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Junior A team on a roll.

posted 28 Aug 2012, 01:08 by Tom Duggan
Reports by Michael Duggan P.R.O.

The  Junior A team keep the bandwagon rolling on in the parish at the moment.  After a good win in the first round of the championship against Thomastown last week they faced old rivals Carrickshock in the Southern Semi Final in Piltown last Saturday evening.  After a very entertaining first half there was little or nothing between the teams and with the Vat men aided by a strong breeze  were 5 points to the good.  The general consensus around the ground was that it might not have been enough in the conditions.  Mullinavat had missed a number of chances including a penalty and indeed had a Mossy Murphy goal disallowed for a square infringement which was dubious to say the least.
Whatever was served in the dressing room at half time liquid or verbal seemed to do the trick and Mullinavat got into a rhythm which they held to the end of the contest.  In the second period they outscored their rivals by 1-11 to 0-4.  Midway through the second half Carrickshock had a player sent off when he seemed to lose the run of himself and left Jimmy Fitzgearld of Piltown with little or no choice.  This ended the game as a contest and Mullinavat scored at will for the remainder of the game.  They now face the Rower Inistioge in the southern final which is provisionally booked for the 26th of August.
Unfortunately the game had a cost to Mullinavat with very promising young wing back Robbie Malone being helped off the field with what looked like a serious knee injury.  We wish Robbie a speedy recovery and hope the injury is not as bad as it seemed on the night.  This was a great team performance from 1 to 15 with everybody pulling their weight.  Paddy Jones dealt with everything that came his way and had hawk eye been in use might have conceded a goal late on in the game..  The backs were rock solid with Liam Murphy giving another great display.  Liam is like a good wine getting better with age.  Midfielders Nickey Anthony and Simon Aylward both had good games and both contributed to Mullinavats scoring tally of 1-23.  Up front the forwards had great movement and pace and punished the shock backline at every opportunity.  Paddy Raftice was unerring on frees.  So another good result for this group of players and a mouth watering clash with the Rower in two weeks time.

A good weekend for the club when they got their first silverware of the 2012 season.  Last Sunday night in a windy Pairc Na Ratha Glenmore they overcame the challenge of the Rower Inistioge to win the Junior A south final.  The game originally fixed for Ballyhale was cancelled at the last minute and both teams agreed to go to Glenmore.  This was billed as a game that could go either way and in some quarters extra time was being spoken about as a draw could have been an outcome.  However no one told Mullinavat who had defeated Thomastown and Carrickshock to get to this stage.  The Rower were defending champions and were in no mood to relinquish their title.
The game opened brightly and both teams traded points from placed balls one point a piece.  This was the only time the sides were level as Mullinavat took a foothold on the game and playing with the aid of a strong breeze moved through the gears effortlessly.  The evergreen Mossy Murphy playing at full forward changed this game when he scored the first of his two first half goals.  Set up by a great save by the Rower goalkeeper after a Mark Mansfield bullet Mossy was on hand to apply the finishing touches.  Three more points followed from Paddy Raftice,Mark Mansfield and Joe Gahan and Mossy Murphy pounced to score his second goal.  Mullinavat continued to dominate the rest of the half and needed all the scores as they were playing with a stiff breeze.  The half time score read Mullinavat 2-11 The Rower Inistioge 0-2
The second half started with The Rower opening the scoring and everyone in attendance was waiting for the Rower fightback.  However again no one told Mullinavat and for the first 10 minutes both sides traded scores with Mullinavat subduing their opponents to shooting from long distances.  Then disaster struck for Mullinavat  when they lost midfielder Nickey Anthony to a second yellow card.  This player has played for Mullinavat since he was in National School and this was probably his second ever booking.  To see a player of his grace standing on the sideline after being sent off beggars belief. When we witnessed some of the stuff that went on in the game in particular the treatment dished out to Thomas Aylward and we see an individual punished that has never pulled a dirty stroke in his life you wonder what runs through the mind of a referee.
This sending off seemed to affect the Rower more than Mullinavat as it was Mullinavat who looked to have the extra man.  They seemed to score at will and just to finish off the game Joe Gahan rattled the Inistioge net to leave the final score Mullinavat 3-17 The Rower 0-6.  They now face Graigue Ballycallan in the county final which is now fixed  for Hugginstown on Sunday next at 1 pm. This promises to be a cracker of a game.