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Under 21 Mullinavat 1-17 v Rower Inistioge 1-15

posted 24 Nov 2012, 14:14 by Tom Duggan
Report by Michael Duggan P.R.O.

The under 21 team got their season under way last Saturday in Pairc Na Ratha Glenmore.  With conditions cold and breezy the heavy shower before the start did nothing to heat the spectators that had braved the elements to view the fare on show.  For those who made the journey they were to get good value from two committed teams.  Mullinavat had some work done over the last couple of weeks in terms of challenge matches and some training but there is nothing like the heat of battle to see where you stand at this time of year.
Both teams had a sprinkling of their intermediate panels on view but Inistioge had to line out without their county under 21 star Joe Lyng.  Mullinavat had a full hand to choose from with the exception of Robert Malone who is out until 2013 with a knee injury sustained during the Special Junior A game earlier in the season.  Robbie is making good progress and is already looking forward to the New Year and a chance to get back to competitive action.
For the first 20 mins of the game Mullinavat seemed to have the upper hand but with all their superiority the Rower were very much in the game.  With the score line reading Mullinavat 0-7 The Rower 0-4 the game was about to change in Mullinavat’s  favour.  A great move started by John Walsh was finished to the net by the same player after a neat passing move by the Vat men.  With a six point cushion heading to half time it seemed no more than Mullinavat deserved.  However a brace of points by Conor Joyce left the halftime score Mullinavat 1-7 to Rower Inistioge 0-6.
The Rower came out after half time and with renewed enthusiasm and with 3 unanswered points had the lead down to the minimum.  Mullinavat somewhat steadied the ship and a Simon Aylward free and a great Mark Mansfield point from out on the dressing room side wing seemed to get the Vat men going again.  The Rower had different ideas though and with a brace of points brought the lead right back to one point again.  Again Mullinavat got a foothold on proceedings and after a great run by wing back Paudie Gahan Mullinavat’s under 21 county panellist Ian Duggan dissected the Rower posts.  Ciarian Boyle got in on the scoring act and put Mullinavat up by 3 points again.
But the Inistioge men would not go away and fired over another point.  With Mullinavat leading by two points and time almost up a terrific run and a great point by Paudie Gahan looked as if it was the winning score.  With Mullinavat winning by 3 all Mullinavat supporters in attendance were awaiting the final whistle.  But with time almost up The Rower made one final attack for the levelling score and got it.  With the game tied at 1-12 each the referee blew the final whistle and brought the game to extra time.  This was no more than both teams deserved after a pulsating second half.
Both teams were out on their feet but the next 20 minutes were going to decide this fixture and Mullinavat thundered into the first period of extra time outscoring their opponents by 3 points to 1.  The scores coming from Simon Aylward, Mark Mansfield and Birthday boy Paudie Gahan.  This left the score Mullinavat 1-15 to The Rower’s 1-13 after the first period of extra time.  With the game still in the melting pot The Rower got the first point of the second period of extra time to leave just one point between the teams again.  Mullinavat’s Mark Mansfield and Inistioge’s Conor Joyce exchanged scores and with the minutes ticking down it was still anybody’s game.  The final score of the game belonged to Thomas Aylward who ensured Mullinavat their entry to the next round of the competition.  The game played in a great competitive spirit was marred somewhat by two straight red cards for a little bit of fistie cuffs before the finish.  A good game played in a competitive manner with some good hurling for this time of year.   I think both clubs will be happy that they have some good talent emerging from the underage ranks to serve them into the future.  Some of the younger players for Mullinavat were outstanding namely John Walsh in midfield Brian Phelan at Wing Back and Liam Fennelly in the forward division these are ones for the note book.  Here’s looking forward to the next round.