Muskerry 2-13 Aghada 0-8: Wretched conditions at Caherlag on Saturday night for this opening round contest in the Cork County SFC, but no dissenting voices with Muskerry’s deserved win after an impressive display.
Both sides had to deal with a very greasy ball throughout but it was evident from an early juncture there was only going to be one outcome.
Muskerry constructed some very good scores in their 11-point victory and delivered a strong message they could be a force to reckon with further down the road.
“We are happy enough with the win,” reflected manager Noel Twomey. “It was our objective at the start of the year to win the first game which would guarantee Muskerry three games in the championship.
“From that viewpoint it is job done. Potentially, Muskerry have the players but every year something crops up. We have a lot of Premier Intermediate and intermediate clubs who want to win their championships but this year we spoke early to the clubs about changing our nights and they have come on board with us so we’ll see.”
Aghada were outclassed in the opening 30 minutes and if it wasn’t for the alertness of their goalkeeper Andrew O’Donoghue, who made a few fine stops, the scoreline at the interval could have been very embarrassing.
As it was they trailed by 11 points, 2-7 to 0-2, going to the dressing rooms.
Cian Fleming did open the night’s account for Aghada with a pointed free in the second minute but they only registered once more in the half, another pointed free from Aidan Berry.
Daniel Goulding was on the board with a point for Muskerry after three minutes with Kevin Hallissey replicating that score a minute later.
Hallissey then turned provider for the impressive Goulding to fist to the net after seven minutes for a fine goal which was followed by a brace of points from Goulding again and Ben Shorten.
David Gould pointed a 45 for the Mid Cork team after 14 minutes before Aghada keeper O’Donoghue denied Goulding.
Things got a lot worse for Aghada after 20 minutes when Hallissey secured his side’s second goal and the contest had suddenly become a damage limitation exercise for the East Corkmen.
Muskerry’s ability to break very quickly from defence was a feature of their play in that opening half hour with Fintan Goold and Sean Kiely making their presence felt.
When the sides resumed, Muskerry took up from where they left off and a hat-trick of unanswered points from Liam Sheehan, Goulding and Goulding again from a free had them motoring.
Aghada did play a lot better in the second-half and some fresh blood injected more penetration into their play.
Pearse O’Neill got their first score from play in the 40th minute with a fine point and Cian Fleming followed with a brace of points.
Sheehan pointed again for Muskerry but that score was cancelled out by Shane Bennett at the other end before Goulding and Fleming exchanged points.
Aghada did not help their cause with some poor finishing but the conditions must be taken into account.
As the clock counted down, a fracas developed with players from both teams getting into a tangle and a couple of yellow cards were dished out.
As the game drifted to its inevitable conclusion, Aidan Berry pointed a free for Aghada but deep into stoppage time Michael Desmond got on the scoresheet with another Muskerry point.
Scorers for Muskerry:
D Goulding (1-5, 1 free); K Hallissey (1-1); B Shorten (0-3); L Sheehan (0-2); D Goold (45); M Desmond (0-1 each)
Scorers for Aghada:
C Fleming (0-4, 3 frees); A Berry (0-2 frees); P O’Neill, S Bennett (0-1 each)
C Kelly (Eire Og), J Mullins (Eire Og), L O’Connor (Ballingeary), R Buckley (Macroom), S Kiely (Macroom), F Goold (Macroom), A Lynch (Ballingeary), L Murphy (Eire Og), M Desmond (Cill Na Martra), K Hallissey (Eire Og), L Sheehan(Eire Og), J Corkery (Aghabullogue), D Gould (Macroom), D Goulding (Eire og), B Shorten (Ballingeary).
A Concannon for L Murphy (38), D O’Connor (Eire Og) for Hallissey (43), G Vaughan (Cill Na Martra) and B Cronin (Iveleary) for Mullins and Kiely both 55.
A O’Donoghue, K O’Connor, M Healy, T Hartnett, J Tynan, B Hennessy, C Rabbitte, C O’Driscoll, T O’Neill, A Berry, J Looney, C Fleming, K O’Hanlon, S Bennett, P O’Neill.
J O’Donoghue for Healy (h-t), J Farmer for Looney (40), S Murphy for Rabbitte (46).
J Larkin (Douglas).
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