hat incredible performances from both teams in Brinny on Saturday as they fought tooth and nail in this Cork intermediate hurling championship thriller. 80 minutes plus of exhilarating hurling and it is Argideen Rangers who secured a fourth round meeting with Ballincollig. It wasn’t until the second period of extra-time though that they ensured this five-point victory when John Michael O’Callaghan capped a marvellous performance by striking four excellent points.
Fiercely contested, Aghabullogue were devastated tolose, especially after playing the second-half with 14 players. They gave it everything. However, conceding six goals – three in the first 25 minutes – eventually told. Retaining their intermediate status is the priority now as they prepare for Barryroe in the relegation final.
We must credit the patience of Argideen Rangers, who hung in there to force extra-time with John Michael O’Callaghan having to hit a long-range equaliser in the fifth minute of injury-time. This was despite a fantastic start when Rory O’Sullivan, Brian Hennessy and Michael Walsh found the net, and they led 3-4 to 0-5.
However, a battling finish enabled Aghabullogue achieve parity at the changeover, 1-10 to 3-4. John Corkery and Patrick Finnegan were key influences – Finnegan punishing any indiscipline with his brilliant free-taking while Corkery’s work-rate was manic. John Buckley’s goal a decisive score after being put through by Evan O’Sullivan. Aghabullogue continued to put it up to the Timoleague side despite being reduced to 14 men when corner-back Niall Barry Murphy was red-carded just before half-time. But, whenever they pulled away, Argideen kept hitting back. Opportunist O’Sullivan bagged his second goal to make it 4-5 to 1-13 on 40 minutes.
Aghabullogue then got a goal of their own, a second for Buckley. With Finnegan, Corkery, and Ian Barry Murphy superb, they held a three-point advantage with time almost up. But, Finbarr Butler blasted another goal to tie matters in the 60th minute. Finnegan landed a sublime free but there was still time for one more play, as ice-cool O’Callaghan forced extra-time (2-18 to 5-9).
Aghabullogue resumed with 15 players, Mark O’Flynn coming in. At the end of the first period of extra-time they trailed by the minimum 2-21 to 6-10, again having been rocked by O’Sullivan’s third major – the Rangers’ sixth - from close-range. It was in the second period of extra-time Argideen delivered the knockout punch outscoring Aghabullogue by five points to one.
R O’Sullivan (3-0), J M O’Callaghan (0-7, five frees, one 65m), B Hennessy and M Walsh (1-2 each), F Butler (1-0), P Butler, J Sheehan, M O’Callaghan and C Smith (0-1 each).
P Finnegan (0-10, nine frees), J Buckley (2-1), I Barry Murphy (0-4, two frees), J Corkery (0-3), K Finnegan (0-2), M O’Flynn and S O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
J J Butler; Joe Sheehan, R Nolan, J O’Driscoll; J Deasy, P Butler, C O’Donovan; J M O’Callaghan, F Butler; John Sheehan (Capt), M O’Callaghan, C Smith; M Walsh, R O’Sullivan, B Hennessy.
E Lawton for C Smith (50), J Murphy for M O’Callaghan (69).
F Foley; N Barry Murphy, Dan Twomey, A Hogan; A Barry Murphy, N Buckley, B Buckley; J Corkery (Capt), S Kelleher; M O’Flynn, K Finnegan, E O’Sullivan; J Buckley, P Finnegan, I Barry Murphy.
S Dineen for S Kelleher (half-time), S O’Sullivan for M O’Flynn (51), Donal Twomey for K Finnegan (57), G Murphy for J Buckley (59), K Finnegan for Donal Twomey, J Buckley for G Murphy (both 70).
Brian Murphy (Carrigtwohill).