Strong finish sees Aghinagh win
Muskerry JFC - Aghinagh 1-14, Ballincollig 0-13
Aghinagh's junior footballers run of championship victories continues and their success at Kilmurry on Sunday last has won them a final place. They faced Ballincollig in this encounter and they expected a formidable challenge against a side who recently secured an exciting quarter final victory over Eire Óg.
Since then three of that winning side were promoted to senior championship action but the team on Sunday evening last was still one that could give a good account of itself. That position did manifest itself as the contest was in the balance for a long period.
The sides were level at the interval, Ballincollig were two points ahead in the 40th minute but the men in blue then produced their best period. They secured the vital scores to tilt the balance in their favour.
The early stages of the game were good for Aghinagh when a first minute point from William Coakley was quickly followed by one from Declan Ambrose who was very impressive in the early stages. A pointed free from Liam Twohig in the fourth minute had the winners further ahead and looking good. Eoin O'Reilly from a free in the sixth minute recorded Ballincollig's opening score but Aghinagh continued to have the upper hand for a bit longer with minors from Donal Corkery and Michael O'Brien enhancing their prospects.
Ballincollig then produced a period of dominance however as Ciarán O'Sullivan was making an impact around the middle third and they reduced the arrears to the minimum with minors from O'Reilly (a free), O'Leary and O'Sullivan himself. Aghinagh replied with a Liam Twohig point from a free and a Donal Corkery point from play to put some daylight between themselves and their opponents.
Ballincollig again fought back and they scored four points before the break. Eoin O'Reilly was on target twice while Cotter and Dorgan also sent the football between the uprights. Aghinagh got one back when Twohig converted a free so the sides were level 0-8 each at the shorth whistle.
Ballincollig were naturally happy with their position facing the restart as they fought back well to tie the scores. A Dorgan point put them ahead in the 34th minute for the first time and they had the initiative in the 36th minute when O'Reilly confidently sent a 45 between the uprights. Aghinagh never lost their composure however and they fought back well. Liam Twohig made his presence felt when he raised white flags in the 37th and 42nd minutes to tie the scores again. A minute later Declan Ambrose increased their points tally so they were ahead once more.
Ballincollig fought back and Alan O'Donovan split the uprights to again tie the scores but Aghinagh had the edge during the remaining playing time. Following a free on himself Liam Twohig made it point number 12 in the 49th minute and two minutes later Donal Corkery increased his sides lead to two. Good approach work by Declan Ambrose created the opportunity and Corkery availed of same.
The Aghinagh defence were now rock solid and through the field they were getting very much on top. In the 54th minute John Kelly in the Ballincollig goal did well to foil a goal scoring effort by Ambrose but Aghinagh stayed on the offensive. Ambrose got on to a good centre from Donal Corkery and this time there was no stopping his powerful drive.
Aghinagh now had their victory secure and Ambrose taking no chances consolidated their position, notching up point number 14. Ballincollig tried to turn their situation around as the game entered the time added on period and minors from substitute Conor Sexton and O'Reilly reduced the arrears. Aghinagh were not to be denied however and they will contest their fourth junior championship final on Sunday afternoon next hoping to capture the blue riband of Muskerry football for the first time. They will face reigning champions Iveleary in same on Sunday afternoon next at Macroom at 4pm.
Aghinagh: Paul O'Sullivan, John Lynch, Sean Kelleher, Adam O'Leary, Trevor Burns, David Barry, Aodh Twomey, Gearoid O'Sullivan, Michael O'Brien (0-1), Richard O'Sullivan, Donal Corkery (0-3), Declan Ambrose (1-3), William Coakley (0-1), Micheál Corkery, Liam Twohig (0-6, 4f). Subs: Con Buckley for Coakley (47), Dermot O'Connell for Burns (50), Matthew McCarthy for O'Brien (52), Micheál Horgan for Micheál Corkery (54), Jeremiah Kelleher for Twomey (58).
Ballincollig: John Kelly, Colin O'Donovan, Shane O'Neill, Sean Lucey, Fenton Denny, Kevin Crowley, David Collins, Ciarán O'Sullivan (0-1), James O'Leary (0-1), Bryan Kelly, Brian Cotter (0-1), Eoin O'Riley (0-6, 2f, 1 '45'), Darragh Dorgan (0-2), Stephen Coughlan, Alan Donovan (0-1). Subs: Gearoid O'Donoghue for Lucey (16, inj), Conor Sexton (0-1) for Collins (43), Evan Cooke for O'Leary (57).
Referee: Colm Ó Mocháin (Cill na Martra)