U21 B South Tipp hurling semifinal
Goals win for Mullinahone
Mullinahone CJK 5-13 Carrick Davins 1-11
Although in the end there was a 14 point gap between the sides this was an exciting good quality semi-final played in Kilsheelan, early on Saturday afternoon. At half time the sides were level 1-6 each, even if Kickhams had played against a strong breeze in the first half. Davins went into the lead with a point early in the second half but after five minutes Sean Fitzgerald goaled for CJK. They followed this up with two points to which Luke Faulkner replied with a point but thing began to look ominous for the Carrick lads when Graham Horan cracked to their net in eight minutes. CJK were now six points clear but Davins were denied a chance to come back into the game by a sound CJK defence. Two further goals in the last eight minutes from Horan and then from Colin Shelly, put clear by Sean Fitzgerald put their side well in front. All five of their goals were cracking shots to the net while Davins sole green flag was a high ball into the goal area and the goalie’s hurley seems to have got caught in the net under the crossbar as he attempted to block. The quality of the Mullinahone goals had to be admired giving Kevin Faulkner no chance.
The game began with Davins having the advantage of a strong breeze blowing towards the roadside goal but in the first minute Graham Horan served notice with CJK’s first goal. In the fifth and eighth minutes, two frees from Luke Faulkner finished up in 1–0 0-1 for Davins, the goal resulting from a free dropping short in towards the crossbar. A point from a free by Eoghan Brett levelled up matters. Faulkner and Brett then exchanged points from frees. Horan and Colin Shelly put Mullinahone two points ahead as Davins began to lose the chance of scores due in inaccuracy. Two quick points from Michael Whelan levelled up the score, but a Horan point put Mullinahone in front again. Then came a Davins point from close in which really should have been a goal. In the final minute before the break Eoghan Brett and Jamie Houlihan exchanged points, leaving the sides level at 1-06 each at the break.
The first ten minutes of the second half saw Mullinahone build up a 3-11 to 1-11 lead with Daragh Kelly joining the list of scorers with a fine point. Gradually Mullinahone’s half backs and midfield began to gain control and had their half forward line been more incisive the final goals could have come sooner as Mullinahone finished well in control of the game. They brought on John O’Grady and Conor O’Halloran in the final minutes before the Fitzgerald- Shelly classic fifth goal. Soon after referee Paddy Ivors blew the final whistle with CJK deserving winners on a score of 5-13 to 1-11.
Mullinahone now go forward to the final where they will meet either Grangemockler or Ballybacon. They have won four games in a row to reach the final and they have improved as the campaign progressed. Their full back line of Hicks, Luttrell, Gayson or Reilly are good hurlers protecting goalie Kearney. Their half back line of Dunne, Kelly and Hayes is possibly their best line. On Saturday Shelly and Fennelly played well at midfield while up front their best were the strong Keane and the elusive Horan. For Davins their goalie Faulkner could not be blamed for any of the goals. Mackey at full back had his hands full. James Houlihan did well at centre back. Midfield didn’t give much away, but at times Michael Whelan was playing a lone hand up front ,apart from Luke Faulkner who struck his frees well. Referee Paddy Ivors kept the game moving.
C.J. Kickhams: Brendan Kearney, Paul Luttrell, Liam Hicks, Stephen Reilly, Eddie Hayes, Micheál Dunne, Daragh Kelly, Colin Shelly, Liam Fennelly, Joe Hogan, Eoghan Brett, Enda Keane, Oisin McNamara, Graham Horan, Sean Fitzgerald.
Carrick Davins: Kevin Faulkner, Liam Butler, Conor Mackey, Edward Power, James O’Neill, Jamie Houlihan, Ray Cooke, Billy Roche, Brendan O’Sullivan, Luke Faulkner, Adam Foran, Daragh Wells, Jonathan Walker, Michael Whelan, Freddie Doyle.
Referee: Paddy Ivors (Ballingarry)
Report supplied by Ricky Sheehan