Eoin Kelly was one of the key men for Mullinahone.
Mullinahone qualified for the South Tipperary SHC final with a comfortable win over a disappointing Ballingarry at Clonmel, 2-16 to 0-10.
Ballingarry had first use of the strong breeze but Kickhams opened the scoring within a minute with an Enda Keane point. However, when Ballingarry attacked Mullinahone fouled and Dylan Walsh put Ballingarry on level terms.
An Eoin Kelly point from a free put Mullinahone back in the lead and this looked even better after seven minutes when Ballingarry sent a free wide.
Two minutes later a scuffle broke out among five or six players. Basically, it was handbag stuff, but Paul Guinan handed out yellow cards to Philip Ivors and Paul Curran. This action hardly roused the crowd.
Five minutes later A.J. Cronin used his strength at full forward to slam in a Mullinahone goal. Ian Ivors came back with a Ballingarry point from long range. Ballingarry hit two points, the second from Ger Fennelly, but Mullinahone did likewise courtesy of Enda Keane.
When Ciaran Shelly was yellow carded, Eoin Kelly pointed the resultant free and C.J.K. led by 1-5 to 0-4 after twenty minutes. Ciaran Shelly, and Dylan Walsh from a free cut the lead to two points. Points were exchanged but a Jack Shelly point gave Mullinahone a four point lead 1-8 to 0-7 having played against the stiff breeze.
Points were again exchanged after the break and Mullinahone's Graham Horan was yellow carded. Dylan Walsh pointed the free, but Enda Keane pointed from a sideline cut. It was the score of the game.
During the next fifteen minutes Mullinahone outpointed Ballingarry 0-3 to 0-1 with both Kellys contributing.
Mullinahone were extremely wasteful in their shooting at this stage in the game. Two more yellow cards were handed out as Mullinahone took control.
A Sean Curran goal finished the game as a contest. Mullinahone brought on a number of their subs. One of them, Martin Kehoe looked impressive. He quickly hit a point and was fouled when going through for another. His ability to drive through at speed certainly opened up the Ballingarry defence as they seemed to throw in the towel. The final score was Mullinahone C.J.K. 2-16, Ballingarry 0-10.
The winning margin could have been much greater had Mullinahone availed of all their chances. Some would be critical of the way they retreated into defence and played too much of the game in their own half. Up front much of the threat came from Enda Keane and later from Martin Kehoe and Colin Shelly when they came on. When forwards win possession and run at defenders it is hard to stop them without conceding frees.
Up front Ballingarry seemed to lack a cutting edge and were wrapped up usually by Kevin Walzer, Paul Curran or Jack Shelly. Mullinahone can now look forward to a South final even if the county championship doesn’t go well. Ballingarry will have to pull something special out if their season doesn’t end in the county championship.
Mullinahone C.J.K. - Alan Walsh, Kevin Walzer, Paul Curran, Niall Curran, Jack Shelly, Eoin Fennelly, Luke Mullally, Graham Horan, Alan Curran, Sean Curran, Enda Keane, Micheál Dunne, Eoin Kelly, A.J. Cronin, Paul Kelly.
Ballingarry - Seanie Cahill, John Walsh, Sean Doheny, John Edward Molloy, Paul Butler, Ian Ivors, Ciaran Shelly, Ger Fennelly, Cillian Touhy, Eamon Touhy, Jack Fennelly, Adrian Cleere, Paudie Maher, Padraic Hayes, Dylan Walsh.
Referee: Paul Guinan (Killenaule)