Late O’Dwyer point earns Davins draw

South Senior Hurling

South Senior Hurling

Championship

Mullinahone 1-15

Carrick Davins 1-15

Before this game in Clonmel both sides were virtually sure of their places in the semi-finals. While Mullinahone were definitely through, Davins had to be wary of a Swan v Ballingarry draw and a Killenaule win. Mullinahone started without Eoin Kelly, although Paul Curran lined out. Davins scored first and made the early running. Mullinahone stayed with them and turned over only a point in arrears. In the second half the Kickhams had the advantage of playing into the GAA Centre end with the sun behind them, but Davins still kept a few points in front. Halfway through the half Mullinahone lost Kyran Vaughan to a red card and it seemed that Davins might pull away. However they didn’t, as 14- man Mullinahone upped their game. In the 29th minute Sean Curran pointed them into the lead for the first time and it seemed that Davins’ chance was gone in the 31st minute when Lee Mackey failed to convert a 65. However justice was done in the second minute of injury time when Willie O’Dwyer flashed over the equalising point and both teams were comfortably through. News of Swans’ win in Kilsheelan had filtered through in the last ten minutes and perhaps the Davins took their foot off the pedal. Patrons in Clonmel were well satisfied with a very competitive game.

Liam Mackey, who had a fine game for Davins, opened the scoring with a point from a free. Within a minute Sean Curran replied. Shane Butler restored Davins’ lead with another point from a free and then Willie O’Dwyer scored the first point from play. Adrian Doheny pulled this back but J.J. Butler pointed, having raced through. Sean Curran pointed a free. Michael Hackett made a great save in the Davins goal but Denis Connolly equalised when the ball wasn’t cleared. Pa Harris restored Davins’ lead when the Mullinahone backs failed to clear. After 15 minutes Shane Butler put Davins two points ahead. In the 22nd minute the game took a turn for the worst for Mullinahone. Alan Walsh saved well in goal but the in rushing Mikey Cronin finished to the net. Two minutes later Mullinahone got a break when a Sean Curran free dipped low and went to the net. Curran pointed another free a minute later but Ger Robinson restored the gap with a point from distance. Shane Butler had another point in the 28th minute. Sean Curran and Denis Connolly both scored Mullinahone points from frees in the run-up to half time and at the interval Davins led by 1-8 to 1-7.

Davins began the second half with a Shane Butler point from a free. Sean Curran replied and another Curran point brought the sides level. Yellow cards began to appear thick and fast. Davins began to push on when Lee Mackey pointed in the 10th minute and Davins pointed again two minutes later before J.J. Butler pointed. Then came the flare-up when the Kickhams lost Vaughan and Davins went four points up. Sean Curran pointed twice as Mullinahone dug in. He pointed a ‘65 in the 22nd minute and in the 25th minute he levelled from a free. Lee Mackey put Davins back in front from a ‘65. After 28 minutes Mullinahone pointed to level again and when Curran gave them the lead in additional time it looked as if they had stolen it. However, O’Dwyer gave Davins a deserved draw in the 32nd minute.

Davins played a nice brand of hurling and Lee Mackey and Richie McGrath defended stoutly. Willie O’Dwyer at midfield posed plenty of problems for the Kickhams. Up front the corner forwards, the Butler brothers, were troublesome.

Mullinahone hung in when they could have thrown in the towel. Alan Walsh was a good stopper in goal. Their half back line, anchored by the Pauls, Kelly and Curran, was strong and benefitted when Eoin Fennelly dropped back. The forward line depended too much on Sean Curran with most support coming from Denis Connolly and Donal Cody. The introduction of Cathal Horan will also be expected to pay future dividends. Both sides now look forward to the semi-finals having finished in the top four where they have been joined by Carrick Swan and Killenaule.

Mullinahone - Alan Walsh, Martin Costello, A.J. Cronin, Kyran Vaughan, Edwin O’Meara, Paul Curran, Paul Kelly, James Connolly, Eoin Fennelly, Donal Cody, Niall Curran, Alan Curran, Adrian Doheny, Sean Curran, Denis Connolly. Subs used: Niall Cronin, Cathal Horan, Philip O’Shea.

Carrick Davins - Michael Hackett, Keith Condon, John Coady, Stephen Cronin, Michael Ryan, Liam Mackey, Richie McGrath, Pa Harris, Willie O’Dwyer, Ger Robinson, Pa Dowley, Noel Butler, Shane Butler, Mikey Cronin, J.J. Butler.

Referee: Keith Delahunty (Moyle Rovers).