Two goals courtesy of Bill Cooper and Brett Moloney weren’t enough for Youghal as they came up short against East Cork rivals Aghada in the PIHC last night. The game ended 1-19-2-11 in the favour of the side playing in green and white. The game swung on the dismissal of Youghal man Kyle Brown in the 44th minute of the affair. Brown received his marching orders having been involved in an incident with Aghada number 12 Cian Fleming which concluded with the helmet of the half forward being ripped off. Without question, this decision completely changed the landscape of the game.
Michael Russell was positioned as a sweeper in the defensive line following the red card. Prior to this, the Youghal full forward line were causing all sorts of problems for the 2016 Intermediate Hurling champions. Ollie Dempsey and Brett Moloney had already linked up for the opening goal of the fixture after Dempsey knocked down a long ball from the half back line straight to the open Moloney who buried the ball mercilessly past Ciaran O’Shea.
Aghada were on top for much of the opening half with John Looney and Will Leahy especially having field days. Leahy picked up 0-7 in the opening half, 0-5 of which came from freed. The Aghada centre forward was near perfect all day from placed balls. Meanwhile, John Looney has 1-2 in the opening phase of proceedings, his goal coming off a signature run from the wing forward. However moments later Youghal had the perfect response.
Moloney’s goal came at a crucial time for the men in amber. Off the back of conceding the before mentioned Aghada, the 2013 intermediate champions raced down the field and responded with a quick fire point from Ollie Dempsey before seconds later topping off a superb two minutes of play with an unstoppable strike. At half time, Aghada were edging the battle of East Cork at Páirc Ui Cinneide 1-10-1-8.
Youghal had an electrifying start to the second notching a quick fire 1-2 in the opening 5 minutes. Imokilly stalwart Bill Cooper rammed home 1-1. They led 2-10-1-11. Sadly from a Youghal point of view, they only scored one more point in the next 25 minutes of action. Will Leahy, Aaron Berry, Jamie O’Hanlon, John Looney and Aaron Stafford all got on the scoreboard as the men in green and white soared to the finish line with the help of an extra man.
It ended in the PIHC Aghada 1-19-2-11 Youghal. Aghada pulled away at the finish with the scoreboard not doing the highly competitive nature of the game justice. For Aghada, it’s the side that knocked them out of last years championship Carraigaline who will be riding high after an impressive win against Courcey Rovers. While for Youghal, it will be looked at as perhaps a missed opportunity having led by two with 36 minutes on the clock. However, in a more positive light the performances of many key players such as Brett Moloney and Ollie Dempsey acts as a glimpse of the potential of this team.