AGB emerge as major threat after thumping win
AGB came into this game undefeated in the Senior football championship. They had two draws and two wins.
Annacurra, for their part, had no wins to their credit. They too had one draw but were playing for their pride in this game.
AGB were odds on favourites to win but no team is entitled to a championship win. They must merit that win. And the Arklow side more than deserved this big win in the Senior football championship played against Annacurra in Avondale on Friday night last.
Right from the throw in the Arklow men attempted to use their superior speed and fitness to run at their opponents from almost any location on the field.
Darragh Fitzgerald, Stephen Hurley and Cormac O’Shea had three points on the board in the first five minutes.
Annacurra were struggling to stay with the blistering pace of AGB in these early minutes. Frank Clune got their first point in the seventh minute, but JP Hurley and Stephen Hurley responded with two quick points.
The AGB half forwards were coming back into their own half to collect ball. Their markers were coming with them thus creating acres of space in front of the full-forwards.
Frank Clune pointed from a free in the tenth minute. From this point on the Arklow men began to utilise the space they were creating and went on a scoring spree until half-time.
Cormac O’Shea pointed again and was then put through with a long ball from outfield to set up Cathal Kelleher for the first goal of the game. O’Shea and Healy followed with two quick points and then came further disaster for Annacurra when a kick out went astray, and Kelleher set up Philip Healy for the Arklow side’s second goal.
In a rare Annacurra attack Shane O’Keeffe scored the third point for his side. Back came AGB with points from Chris O’Brien, JP Hurley, Stephen Hurley and another for Cormac O’Shea just before the half-time whistle.
Annacurra full-back James Keenan got forward to land the fourth Annacurra point.
Just before half-time the Derrysiders lost Alan Horan to a black card.
He was replaced by Michael Doyle, who went into goal and Bob Fitzgerald came outfield. With the half-time score at 2-12 to 0-4 the game was effectively over.
Annacurra got the first two points of the second half from Frank Clune and Dean Barnes. AGB had a couple of early wides but then struck for two goals.
The first came from overlapping wing back Andrew Maher who came forward and finished a move he had started outfield. The second was scored by Phil Healy, who ran on to a long kick from outfield and guided the ball past Michael Doyle for the fourth AGB goal.
From here to the end, AGB scored a further five points from Philip Healy, Cormac O’Shea, James Tyrell, JP Hurley and sub Tiernan McBride.
In the same period Annacurra actually scored more than their opponents with points from Clune, Ian McDonald and Gearoid Murphy who also scored a wonderful goal in the 21st minute when he noticed Mervyn Travers way off his line and chipped him with a great shot from 40 metres out.
Frank Clune, who put in a great second half, was wide from a penalty in the last few minutes. AGB ran out winners on a score of 4-17 to 1-9.
Scorers – AGB: Philip Healy 2-2, Cormac O’Shea 0-5, Cathal Kelleher 1-0, Andrew Maher 1-0, JP Hurley 0-3, Stephan Hurley 0-3, Darragh Fitzgerald, Chris O’Brien, James Tyrell, Tiernan McBride all 0-1. Annacurra: Frank Clune 0-4, Gearoid Murphy 1-1, Shane O’Keeffe, James Keenan, Dean Barnes, Ian McDonald all 0-1.
AGB: Mervyn Travers; Tom Maher, Jim Tyrell, Ciaran O’Shea; Cal Kelly, Ciaran Hyland, Andy Maher; JP Hurley, Chris O’Brien; Darragh Fitzgerald, Cormac O’Shea, Peter Hempenstall; Philip Healy, Cathal , Stephan Hurley. Subs. Tiernan McBride, Darragh Culleton, Tadgh Callahan, Jack Hamilton, Philip Gleeson.
Annacurra: Bob Fitzgerald; Shane McAllister, James Keenan, Liam Moules; Mick Healy, Paul McDonald, Alan Byrne; Martin O’Brien, Michael O’Brien; Dean Barnes, Gearoid Murphy, Ian McDonald; Shane O’Keeffe, Frank Clune, Alan Horan. Subs Michael Doyle, Elliot Robinson.
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Baltinglass)