Robert Emmets held out to edge past Aghada by a point, 3-4 to 0-12 in the County Under 21 B football championship, played at Ballyhooly on Friday night. A hat trick of goals from Daniel Culloty, the latter two converted from the penalty spot, proved the pivotal scores to a hard earned victory, while at the other end, team captain David Quinlan proved a colossus in goals with a series of wonderful saves throughout.
Robert Emmets began brightly, as a well taken point by the prominent Cathal Noonan and a converted free from Luke McCarthy forged a lead within five minutes. Aghada were on level terms by the tenth minute courtesy of two pointed frees. Daniel Culloty slotted over a free but Aghada restored parity instantly in a lively opening quarter.
Aghada took the lead for the only time in the game with a point in the eighteenth minute. The Robert Emmets defence did well to curtail their opponents with numerous timely interventions and pressure which led to some erratic shooting, while behind them, David Quinlan was in unbeatable form between the posts.
Robert Emmets regained the lead after a brilliantly crafted goal by Daniel Culloty in the twenty third minute. The young forward managed to weave his way past several defenders before finishing with sublime skill to the bottom corner of the net.
Robert Emmets were further boosted on being awarded a penalty two minutes later, when Jeremy Murphy was upended in the parallelogram. Daniel Culloty stepped up to slot the resultant kick to the bottom corner of the net.
Aghada recovered from this double blow by scoring the final point of the half but Robert Emmets entered the break with a substantial lead of 2-3 to 0-5.
Aghada proved sharper after the restart and two points in four minutes halved the deficit. T.J. Brosnan kicked a superb individual point from distance before a second penalty was awarded in the eleventh minute of the half. T.J. Brosnan was instrumental in putting through Michael Cottrell and following a fine solo run, he found himself brought to the ground when through on goal. Once more, Daniel Culloty showed admirable composure to find the net for a third time.
This however would prove to be Robert Emmets final score of the contest and they needed every bit of the six point lead they now had to see out victory.
Aghada put in a resounding response for the remainder of the game. The Imokilly side added a point before David Quinlan somehow produced an incredible triple save midway through the half, to somehow keep his goal intact. The onslaught was relentless but the defence withstood the pressure.
As the game entered injury time, Aghada had the lead down to three points as they pressed for an all important goal. A point was added from a free and the final piece of action resulted in another Aghada score but this proved the final act as Robert Emmets made it over the line and into the semi final.
Team and scorers…
Daniel Culloty (3-1), T.J. Brosnan (0-1), Cathal Noonan (0-1), Luke McCarthy (0-1)
|Jeremy Murphy||Michael O’Leary||Jamie Hayes|
|Alan Ryan||Paudie Allen||Colm Noonan|
|T. J. Brosnan||Cathal Noonan|
|Gavin Forde||Jacko Flaherty||Michael Cottrell|
|Luke McCarthy||Daniel Culloty||Michael McSweeney|
|Subs: Daniel Richard Guinee|