St Mullins 3-7
24 months ago St Mullins had just returned to the big ball code and were operating out of Junior C.
Now after Friday nights exploits in horrid conditions, they find themselves just 60 minutes away from contesting a Junior A Final and a shot at going Intermediate.
Although Leighlinbridge were the Championship favourites before a ball was kicked, it shouldn’t be a massive surprise to anyone that St Mullins won this. But the winning margin was certainly unexpected.
The first half of this contest could easily be described by a word beginning with S and ending with E. And no, SAVAGE is not the correct answer!
In fairness the conditions were atrocious, but having said that there was still a lot of cheap ball given away on both sides behalf’s.
Aidan Lillis opened the scoring for Leighlin in the 6th minute, but St Mullins hit the front in the 11th when Marty Kavanagh stalled his run allowing James Doyle to create and overlap and on receipt of the ball Doyle smashed it home.
St Mullins wouldn't score again until stoppage time via Chris Kavanagh while Leighlin got two further scores from Lillis frees and another from Lee Conran which left things at 1-1 to 0-4 at half time after a dour opening.
During the first half both sides had shouts for penalties, Seamus Murphy probably more unlucky with his claim than Aidan Lillis mind you.
Aedan Byrne came on early for Leighlinbridge and scored two second half points. The first of these just after the resumption, but Chris Kavanagh and Seamus Murphy hit back with frees for St Mullins.
Another impressive Murphy free followed, with Paddy Boland and Mouse Kavanagh also pointing from play for St Mullins at one end as Fiach O’Toole and Aedan Byrne white flagged at the other but Boland knocked over another after that and St Mullins were 1-7 to 0-7 ahead approaching the last 5 minutes.
Then came the game’s defining moment. A likely attempt at a point from the right hand side on the scoreboard end hung dangerously in around the square. Seamus Murphy followed the flight of the ball and guided it to the back of the net.
The way the game was going, this meant Leighlin were goosed. They had a goal rightly disallowed as it was hand passed in without anyone making contact and in the end they had to settle for an Aidan Lillis pointed free.
St Mullins then put the icing on the cake when Jason O’Neill crashed home a sweet finish to make it an eight point win and a Semi Final clash with Palatine or Fighting Cocks.
And who would bet against them at this stage?
St Mullins: Paul Kehoe; Sean Doyle, Oisin Boland, Thomas Coady; Jack Kavanagh, Paudie Kehoe, Eamonn O’Shea; Paidi O’Shea, Marty Kavanagh (0-1); James Doyle (1-0), Conor Kehoe, Jason O’Neill (1-0); Paddy Boland (0-2), Seamus Murphy (1-2, 2f), Chris Kavanagh (0-2f).
Leighlinbridge: Cian Kavanagh; Cathal Brennan, Billy Lennon O’Brien, PJ Haughney; Geoffrey Doran, Kieran Casey, Joey Byrne; Liam Brennan, Robert O’Byrne; Cian Brennan, Darren O’Keeffe, Fiach O’Toole (0-1); Lee Conran (0-1), Shane Farrell, Aidan Lillis (0-4,3f).
Subs: Aedan Byrne (0-2) for Cian Brennan (19mins), Daniel Barron for Doran (HT), Charlie Nolan for O’Byrne (39 mins) Pakie Fleming for O’Keeffe (50 mins)
Referee: James Foley (Kilbride)