Dohenys 1-11 Aghada 0-10: Daniel O’Donovan’s opportunist goal at the three-quarters stage helped power Dohenys to a deserved victory over Aghada in the opening round of the Cork senior football championship at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night.
There appeared to be no danger when Aghada full- back John Paul O’Connor took a free out, but his effort went straight to Mark Quinn who fed the unmarked O’Donovan who kept his composure before sliding the ball home.
The goal gave the West Cork side the lead for the first time and they quickly moved five points clear with seven minutes to go and then defended well in the face of a late Aghada rally to ensure they are in the hat for the fourth round draw while the East Cork side will play the losers of the Ballincollig/St. Finbarr’s tie in the second round.
Persistent drizzle and a hard pitch made it difficult for the teams and handling errors were plentiful throughout the hour.
The sides were evenly matched and they were level at 0-1 apiece after five minutes.
The dominance of Pierce O’Neill and his namesake Tom gave Aghada control at midfield and they were full value for their 0-4 to 0-1 advantage by the 20th minute.
Dohenys’ approach work was excellent but their finish let them down badly, epitomised by a dreadful miss from David Collins who blazed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Aghada continued to dictate matters and a brace of points by John Rooney had them 0-6 to 0-2 clear after 25 minutes.
But credit Dohenys, they continued to come forward at every opportunity led by centre back David Rice. And three points in a row, left them trailing by a point (0-6 to 0-5) in front at the interval.
The second half developed into a tense struggle as Aghada went three points clear only to be pegged back by a dogged Dohenys side and it was all to play for as they sides were locked on 0-8 apiece by the three quarter-stage.
Then came that dreadful mistake which gifted Dohenys the game’s only goal, and with Denis Healy and Eoin Lavers finally getting the better of the Aghada pair at midfield, the advantage swung in favour of the West Cork men.
They hit the front for the first time with O’Donovan’s goal before the big full forward received a black card with 15 minutes still to play.
Aghada refused to roll over however and it took a magnificent save by Dohenys’ goalkeeper Darren Kelly to deny John Looney an equalising goal, as the tempo of the game stepped up a couple of gears.
Dohenys stretched their lead to five points with seven minutes remaining and were grateful for it as Aghada rallied to cut the deficit to three before time ran out.
Scorers for Dohenys:
D. O’Donovan 1-0; M. Quinn 0-3 (0-1 free); D. Healy, J. Carroll 0-2 each; D. Rice, P. McCarthy, T. Collins, E. Lavers 0-1 each.
Scorers for Aghade:
J. Looney, P. O’Neill (0-2 frees) 0-3 each; J. Donoghue, A. Berry, S. O’Keeffe, T. Hartnett 0-1 each.
D., Kelly; B. O’Donovan, T. Collins, S. Daly; J. Carroll, D. Rice, D. Collins; D. Healy, E. Lavers; J. McCarthy, P. McCarthy, J. Kelly; B. McCarthy, M. O’Donovan, M. Quinn.
M. Buckley for B. McCarthy (45); P. Collins for D. O’Donovan (49, black card).
A. Donoghue; K. O’Connor, JP O’Connor, E. Leahy; T. Hartnett, R. Power, A. O’Connell; P. O’Neill, T. O’Neill; J. Looney, S. O’Keeffe, C. Power; A. Berry, J. Donoghue, A. Stafford.
B. Hennessy for A. O’Connell (40); J. Farmer for A. Stafford (40); C. O’Driscoll for J.O’Donoghue (55).
K. Murphy (Nemo Rangers).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved