Mitchelstown booked their place in the quarter-final of the Cork IFC yesterday with a hard fought but well deserved victory over Aghabullogue at a sunny Mallow GAA Complex.
Spurred on by the efforts of their talented full-forward line of James Sheehan (1-6), Shane Cahill (0-2) and Shane Beston (0-6), the junior football champions of 2013 held the lead for the majority of the game and showed greater poise in front of the posts late on to seal the win.
Mitchelstown also had the dominant midfield pairing with Laurence Flynn and Dave Dineen winning all but two of the long kick outs.
For their part, Aghabullogue gave this game everything they had but a mixture of absentees (six) and four injuries during the game meant that just couldn’t muster enough of a challenge late on as Mitchelstown went for the win.
Top performers for the vanquished side were corner-forward John Corkery, full forward Patrick Finnegan and their keeper John Buckley – who made four top class saves when Mitchelstown players looked certain to score.
Aghabullogue opened the stronger and led by 0-4 to 0-1 after 10 minutes but Mitchelstown turned it around in the next 10 with some great Beston points and a terrific Sheehan goal.
Aghabullogue hit back before the break with a scintillating goal from Corkery which was no more than they deserved for their first half exploits — 1-9 to 1-8 in favour Mitchelstown at the break.
Mitchelstown dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half but a goal from a penalty by Finnegan on 46 minutes brought the game back to parity for the fourth time.
Five minutes from time Jason Cott sealed the victory for Mitchelstown when he volleyed to the Aghabullogue net to end the game as a contest.
Moments later a serious head injury to substitute Kevin Finnegan meant that the game was held up for over 10 minutes and on the resumption all the fight seemed to be gone from last year’s runners up as Mitchelstown saw out the game comfortably.
Scorers for Mitchelstown: J Sheehan 1-6 (three frees); S Beston 0-6 (one free); J Cott 1-0; S Cahill 0-2, P Molloy 0-1.
Aghabullogue: J Corkery 1-5 (two frees); P Finnegan 1-2 (1-0 pen); E O’Sullivan, J Kelleher (one free), S O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
MITCHELSTOWN: L Molan; S Coughlan, F Herlihy, M Maher; J Finn, S Fox, P Molloy; L Flynn, D Dineen; M Walsh, C Courtney, J Cott; J Sheehan, S Cahill, S Beston. Subs: O Burke for J Finn (37).
AGHABULLOGUE: J Buckley; D O’Leary, D Twomey, A O’Sullivan; M O’Brien, D Twomey, R Dennehy; S O’Sullivan, J Kelleher; S Dineen, G Long, B Buckley; E O’Sullivan, P Finnegan, J Corkery.
Subs: D O’Connell for A O’Sullivan (37), K Finnegan for D Twomey (inj) (41), R O’Keeffe for P Finnegan (inj) (54), K Hogan for J Kelleher (inj) (58), D Murphy for K Finnegan (inj) (58).
Referee: C Lane (Banteer)