Aghabullogue 2-18 Blarney 0-12
A spectacular second-half display, plus an outstanding 13-point return from corner-forward Ian Barry-Murphy, sparked the celebrations at Cloughduv last evening as Aghabullogue bridged a 17-year gap to claim the Farho Intelligent Heating Muskerry U21AHC championship title.
Blarney, who were seeking a four-in-a-row of titles, led 0-11 to 1-5 at the break but they had no answer to Aghabullogue in the second half, who registered 1-13 while only conceding a single point.
Blarney played with the breeze in the first half, and after quarter of an hour led 0-6 to 0-3. Then John Corkery finished low to the net after being picked out by Evan O’Sullivan and the gap closed to two points. Barry-Murphy finished the half with four points but with Blarney centre-back Peter Philpott rifling over four excellent points, they went to the dressing-room only three points clear.
Barry-Murphy clicked into gear immediately from the restart. He scored five points in 10 minutes – from frees and open play. Corkery chipped in and so too did Sean O’Sullivan. By the three-quarter mark they were coasting, 1-13 to 0-11. Blarney missed a few chances, while Aghabullogue, who were full of running, added two more scores from Barry-Murphy and Billy Casey.
Shane Mulcahy pointed for Blarney but with time running out they were forced to go for goals but found no way through the Aghabullogue wall, repelled by the likes of David O’Connell, Greg Long and Sean Kelleher.
Then came the biggest Aghabullogue cheer, as Sean O’Sullivan and Barry-Murphy combined before parting to Daniel Dineen who goaled with five minutes remaining. Blarney applied more pressure but Aghabullogue kicked on — O’Connell and Barry Murphy scoring two more points to push their side 12 clear.
Next week they move on to the first round of the county championship and a date with Blackrock on Wednesday night.
Scorers for Aghabullogue: I Barry-Murphy (0-13, nine frees, one 65m), J Corkery (1-2), D Dineen (1-0), S O’Sullivan, B Casey and D O’Connell (0-1 each).
Scorers for Blarney: P Philpott (0-4, three frees), D Dunlea (0-3), M Coleman (one free) and S Mulcahy (0-2 each), D Cremen (0-1).
AGHABULLOGUE: C Óg Healy; J Lynch, E Murphy, D O’Callaghan; G Long, D O’Connell, S Dineen; S O’Sullivan, S Kelleher; D Dineen, J Corkery, E O’Sullivan; B Casey, R Dennehy, I Barry Murphy.
Subs: K Cooney for R Dennehy (half-time).
BLARNEY: J Mulcahy; A O’Shea, S McSweeney, W Shine; K Bradford, P Philpott, D O’Brien; B O’Connell, S Crowley; M Coleman, P O’Connor, S Mulcahy; D Dunlea, D Cremen, C Sexton.
Subs: K Costello for S Crowley (34), K Cremen for D Dunlea (42 inj), S Sheedy for C Sexton (50).
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Éire Óg).
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