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Saints stay on track for crack at unique 3 in a row

Stephen Bambrick
September 25, 2023

Carlow Junior A Football Championship Semi Final

St Mullins 2-12

Palatine 0-9

They've done 3 in a row in hurling before. Now the question is, can they do a different version of it?

St. Mullins booked their place in the 2023 Talbot Hotel JFC, with it a chance for a 3rd promotion in a row, a successive clean sweep of A, B, and C titles on the line next Saturday with their meeting with the Fighting Cocks.

With every game St. Mullins play, they seem to be getting that bit better. On the night, reversing the group stage loss to the Bennekerry outfit, with a stronger team than then on show up against the younger Palatine team who chipping away at a half-time deficit before the physically stronger Bahana based side finished the better.

Chris Kavanagh had the game's opening score from a close-range free in the 2nd min, replied to by Dylan Doyle from Paul Reid's pass on 4 mins. Seamus Murphy and Doyle trading frees soon after in a period where Sean Buggy had to be alert on a number of occasions, 0-2 a piece on 10 mins.

A rich vein of form for St. Mullins through James Doyle (2, the second just avoiding the crossbar) and Marty Kavanagh to open a 3 point gap on the 16th min saw Padraic Kelly replying immediately before the 19th minute saw St. Mullins eventually get the green flag they had threatened to get, with Palatine trying to build from the back it was Jason O Neill's interception and fine finish with Sean Buggy unlucky not to keep it from crossing the line, Mouse adding a white flag immediately for 1-6 to 0-3.

Palatine had their moments but wayward shooting on times while under pressure I might add on either side. Chris Kavanagh's free on 24 min left it up to the hard-working Matthew Farrell on the half-time whistle with a score from 35 m to leave 1-7 to 0-4 at the break.

A good start vital for Pal in the 2nd half, Dylan Doyle with a sweet strike on 35 mins got them up and running but they were dealt a blow minutes later with the loss of Paul Reid to a red card, though down numerically with James Cranny pointing soon after it was Pal who were the better side on the scoreboard for the next quarter or so, only a Seamus Murphy free on 46 min before Doyle with one from play and a free and Cranny's second had it 1-8 to 0-9 with 56 mins gone.

Factor in Matthew Farrell clearing off his line after Buggy parried a goal-bound effort before he literally saved the best till last with a brilliant left-hand save from Conor Kehoe, the resultant 45 like a couple of others not finding the target.

St. Mullins having only scored once in over 30 mins needed a response and it came via four scores in as many minutes, Paddy Boland and Chris Kavanagh points in the 57 and 58 min, then the clincher with Conor Kehoe this time finding the net on 59 and the mightily impressive throughout Jason O Neill's point on 60 mins due reward for his play.

Seamus Murphy added a free in additional time to seal the deal and a place in next Saturday's final with The Fighting Cocks, a fascinating encounter awaits, while for Palatine, their young crew in particular can take great heart from their 2023 junior campaign.

St Mullins: Paul Kehoe, Sean Doyle, Oisin Boland, Thomas Coady, Jack Kavanagh, Paudie Kehoe, Eamon O' Shea, Paidi O'Shea, Marty Kavanagh (0-2), James Doyle (0-2), Conor Kehoe (1-0), Jason O Neill (1-1), Paddy Boland (0-1), Seamus Murphy (0-3f), Chris Kavanagh (0-3, 0-2f) Subs: Alex Doyle

Palatine: Sean Buggy, Glen Forde, Sean Woods, Chris Parle, Matthew Kenny, Brian Broderick, Sean Dermody, Jack Doyle, Matthew Farrell (0-1), Padraic Kelly (0-1), Dylan Doyle (0-5, 0-3f), Cian Campion, Paul Reid, Lee Gordon, James Cranny (0-2). Subs: Tommy Fitzharris, Cian Fitzpatrick, Jack Archibald

Referee: James Foley