I AM well aware that at the first inspection you would assume that this was a one-way street type of game, with all of the action going down the single lane towards the Mullinavat goal. Such was not the case in this South Roinn B junior hurling league clash in Mullinavat.
Of course it would be foolish of me to endeavour to disregard the result and pretend that Mullinavat looked likely winners from a long way out. They didn’t, but the score is not a true reflection of the action.
The big difference was that Graignamanagh had six attackers who knew where the posts were situated, and reaped the maximum value from the possession gained. On the other hand, Mullinavat were in possession of the ball on plenty of occasions, but unfortunately there was literally no penetration from a lightweight full-forward line that failed to capitalise on plenty of ball reaching their area.
In point of fact they scored just two points in both halves, and all came from the stick of Pat Mulhearn. Tommy Holden and Mulhearn were the only Mullinavat forwards who posed any threat.
At half-time Graignamanagh led by 0-10 to 0-2. The home side should have been closer.
Again the second half should have reflected a tighter encounter on the scoreboard rather than being a mirror image of the first half.
The winners were well served by the outstanding Ciaran O’Brien at left full-back, and the peerless Leonard Blanchfield at number three. His catching in particular was one of the highlights of a good Graig display. The O’Donnells’, Nick and Jim, were excellent on the half back line, while Paul Whelan, Ryan O’Halloran, Cathal Roche and Jamie McGrath caused terrible problems for a constantly under pressure Mullinavat defence.
It was great to see the Herculean Hughie Flood back in the Graig lineup after suffering an horrendous injury 12 months ago.
Mullinavat had sturdy, courageous operators in Joe Wall, Robbie Malone, J.T. Murphy, John Reid, Pat Mulhearn, Tommy Holden, Jim Holden and Niall Frisby.
Scorers: Graignamanagh - Jim O’Donnell (0-4); Hughie Flood (0-4, two frees, one 65); Ryan O’Halloran (0-4, all frees); Paul Whelan (0-3); Adam Kennedy (0-2); Jamie McGrath, Cathal Roche (0-1 each); Bernard Hennessy (0-1, 65). Mullinavat - Pat Mulhearn (0-4, two frees).
Graignamanagh - Michael Bolger, Ciaran O’Brien, Leonard Blanchfield, Tom O’Donnell, Diarmuid O’Neill, Bernard Hennessy, Nick O’Donnell, Jim O’Donnell, Sean O’Brien, Adam Kennedy, Pauric Whelan, Hughie Flood, Ryan o’Halloran, Cathal Roche, Jamie McGrath. Subs - Patrick Dowling, James McCabe, Dane Mangan, Steven Moylan.
Mullinavat - Conor Frisby, Michael Jones, Joey Wall, Mossy Jones, Robbie Malone, J.T. Murphy, Brian Phelan, John Reid, Brian Power, Pat Mulhearn, Tommy Holden, Shane Frisby, Richard Cunningham, Jim Holden, Steven Ryan. Sub - Niall Frisby.
Referee - John Kennedy (Shamrocks).