opened the scoring for Watergrasshill but John Corkey, an effective wing-forward for Aghabullogue in the first-half, levelled before Mark O’Flynn pointed his first of six placed balls to edge Tom Tarrant’s team ahead.

Full-forward Paudie Cahill responded and then O’Regan added a free for Watergrasshill but an excellent score from Corkery had the game at 0-3 apiece on 12 minutes.

Eoin Barry and O’Regan gave Watergrasshill a two-point cushion however a brace of O’Flynn points including one from play and another by Corkery had Aghabullogue 0-6 to 0-5 in front on 24.

An incisive attack and stinging goal attempt by Corkery forced Aidan Foley into a fine save a minute later and within seconds Watergrasshill were level again courtesy of Barry.

O’Flynn and Cahill exchanged scores, as didO’Regan and John Buckley but O’Callaghan’s second score had Watergrasshill a point ahead at the break.

And their momentum was sustained with O’Regan (free) and subsequently John Halbert extending their advantage to three points (0-11 to 0-8) on 32.

O’Flynn kept his side in touch, converting two frees either side of a Watergrasshill goal opportunity engineered by Cahill but missed by James McCarthy.

O’Regan and O’Flynn exchanged frees which had Watergrasshill 0-12 to 0-11 ahead on 41.

However, Twomey’s aforementioned point was all Aghabullogue managed to generate on the scoreboard afterwards as Watergrasshill pushed on.

O’Regan added 0-6 from placed balls while Barry and Halbert (1-2) also contributed to Watergrasshill pulling clear.

Scorers for Watergrasshill: P O’Regan 0-10 (0-9 f, 0-1 65), E Barry, J Halbert 1-3 each, S O’Callaghan, P Cahill 0-2 each, S O’Regan 0-1.

Scorers for Aghabullogue: M O’Flynn 0-7 (0-6 f), John Corkery 0-3, J Buckley, D Twomey 0-1 each.

WATERGRASSHILL: A Foley; P Cronin, K Coakley, W O’Leary; D McCarthy, J Foley, E O’Reilly (capt); P O’Regan, W Connolly; S O’Callaghan, E Barry, J Halbert; S O’Regan, P Cahill, J McCarthy.

Subs: A Cronin for J McCarthy (45), G Hogan for Barry (62).

AGHABULLOGUE: D O’Leary; Jerome Corkery, J Foley, D Murphy; A Hogan, N Buckley, A O’Sullivan; J Buckley, P Twomey; John Corkery, P Murphy, M O’Flynn; D Twomey, G Murphy, F Foley.

Subs: E Kennedy for O’Sullivan (30), M Dennehy for J Foley (36), P O’Rourke for F Foley (43), T O’Leary for P Murphy (57).

Referee: David Daly (Brian Dillon’s).

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