O’Mahony kicked three glorious points from play in the closing minutes to turn a five-point half-time deficit into a three point winning margin.
It was a victory that didn’t look likely at half-time. With Pearse O’Neill and Tom O’Neill lording matters at midfield, and Cian Fleming leading their attack in style, Aghada stormed into a 1-6 to 0-4 lead at the break. However, they collapsed completely in the second half, adding just a point to their first half tally.
Clon struggled in most sectors of the field in the opening period. Backed by the wind and the powerful play of the O’Neills in the middle of the field, the Aghada pressure on the Clon defence was constant.
The incisive running of Josh O’Shea earned him a penalty in the 10th minute and the classy Cian Fleming gave Clon keeper James O’Brien no chance to lead 1- 2 to 0-1. They stretched that advantage to 1-6 to 0-4 by half-time, thanks to the excellent free-taking of Fleming who added three points from placed balls.
However, the West Cork side took the game to Aghada on the changeover. SeanNagle and Tom Clancy broke the Aghada stranglehold on midfield, Barry O’Mahony began to exert enormous pressure up front, and with David O’Regan raiding superbly from left half-back, the scores began to flow.
Denis Murphy began the rush with a point and it took a magnificent save by Aghada netminder Anthony O’Donoghue to keep Jonathan Leahy’s fisted effort out. But the pressure was telling and by the 50th minute, Clonakilty had drawn level, 0-9 to 1-6, with O’Regan coming forward to kick two great points.
Aghada desperately needed a score to stop the rot but a resolute Clonakilty defence, in which Tony Anglin and David O’Regan were rock solid, meant the East Cork side failed to add to their half-time tally until a minute from the end of normal time when Ronan Power levelled the game for the third time.
However, Clonakilty had the bit firmly between their teeth and Barry O’Mahony kicked three superb points in-a-row to send his side into round four while Aghada must prepare for a tricky assignment against Newmarket.
Scorers for Clonakilty: B. O’Mahony 0-6 (0-1 free); J. Leahy 0-4 (0-3 frees); D. O’Regan 0-2; D. Murphy 0-1.
Scorers for Aghada: C. Fleming 1-3 (1-0 pen., 0-2 frees); M. Russell, T. Wall, R. Kennedy, R. Power 0-1 each.
CLONAKILTY: J. O’Brien; L. Lyons, T. Anglin., G. Barry; D. Murphy, F. Coughlan, D. O’Regan; T. Clancy, S. Nagle; D. Lyons, T. Anglin, E. McCarthy; J. Leahy, C. O’Donovan, B. O’Mahony.
Sub: J. O’Mahony for E. McCarthy (40).
AGHADA: A. O’Donoghue; T. Hartnett, B. Hennessy, K. O’Connor; C. Power, R. Power, B. Crowley; P. O’Neill, E. Healy; T. Wall, C. Fleming, M. Russell; T. O’Neill, J. O’Shea, R., Kennedy.
Subs: M. O’Connor for Russell (45); J. Connolly for T. Hartnett (48); A. O’Connell for T. Wall (58).
Referee: P. O’Leary (Kilmurry).