Aghabullogue 3-23 Courcey Rovers 4-17 (Ballinaspittle 06/06/07)
This was a classic game of hurling played in excellent conditions between two teams who have gotten to know each other very well during the last week.
Aghabullogue started the stronger and after 15 minutes were 7 points to 2 points to the good. Courceys then scored the first of their 4 goals and from then on this game was a tight affair with both teams playing at a ferocious rate and serving up some of the best hurling of the year.
At half time Aghabullogue led on a score of 1-12 to 2-05 thanks to some wonderful free taking by Kevin Finnegan. Eddie Twomey and Peter Kelleher were winning the battle at midfield. The second half started well for Aghabullogue but as the half progressed Courcey Rovers came more and more into it and chipped away at the lead. The second half belonged to Courceys and as full time drew to a close they were ahead by a single point. Aghabullogue never gave up and equalised with a marvellous point from Denis O’ Leary. Both sides had chances to win the match in the closing minutes but after 60 minutes a draw was declared on a score line of 1-18 to 3-15
As this game was the 2006 final of the Liam Breathnach Cup as well as a 2007 league game both teams were anxious to continue playing and to get a result on the night. The referee agreed to both club’s request for the extra time and the game continued on. There wasn’t one supporter among the small crowd who wanted this game to end. The first 10 minutes of extra time was frenetic. Aghabullogue scored a goal form the throw in when Eddie Twomey rattled the net. Courceys responded by getting two quick points. Aghabullogue then pointed to go two points ahead before Courceys rattled the net for their fourth and final goal of the match. Aghabullogue responded by getting two more wonderful points and Courceys finished the first half of extra time by scoring yet another wonderful point.
The second half of extra time started all square and with both sets of players starting to tire, scores were to become vital. Courceys pointed first and then Aghabullogue equalised. A Kevin Finnegan free led to the only goal of this half when the sliotar landed in the square and Paul O’Rourke finished it into the back of the net. Aghabullogue tacked on another point in the 5th minute of this half and Courceys scored their second point a minute later. For the remainder of the game Courcey Rovers tried hard to get the equalising goal but they met a wall of very tired but resolute defenders in Aghabullogue.
When the final whistle was blown a there was a great sense of relief from all on the pitch but an air of satisfaction from the men in green and white for a job well done.
Aghabullogue: Finbarr Foley, Joe Foley, Padraig Murphy, Donnacha Murphy, Tim Buckley, Niall Buckley, Michael Twomey, Eddie Twomey, Peter Kelleher, Denis o’ Leary, Barry Kiely, Kevin Finnegan, Paul O Rourke, Pa Finnegan, Tim O’ Leary.
Subs: Donal Casey for Tim O’ Leary, Brian McElroy for Joe Foley and David O’ Leary for Michael Twomey.
Courcey Rovers: Seamus Hayes, Adrian Collins, James O Regan, Brian Hayes, Timothy Lordan, Killian Moloney, Terence Collins, Vincent Hurley, Brian Hayes, Cian Lordan, Michael O’Donovan, Gavin Moloney, Gary Moloney, Seamus Hurley, John Murphy.
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