DEFEATED after a replay in the final of last year’s competition, Ballygarvan’s quest to go one better and claim the Cork IHC got off to a winning start as they swept past Aghada at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.
A pair of goals in the space of four first-half minutes helped to provide a half-time cushion for Ballygarvan. First, Ken Ashman reacted quickest in the 17th minute, after Martin Day saved a fine shot from Dan McCarthy, to poke the loose ball home and give his side a 1-3 to 0-3 lead. Then, four minutes later, the roles were reversed as Ashman played a dangerous ball into the Aghada goalmouth and McCarthy reacted quickest to nip in ahead of Aidan O’Connell before producing a tidy finish.
Before that, the game had been fairly even as the sides matched each other point for point and, after the goals, points from Trevor O’Keeffe (free), Cian Fleming and Eoin Savage left just three points in it, 2-3 to 0-6, at the break.
Mark Kennefick scored two nice points as they eased further ahead before Ashman and McCarthy combined for the third time to produce a goal on 39, McCarthy doing brilliantly to bat in his team-mate’s good delivery from the left corner.
That left it 3-6 to 0-8 and from there the result was never in doubt, with Ballygarvan clicking in attack.Both sides finished with 14 after Ger Melvin of Aghada and Ballygarvan’s Gary White were both dismissed. .
Scorers for Ballygarvan: M Kennefick 0-7 (5f, 1 65), D McCarthy 2-1, K Ashman 1-1, S White 0-2, T Quilligan 0-1.
Scorers for Aghada: T O’Keeffe 0-4 (1f, 1 65), C Fleming 0-3, E Savage 0-2, W Leahy, JP O’Connor 0-1 each.
BALLYGARVAN: L Dillon; C O’Sullivan, S O’Leary, W McCarthy; D O’Sullivan, G Spillane, D O’Sullivan; G White, M O’Riordan; S White, M Kennefick, T Quilligan; D McCarthy, J Spillane, K Ashman.
Subs: J Browne for J Spillane 43.
AGHADA: M Day; B Hennessy, JP O’Connor, S Cashman; M Russell, T O’Neill, K O’Connor; C Fleming, G Melvin; P O’Neill, E Healy, E Savage; M Galvin, T O’Keeffe, T Wall.
Subs: A O’Connell for Cashman (blood) 19-21, O’Connell for Cashman 43, W Leahy for Wall 45.
Referee: K Murphy (Nemo Rangers).