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Killenaule claim South Senior Hurling title after pulsating battle with Mullinahone

Published 2 years ago 29th August 2021 by Editor

Killenaule 1-20 Mullinahone 2-14

Killenaule were deserving winners of the South Senior Hurling title with a three point win over near neighbours Mullinahone on Saturday evening.

A sold out crowd, albeit reduced in number due to Covid restrictions were treated to a pulsating game that was played in both brilliant late summer sunshine and tropical thundery downpours.

Seamus Mullins chairman South Board and Kieran Gahan from Clonmel Oil (sponsor) present Killian ODwyer, captain Killenaule, with the cup

John O’Dwyer started brightly, opening the scoring with a brilliantly taken score over the shoulder, only for Mikey O’Shea to respond in kind with an equally brilliant point for Mullinahone in an even opening ten minutes. Eoin Kelly was seeking his 13th South Title (Mullinahone have only ever won 14 titles) and he edged Mullinahone in front after 13 minutes with his third point and second from placed balls. But that was to be the last time that Mullinahone led, as Killenaule took control on either side of the first half water break.

By now, Michael Doyle was proving to be a thorn in the side of the Mullinahone defence and the veteran Killenaule forward was proving himself to be unmarkable. He had notched his third from play before the end of the first quarter, popping up in a variety of forward positions to score with seeming ease.

His hurling brain and ability to read what was in front of him ensured he always seemed to be in the right place and space to receive a final pass and keep the scoreboard ticking. John O’Dwyer too was coming more to the fore with two further points before half time before scoring a fortuitous goal shortly before half time that Mullinahone goalkeeper Alan Walsh should have kept out. Kevin Waltzer and Kevin Bolger responded for Mullinahone but a five point half time advantage for Killenaule was a fair reflection of their first half dominant display. In fact, it could have and should have been more, had the Robins not spurned two glorious goal chances late in theopening half.

Killenaule were deserving winners of the South Senior Hurling title with a three point win over near neighbours Mullinahone last Saturday evening

The second half was dominated by two outstanding performances from midfielder Ciarán O’Dwyer and Michael Doyle for Killenaule. Some thirteen years separate these players age-wise but they both contributed handsomely to the scoreboard and, were it not for Eoin Kelly’s accuracy from placed balls, the game would have been long over before the spectators were treated to a late Mullinahone revival. Three quick fire points from John O’Dwyer (2) and Michael Doyle shortly after the second half water break epitomised the work-rate of Killenaule as they blocked and harried the Mullinahone defence and forced turnovers that invariably led to scores.

Seamus Mullins chairman South Board presents Michael Doyle with his Man of the Match trophy

The Killenaule lead was out to 8 points before two late Mullinahone goals from Martin Kehoe and Jack Shelly threatened to cause a surprise turnaround but late points from Doyle and O’Dwyer eased Killenaule to a three point victory. Man of the match Michael Doyle ended the game with 6 points from play winning his 9th South title, his 7th in hurling, coming 16 years after his first. While Ciarán O’Dwyer, in winning his first south senior title, must have been pushing Doyle close for the man of the match accolade. Killenaule will have reasonable grounds for optimism as they begin their Seamus O’Riain campaign this weekend and if they can replicate the intensity shown last Saturday evening into September then bright days await the South Tipp champions.

Scorers for Killenaule. John O’Dwyer 1-5, Ciarán O’Dwyer 0-7 (3 frees), Michael Doyle 0-6, Dean O’Connor 0-2.

Scorers for Mullinahone. Eoin Kelly 0-9 (7 frees), Jack Shelly 1-0, Martin Kehoe 1-0, Enda Keane 0-2, Kevin Walzer 0-1, Mikey O’Shea 0-1, Kevin Bolger 0-1.

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