Aghada 1-11 St Vincent’s 1-8
It was a bit close for comfort in the end, but Aghada moved into the fourth round of the Cork County SFC and condemned St Vincent’s to the relegation play-off at Carrigtwohill last night.
Leading by six points at half-time the East Cork side looked safe with the same margin, 1-11 to 1-5, pertaining after Ronan Kennedy’s 54th-minute point.
Vincent’s were not done however, and points from Jonathan Buckley, impressive sub Derek O’Connor and Daniel Duggan brought them to within a goal.
In the third minute of injury-time, the best chance to level the game fell to Shane Duggan, but unfortunately for him his thunderous shot came crashing back off the crossbar.
When the whistle went moments later, it meant a game against Dohenys to preserve senior status for Vincent’s, with Aghada looking ahead, much to selector John Kennedy’s relief.
“We lived on our nerves there for the last three or four minutes,” he said, “but we showed character too.”
Aghada could hardly have wished for a worse start, as Vincent’s corner-forward Cian Barry netted inside 35 seconds following good work by Anthony Harte and Frank Murphy.
The city side would not register again until the final score of the half when John Paul Murphy converted a free in the 25th minute, and in between that Aghada dominated.
Pearse O’Neill was prominent as four points in a row were scored and then Trevor O’Keeffe profited from Eoin Savage’s pass after loose play in the Vincent’s defence.
Had the shooting been a bit more finely calibrated, then Aghada would surely have been out of sight by the turnaround, especially as Vincent’s had lost influential midfielder Stephen Ray to a black card. Nevertheless, they were commanding with a 1-7 to 1-1 lead, Cork minor hurler John Looney doing well after his early introduction as a sub.
It took a fine save from Patrick O’Shea to deny Looney a goal upon the restart, but though O’Connor was causing problems after being brought on, Vincent’s couldn’t make the most of the let-off.
They didn’t score a point from play until the 42nd minute, but then Aghada were reduced to 14 as O’Keeffe, already booked, was black-carded for a hand-trip.
As the half wore on and Aghada dropped further back to protect their lead, Vincent’s sensed a chance but the lead was proving too much to eat into.
The later it got, the more a goal was required and while it nearly came, in the end they were frustrated.
Scorers for Aghada: T O’Keeffe 1-1, P O’Neill, M Russell, C Fleming (frees) 0-2 each, T Hartnett, S Wall, R Kennedy, J Looney 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Vincent’s: D O’Connor 0-4 (two frees), C Barry 1-0, JP Murphy (free), J Buckley, F Murphy, D Duggan 0-1 each.
AGHADA: A O’Donoghue; T Hartnett, JP O’Connor, K O’Connor; S Wall, R Power, E Healy; T O’Neill, P O’Neill; S O’Keeffe, M Russell, E Savage; C Fleming, T O’Keeffe, R Kennedy.
Subs: J Looney for O’Keeffe (6, injured), A Stafford for Savage (51), B Hennessy for Kennedy (58).
ST VINCENT’S: P O’Shea; P Aherne, W Long, W Murphy; A Harte, D O’Regan, C McGee; S Buckley, S Ray; S Duggan, F Murphy, D Duggan; C Barry, JP Murphy, G Kelleher.
Subs: K Goulding for Ray (17, black card), K Sorensen for McGee (24), A Buckley for Kelleher (half-time), D O’Connor for Barry (39), J Buckley for JP Murphy (43), K Lynch for A Buckley (45, black card).
Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved