Youghal can have no complaints about the outcome which wasn’t unduly influenced by the sending off of Nigel Roche with 12 minutes left for a stamping offence on Aghabullogue’s highly impressive John Corkery.
The centre-forward had already made a big impact in his side’s championship run and continued in that vein on Saturday, contributing six points, three from play, but Aghabullogue’s ability to score goals was key.
Youghal will look back regretfully on their inability to take advantage of a purple patch early in the second half when they scored four unanswered points to power into a three-point lead.
They were pegged back, however, when Patrick Finnegan made no mistake with a 42nd-minute penalty, awarded after Corkery was fouled twice as he headed goalwards. From there on, Aghabullogue never looked back.
The West Cork side responded very well to a good Youghal start, playing a clever short game against the elements and the opening goal from Ryan Dennehy helped them establish a 1-4 to 0-6 lead at the break.
Youghal responded with their best period of the match and took that lead thanks mainly to Paul Moylan’s contribution of three points. Aghabullogue, however, were up to the task, with Rob O’Keeffe and Sean O’Sullivan pointing before Finnegan’s successful penalty and another point from Corkery forced Youghal to play catch up.
Paul Kelly and Alan Frahill-O’Connor produced a point apiece but that was never going to be enough against an Aghabullogue team that grew in stature as the minutes ticked down.
Scorers for Aghabullogue: J Corkery (0-6, 3fs), R Dennehy and P Finnegan (1-0 each), G Long (0-2, 1f), R O’Keeffe and S O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Youghal: P Moylan (0-6, 2fs), A Daly, A Frahill O’Connor, P Kelly, C O’Sullivan, N Roche (0-1 each).
AGHABULLOGUE: J Buckley, G Long, D Twomey, D Merrick, R Dennehy, M Dennehy, A Horgan, B Buckley, S Dennehy, E O’Sullivan, J Kelleher, S O’Sullivan, R O’Keeffe, J Corkery, P Finnegan.
Subs: M Long for Twomey (29, inj).
YOUGHAL: S O’Sullivan, B O’Sullivan, P O’Driscoll, M Cronin, B Ring, J Grace, D Ring, A Kenny, C O’Sullivan, N Roche, A Frahill- O’Connor, A Daly, J Ormonde, P Moylan, P Kelly.
Subs: R Desmond for Daly (ht), A Joyce for Grace (44), P O’Mahony for Cronin (59).
Referee: D Whyte (St Mary’s).