Kieran's College are back in the All-Ireland final
Adrian Mullen played a captain’s role as he fired reigning champions St Kieran’s College back into the All-Ireland senior hurling final.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks player helped himself to 2-9 as the Saints dismantled St Brigid’s of Loughrea with an impressive display in Tullamore.
St Brigid’s started like a train, taking a pacy game to Kieran’s as they opened with points from Dylan Towolawi and Damian McGlynn but the Saints responded through an Adrian Mullen brace.
St Brigid’s were bright in the opening stages, with Donal Mannion leading the charge, but once Kieran’s found their rhythm they proved unstoppable. In a 17-minute purple patch they roared into the lead, helping themselves to 1-9 without reply as they tore into a commanding lead.
Mullen was central to that run, grabbing 1-5. His goal was the centrepiece of that haul, the Kieran’s captain gathering Ted Drea’s 18th minute hand-pass and rifling it past netminder Brendan Lynch.
By half-time Mullen had scored 1-8. Kieran’s were 1-13 to 0-3 in front. Things were looking grim for St Brigid’s.
Credit to the Galway school they lifted their game in the second half, but the gap was too great to bridge. They did raise a green flag when Towolawi blasted the sliotar to past Dean Mason in the 46th minute, but a quick reply from the tricky Ciaran Brennan, plus Mullen’s second goal of the game, all but sealed their fate.
SCORERS: St Kieran’s College - Adrian Mullen (2-9, 0-5 frees); Ciaran Brennan (1-2); Eoghan Moylan (0-4); Daithi Barron (0-3); Ted Drea (0-1). St Brigid’s Loughrea - Dylan Towolawi (1-2); Conor Molloy (0-4, 0-2 frees); Damian McGlynn, Ronan Glennon, Donal Mannion (0-1 each).
St Kieran’s College - Dean Mason; Tommy Ronan, Michael Carey, Luke Murphy; Ben Lawlor, Martin Keoghan, Killian Egan; Diarmuid Phelan, Eoin O’Shea; Adrian Mullen, Ted Drea, Eoghan Moylan; Daithi Barron, Ciaran Brennan, Evan Shefflin. Subs: Sean Ryan for Shefflin, 31 mins; Brian Staunton for Phelan, 42 mins; Padraic Mullen for Drea, 53 mins; Jesse Roberts for Brennan, 58 mins; Ross Whelan for Lawlor, 60 mins.
St Brigid’s Loughrea - Brendan Lynch; Conor Delaney, Cian Mahony, Colin Curley; Ben Burke, Stephen Molloy, Vinnie Kenny; Ronan Glennon, Ben Moran; Donal Mannion, Dylan Towolawi, Sean Fallon; Jason Nevin, Conor Molloy, Damian McGlynn. Subs: Dylan Shaughnessy for Fallon, 31 mins; Keane Hollaway for Nevin, 35 mins; Niall Horan for Curley, 52 mins; Peter Martin for Burke, 55 mins; Martin Coen for McGlynn, 60 mins.
Referee - Cathal McAllister