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Aghaloo And Rock Serve Up A Cracker

Saturday 15.05.2021
Team Talk Mag
Latest News


Another night and another youth final. This time it was the turn of Rock and Aghaloo in the Under 16 Grade 4 league final and as has been the case recently the teams did not disappoint. Played at the superbly appointed Parc Chormac it was the ideal venue for such a close and competitive fixture.

Rock went into Friday night’s game as hot favourites having beaten Aghaloo twice in the season already. Physically they enjoyed a considerable advantage over their opponents and on the evidence of the early exchanges it looked like Rock were going to race to the title. They created three great chances of goals in the first half with wing back Padraig Mullan denied twice by brilliant saves from Aghaloo keeper James Mc Kenna and a further Rock attack saw the ball rebound off the crossbar and away to safety.

Senan Devlin opened the scoring with a converted free before the outstanding James Mc Elroy tied the game with Aghaloo’s first score of the game. Devlin and Callum Gallagher swapped points as both sides served up some superb football before Rock’s midfield pair Corey Mc Elduff and Danny Mc Closkey took a stranglehold of possession around the middle. Three unanswered points from Branan Daly, Padraig Mullan and Jake Lagan put Rock in a very strong position leading 0-5 to 0-2 with half time approaching.

However it was Aghaloo who finished the half the stronger with Harry Mc Ginn, Dara Creighan, Michael Maguire, James O’Hara, James Mc Elroy and James Sweeney carrying the game to their opponents. Aghaloo began to find chinks in the Rock armour and late scores from Callum Gallagher and James Mc Elroy sent the sides off at the break with a single point between them; Rock 0-5, Aghaloo 0-4.

Rock stretched their lead to five early in the second half with scores from Senan Devlin and Aidan Carroll. Aghaloo continued to defend deep and pour forward at pace. One such break created space for Sean Hughes and the wing forward did not have to be asked twice. His finish was composed and confident and brought his team right back into the game 1-4 to 0-7.

Rock were rattled by the intensity of their opponents but a strong run and a superb finish from Padraig Mullan moved them three points clear again. Aghaloo refused to panic and points from Mc Kenna and Mc Elroy reduced the deficit to one. Rock full forward Senan Devlin pointed to stretch their lead to two before Aghaloo midfielder James O’Hara was on the end of a fine team move to finish to the net and put Aghaloo ahead for the first time in the game. Sean Hughes scored to extend the lead to two before Rock sub Callum Mc Creesh pointed to keep the pot on the boil.

As the game entered the closing stages Rock pushed forward in search of the scores that would save the game but James Mc Elroy scored on the break and suddenly a shock looked more likely. Rock continued to dominate possession and Ryan Mc Elduff scored to keep their hopes alive. However once more Aghaloo struck from the back and James O’Hara hit his team’s third goal of the night to put them four clear.

Rock continued to create chances and came close to getting the goal that might have saved the game for them. The Aghaloo defence however stood strong and once more goalkeeper Mc Kenna was called into action and Rock were denied. Late points from Corey Mc Elduff and Padraig Mullan left two between them but it was appropriate that their final attack was halted when team captain Michael Maguire claimed the ball and the final whistle sounded.

Credit to both sides for serving up such a high quality and entertaining game and to referee Shane Mc Keown who handled the game superbly.

Final score; Aghaloo 3-8, Rock 1-12.

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