Rower Inistioge 0-6
IT REALLY isn’t the easiest task in the world to write a story about a game where one side is as vastly superior as Mullinavat were when beating hapless Rower-Inistioge to qualify for the county junior hurling Roinn A final. As the score would indicate the Rower were but cannon fodder for rampant Mullinavat in as one-sided a game as you could see.
Without over-emphasising the obvious, but the better team won by a distance. One felt rather sorry for the Rower, because besides the fact that they were out-classed, the normal run of luck that most sides seem to get at some juncture in a game deserted them totally. Bounces of the ball, wayward striking, loose play all seemed to end up in the Mullinavat hands.
Mullinavat played with the strong breeze in Glenmore on Sunday, and that factor in Glenmore is a more pronounced one given the location of their fine complex on top of the hill.
One of the features of the game was the co-ordination of the Mullinavat team, in particular in their forward division. Led by the peerless Mossy Murphy, they are a pretty potent outfit. Mossy directs, encourages, assists and performs. He grabbed a couple of goals in the first half, doing what he has been doing all his hurling life.
He hangs around the place, invariably close to the opposition’s goalkeeper. His first goal arrived in the 6th minute when a strong shot by Andy McGovern was brilliantly stopped by Davy Murphy, but the buccaneering Mossy was on hand to slip it home.
Much the same scenario for the second, only this time the shooter was Ger Malone. Again Mossy was on hand to slip the sliotar home again. How long has the man been doing that for the black and white brigade?
Paddy Raftice opened the scoring with a point from a free in the first minute. John James Kenny - one of the few Rower Inistioge players to earn honours - equalised a minute later. But the winning of the game was probably underlined in an eight-minute spell from the Mossy Murphy opening goal.
The winners registered a whopping 2-6 without a single reply.
Conor Lyng, the second Rower man to come away with an honourable mention, shot the Rower’s second score in the 14th minute, which was the sum total of their contribution for the opening 30 minutes.
At half-time Mullinavat led by 2-11 to 0-2.
With the breeze in the second half, and their manager’s exhortations ringing in their ears, the Rower looked more determined and fired. Ciarán Ryan shot their third point and John James Kenny got their fourth from a 65.
But the damage had been inflicted, and it appeared that there was no instant miracle solution available. The Mullinavat men continued to pummel the Rower defence, and they got plenty of reward from players like Paddy Raftice, Mossy Murphy, Ger Malone and the flying Mark Mansfield. Joe Gahan, just to rub salt into the losers wounds, finished the game well and truly with a goal on the call of full time.
The winners defence was excellent and very unforgiving. Derek Aylward, Ger Anthony, Tomas Aylward and Liam Murphy were unplayable, such was their enthusiasm. Nicky Anthony and Simon Aylward were outright winners in the midfield battle, while all forward were superbly composed, clinical, and determined.
It will take a good team to top these lads.
The Rower had tremendous honesty of purpose in the likes of Davy Murphy, John James Kenny and Conor Lyng.
Scorers: Mullinavat - Mossy Murphy (2-2); Paddy Raftice (0-4, three frees); Joe Gahan (1-1); Mark Mansfield (0-4, one free); Tomas Aylward (0-3, frees); Andrew McGovern (0-2); Ger Malone (0-1). Rower-Inistioge - John James Kenny (0-4, two frees, one 65); Ciarán Ryan, Conor Lyng (0-1 each).
Mullinavat - Paddy Jones, Derek Aylward, Ger Anthony, Darren Kenneally, Brian Kenneally, Tomas Aylward, Liam Murphy, Nicky Anthony, Simon Aylward, Andrew McGovern, Ger Malone, Joe Gahan, Mark Mansfield, Mossy Murphy, Paddy Raftice.
Richie Ryan. Subs - Michael Cody, Cathal Bolger.
Rower-Inistioge - Davy Murphy, Nicky Kenny, Tom Grace, Neil Lyng, Tadhg Leahy, Rory Galavan, Paudie Fleming, Sean Lyster, David Tennyson, Pauric Ryan, John James Kenny, Ciarán Ryan, Luke Tennyson, Conor Lyng, Richie Ryan. Subs - Michael Cody, Cathal Bolger.
Referee - R. Dowling (Kilmacow)