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Swan shock fancied Mullinahone to reach final

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Swan shock fancied Mullinahone to reach final

Glanbia South SHC semi-final
Carrick Swan 0-17
Mullinahone 0-12
When these two sides met earlier in the league section of the Glanbia championship, Swan emerged as victors courtesy of a last minute goal. In that game there was really nothing at stake and both teams played under strength sides. It was a fine open game with lots of goals and plenty of good hurling from the young players on each side.

On Friday night last in Kilsheelan both sides again clashed in the semi-final. The game was again close but this time while Swan's younger contingent stepped up to the mark, many of Mullinahone's younger brigade were marked absent in spirit if not in body. This was no exhibition game but a somewhat tense affair in which grit and determination went a long way. The game suffered as a spectacle because of the absence of goals but the closeness of the scoring throughout made up for this.

Outsiders coming into the game, in the eyes of many, Swan fought for every ball from No. 15 all the way back to No. 1.

None exemplified these sterling qualities more that Gerry Walsh at corner back whose spirited challenges for the ball were an inspiration to his team mates. At the other end of the field full forward Stephen Hahessy, more renowned as a footballer, also put himself about to great effect.

Perhaps it is significant that both these players played well in areas of the field where Mullinahone's big two Paul Curran and Eoin Kelly operated. While both played well, they were not in a position to dominate the game. Kelly scored 0-10 of Mullinahone's total with the other two points coming from a line ball and from one of their midfielders. None of the other Mullinahone forwards scored from play.

At the other end Paul Curran defended well but was too close to his own goal to set Kelly free at the other end with long clearances. The Swan half forward line of O'Hanlon, Reade and Diffly were also adept at picking off points from long distance and didn't bother Curran or his goalkeeper Sean Foxe too much. In the tactical battle it was Swans who came out on top as basically they controlled the middle sections of the field.

Mullinahone began with an Eoin Kelly point from a free in the first minute. Keith Delahunty was also in early action booking both the Mullinahone corner back and the Swan corner forward after a scuffle. On six minutes Eoin Kelly had a point from the centre forward position but a minute later Stephen Hahessy pointed when he received from Paul Diffly. Two minutes later Eddie Carey pointed for Mullinahone but a wandering Hahessy pointed for Swan after 12 minutes.

Sub used - Keith Walsh

Mullinahone: Seanie Foxe, Martin Costello, Paul Curran, Niall Cronin, Philip O’Shea, Niall Curran, Shane O’Brien, Eddie Carey, Kevin Bolger, Sean Curran, Ned Tobin, Donal Cody, Eoin Kelly, A J Cronin, Kevin Walzer. Sub used - Edwin O’Meara

On 13 minutes Eoin Kelly pointed from half way. Kieran Reade saw yellow and Eoin Kelly put Mullinahone three points ahead. Reade himself hit back with a point and after 17 minutes Danny O'Hanlon a Swan free. Another O'Hanlon free had the sides level after 19 minutes. Two minutes later he pointed again and M.J. Walsh pointed as Swan gained in confidence.

On 27 minutes another O'Hanlon free put them three points up having been three points down. Eoin Kelly pointed a long free but within a minute Stephen Hahessy replied.

In added time, Eoin Kelly pointed another long distance free but in the next two minutes Paul Diffly scored two very important points for Swan.

Half time: Carrick Swan 0-11, Mullinahone 0-7.

Swan began the second half well with an O’Hanlon point from a free. Sean Curran suffered an injury after four minutes but remained on the field. Two minutes later Ned Tobin pointed from a line ball and two minutes later again Kelly pointed a free to cut the gap to a goal.

At this stage, Gerry Walsh was defending really well for Swan. After ten minutes Danny O’Hanlon pointed a free to put Swan four points up. A minute later we got a hint that it might not be Mullinahone’s night. One of the Mullinahone forwards appeared to be fouled but the free went to Swan and resulted in a point for Danny O’Hanlon. The gap was now five points when another Kelly point at this stage would have cut it to three.

Edwin O’Meara came on for Mullinahone and when Eoin Kelly pointed a free for a foul on himself after 14 minutes, Mullinahone were up to 0-10. Kevin Lanigan was yellow carded for Swan. We had then 10 scoreless minutes with Danny O’Hanlon missing a 65. On 24 minutes the gap was down to three points when Kelly pointed yet another free. O’Hanlon (free) and Kelly (65) exchanged points in the next three minutes while it was Kieran Reade who was sent up to point another Swan 65 on the stroke of full time.

Again in added time Paul Diffly pointed to leave the final score Carrick Swan 0-17, Mullinahone 0-12.

It was a deserved win for Swan’s spirit. Perhaps, their good minors of a few years ago are now coming of age. They looked a well balanced team and the win over Mullinahone will give them confidence. This may have been Swan’s first win over Mullinahone in the knockout stages of the senior hurling championship since the late 1990s or possibly ever.

Swan began with Brian Grace replacing Darren Fahy in the published lineout. They also introduced Keith Walsh during the second half. The presence of Dinny Cahill in the background was also noted. Swan will be a handful for anyone in the “Glanbia” final whenever it takes place.

Mullinahone’s supporters will be disappointed. Too many of their players seemed to expect victory to come to them rather than going out to win it for themselves. Their mentors didn’t react to obvious deficiencies in areas of the field. Perhaps, they will respond with an improved showing in the county championship. Early in the season the odds on an all Carrick final would have been high. Now they are certainly considerably lower.

Carrick Swan: Tom Kennedy, John Walsh, Alan O’Sullivan, Gerry Walsh, Martin Russell, Kevin Lanigan, Brian Grace, M J Walsh Johnny Grace, Danny O’Hanlon, Kieran Reade, Paul Diffly, A P Ryan, Stephen Hahessy, Dwayne Fogarty.



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"And I wouldn't much care for Sierra Leone, If I hadn't seen Killenaule
And the man that was never in Mullinahone,
Shouldn't say he had travelled at all."


poet. C.J. Boland