A single point separated the sides in this entertaining junior ‘B’ hurling championship game in Thomastown, but it was enough for the winning Graignamanagh contingent to enjoy.
It is said that what is rare is wonderful, and this victory fro the Barrowsiders was sweet, and in honest probability, a deserved result. It makes the result all that meritorious in that they were forced to gather players to fulfil the fixture due to the unavailability of many, for a whole list of reasons.
Credit therefore to the lads who donned the green and white hoops for the sake of the little village. The fact that they won, albeit by the slenderest of margins, made it all so very well worth while.
Jamie McGrath shot the Graig lads out of traps fairly sharpishly with a good free in the 3rd minute. His effort was evened up with a grand jim Holden point for Mullinavat after six minutes. Graig led by 0-6 to 0-4 by the 18th minute, and 0-9 to 0-6 by the 28th minute. T
hey received a tremendous fillip just before the break when Jamie McGrath crashed home a great goal. The scoreboard at the break read, Graignamanagh 1-9, Mullinavat 0-7.
There was still a bit of hurling to be done. Graignamanagh had stretched their advantag to five points by the 40th minute, and they looked odds on to cruise home.
But the doughty Mullinavat slipped a gear, and points from Pat Mulhearn, Ciarán Boyle, John Reid, and Eoin Maher had reduced the margin to a single point by the 45th minute. But Graig grabbed a smasher of a goal from Dane Mangan in the 49th minute which rocked the Rod Iron lads to their foundations.
Back they came to draw level by the 59th minute, thanks to a goal by Boyle, and it looked anybodie’s game at that stage.
When it looked like an extra time scene, up stepped the reliable Nick O’Donnel-no better man- to belt over a winning score. A good, if unspectacular game, with the correct end result.
Scorers: Graignamanagh - Jamie McGrath (1-3, two pointed frees); Pauric Whelan (0-5, two frees); Dane Mangan (1-0); Ger Walsh (0-2); Tom O’Donnell, Jim O’Donnell, Diarmuid O’Neill, Nick O’Donnell (0-1 each). Mullinavat - Ciarán Boyle (1-2); John Reid (0-3); David Murphy (0-3, one free); Eoin Maher, Pat Mulhearn (0-2 each); Michael Jones (0-2, frees); Brian Power, Jim Holden (0-1 each).
Graignamanagh - Hugh Flood, James McCabe, Leonard Blanchfield, Liam Hearne, Jordan Brett, Diarmuid O’Neill, Nick O’Donnell, Jim O’Donnell, Tom O’Donnell, Ger Walsh, Pauric Whelan, Dane Mangan, Jamie McGrath, Michael Dunne, Ryan O’Halloran. Sub - Alan Morrissey.
Mullinavat - Paddy Jones, Shane Frisby, Kevin Aylward, Ryan Bland, Conor Duggan, Brian Phelan, Damien Reid, Michael Jones, Eoin Maher, David Murphy, Pat Mulhearn, John Reid, Ciarán Boyle, Jim Holden, Brian Power. Sub - Liam Fennelly.