All Ireland winning Tipperary captain Eoin Kelly helps Mullinahone to Junior B title

All Ireland winning Tipperary captain Eoin Kelly helps Mullinahone to Junior B title

Joint captains Joe O'Meara and Niall Cronin with Board vice chairman Hugo Browne and sponsor Sean Connolly, Clonmel Oil.

 

                                                                                 

Mullinahone edged out St. Mary's by a single point, 0-19 to 2-12 in  a hugely exciting South Tipperary Junior HC 'B' final played in very difficult weather conditions in Monroe.

Former All Ireland winning Tipperary captain Eoin Kelly came off the bench to help his side to victory.

Rainfall in the morning and in the lead up to the throw in as well as a heavy coat of grass made the pitch extremely slippery, but credit to both sides they hurled away and gave excellent entertainment to what was rather a small crowd.  

Referee, Seanie Lonergan also played his part in keeping the game flowing.  

St. Mary’s came into this game with high hopes of another championship to add to South and County honours already won in Intermediate hurling.  They will be senior next year and join with Swan, Killenaule, Ballingarry and Mullinahone in South Tipp.  

In previous years they had won the South Tipp Junior B title twice. 

 The Mullinahone team pictured with the cup.

Opponents C.J.K. had won this title previously three times, but had a very poor year in South Tipp senior hurling in 2017.  

One could say that some of the lads were putting down markers on making their sides senior teams in 2018.  

Mullinahone pulled a rabbit out of the hat after half time when they introduced former Tipp great Eoin Kelly who had been injured all the year,  into the game.  

The ex Tipp player was to make his mark.                                                                                                                

St. Marys had the advantage of a diagonal wind in the first half, but C.J.K. started the better.  

However, after 12 minutes the sides were level with Mullinahone points coming from Joe O’Meara, Kevin Bolger and Ger Horan.  St. Marys replied with two from Danny Slattery and one from Emmet Ryan.  

Both sides also missed simple frees during this first quarter. 

 C.J.K. pointed twice from Ger Horan and Kevin Bolger.  In between Michael Boland in the Marys goal brought off a great save. His opposite number was to perform in a similar fashion later.  

Emmet Ryan and Brian McDonnell brought their side level with points in the 21st and 22nd minutes.  Joe O’Meara and Brian Carroll exchanged points before Kevin Bolger from a free gave C.J.K. the half time lead 0-7          to 0-6. 

Kelly was soon in action pointing two frees in the first and third minutes of the second half.  The second free was for a late foul.  

Danny Luttrell put C.J.K. three points ahead as St. Marys corner back saw yellow. 

Wing  back Darragh Kelly opened up the gap to five points and Mullinahone looked as if they might pull away. 

Not a bit of it.  St. Marys pointed in eight minutes, goaled in nine and levelled with a point in the 10th before going ahead when Carroll pointed a free as they hit a purple patch. 

 In 12 minutes Joe O’Meara steadied C.J.K. with a point.  Kyran Vaughan put them ahead and an Eoin Kelly free in 17 minutes put two points in it.  

Ger Horan added another point and in 21 minutes Kyran Vaughan made the gap four. 

St. Marys came straight back with a goal from Brian Carroll.  Another Kelly free steadied Mullinahone, but St. Mary's  narrowed the gap to a point in 23 minutes. 

 In 25 minutes the Clonmel side had a glorious chance when they were awarded a penalty but the ball flew over the bar and not into the net. 

In the 29th minute  St. Marys took the lead with a point from a narrow angle. As Mullinahone hearts sank, Danny Luttrell went through and levelled.  

In the 32nd minute Mullinahone were awarded a free in midfield which Eoin Kelly drove towards the posts.  The shot drifted left as it fell short but however he did it, Danny Luttrell knocked the ball over the bar to put Mullinahone back in the lead and leave them the “Clonmel Oil” champions of 2017. 

The referee blew the final whistle on the puck out.   

                                                                                              Mullinahone’s supporters erupted.  After they had seen the game snatched from their grasp in the final minutes they had come back to grab a dramatic victory.  

Both sides deserve great credit  and maybe, just maybe, victory rests where it belongs. 

After the game South Board Vice Chairman, Hugo Brown thanked all who had organised the final and he called on John Condon to present the Clonmel Oil Campionship Cup to the joint C.J.K. captains Niall Cronin and Joe O’Meara.

                                                                                                                                  Mullinahone:  Brendan Kearney, Michael Cody, Ciaran O’Shea, Paul Luttrell, David Walzer, Keith Mullally, Darragh Kelly, Niall O’Brien, Kevin Bolger, Niall Cronin, Kyran Vaughan, John O’Grady, Ger Horan, Joe O’Meara, Danny Luttrell. Sub used  Eoin Kelly.

St. Marys:  Michael Boland, Daragh Phelan, Sean Gunne, Johnny O’Mahony, Gavin Power, Sean Adamson, Jamie Ahearne, Fergal Condon, Jamie McGuire, David Hoyne, Brian McDonnell, Michael O’Reilly, Brian Carroll. Emmet Ryan, Danny Slattery.

Referee:  Seanie Lonergan (Moyle Rovers)