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I.H.L. Rd 2. Mullinavat 1-10 Danesfort 1-7

posted 9 May 2011, 10:02 by Tom Duggan
Report by Michael Duggan P.R.O. 06/05/2011
Our intermediate hurlers kept their winning record intact with a hard earned win over Danesfort in Ballyhale last Friday night.  Played in terrible conditions with constant wind and rain for the hour great credit to both teams for serving up such a pulsating game.  While the hurling mightn’t be of a terrific standard both sides showed commitment and courage in trying to play and indeed this was reflected in the number of bookings on the night.  The challenges were strong and fair and the result was in the balance right up until the final whistle.
Danesfort went into the game slight favourites backboned by 3 intercounty stars and having come off a good win over the Emeralds they were expected to take full points.  Mullinavat were short some of their big names in the forward division Willie O Dwyer was lost to work commitments while Michael Murphy was injured and Jamie Fennelly wasn’t 100% but managed to get through the hour.  However their replacements worked their socks off and this was evident right throughout the field.  Mullinavat got off to a very composed start and with the advantage of a slight breeze had 4 points on the board within 8 minutes.  The lead was short lived however when up poped Danesfort’s intercounty star Richie Hogan to crash the ball to the net and reduce the lead to 1 point.  Danesfort began to take over and with scores at a premium they soon forged into a slender lead.  Mullinavat could only register a single point for the rest of the half and the Half time score stood at Danesfort 1-3 Mullinavat 0-5.  Indeed Mullinavat could count themselves lucky that the margin was not much greater as the Danesfort radar was off the mark on a number of occasions.
Mullinavat made some positional switches during the first half and at the start of the second half and these seemed to strengthen Mullinavat’s case.  They now hunted in packs and chased and harried on every ball as if their lives depended on it.  It wasn’t until midway through the second half when the score that turned the game came along.  A high ball delivered into the forward line and after a scrimmage Andy Mc Govern was first to react and finished to the net.  The Mullinavat tails were now up and they sensed victory.  Hard as Danesfort tried to reduce the arrears they could not breach the Mullinavat rearguard.  Danesfort were then thrown a lifeline with the awarding of a dubious penalty and a chance to tie up the game with only minutes remaining.  Mullinavat goalkeeper James Culleton saved the day and with it victory on a score line of Mullinavat 1-10 to Danesfort 1-7 .
For Mullinavat this was a real team performance from 1 to 15.  James Culleton had a good solid game between the posts.  The full back line of Tony Duggan,Seamus Farrell and Joey Fennelly kept the scores of the Danesfort full forward line to a minimum.  The switch of Ian Duggan and Tony Duggan at half time seemed to work for both players and both had very good second halves.   The half back line was solid throughout and with the tweaking of it and midfield it seemed to strengthen both divisions.  The half back line for the second half read Tony Duggan,Walter Burke and Paudie Gahan.  The switch to midfield seemed to suit Damien Aylward and his partner Conor Conway scored some vital frees for the Vat men.  The half forward line of Michael Malone,Paddy Raftice and Dinny Butler worked their socks off with  great work rate for the hour each took turns to mark Kilkenny player Paddy Hogan and each played their part in stopping the Danesfort man from launching attacks on the vat backline.  In a new look full forward line Andy Mc Govern popped up with the match winning score while Jamie Fennelly  could be found everywhere all over the field.  This game gave Simon Aylward his first experience of this grade and the Bigwood lad can be very pleased with his first hour of Intermediate hurling.  No doubt we will see much more of this lad over the coming year.
A big well done to all concerned with the panel and great to see a winning mentality coming back into the club. The next game sees Mullinavat cross swords with Graiguenamanagh in Tullogher at the end of the month.  So with a couple weeks of training no doubt they will be ready for the occasion.
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