The Mullinavat team that claimed victory in the Kilkenny SFC final on Sunday. Pic: Willie Dempsey
Mullinavat regained the Kilkenny Senior Football Championship beating last years winners Thomastown in the county final at Nowlan Park on Sunday.
This was a sixth title for Mullinavat, adding to successes in 2007, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Thomastown deservedly took their fifth title in beating Mullinavat last year but on this occasion there was really only going to be one winner.
The holders made the better start and when Mullinavat centre back Ger Malone got an early black card, Rory Monks opened the scoring from the resulting free. The same player got a point from play two minutes later.
Mullinavat captain Michael Malone opened their scoring with a point and shortly afterwards Brian Phelan had a clear goal chance saved by Paddy Khan in the Thomastown goal.
Richard O’Hara then burst through the Mullinavat defence to score a point from 40 metres out to leave Thomastown 0-3 to 0-1 ahead on 10 minutes.
The next three scores were for Mullinavat, a 60 metre free by goalie Killian Dunphy, Padraic Gahan and Michael Malone.
A fine score from Peter Connellan levelled matters on 0-4 each, but Mullinavat then took control.
By the interval three further points had been added by Mikey Jones, Michal Malone and a second Killian Dunphy free. In this period Thomastown also lost Rory Monks through what looked to be an unfortunate leg injury.
Half-time: Mullinavat 0-7 Thomastown 0-4.
Brian Phelan got Mullinavat's opening score of the second half to move four points ahead.
On 35 minutes, Dunphy made a fine save from Thomastown’s Daithi Barron and with that may have went their chance of a comeback.
Danny Monks took over the free taking and pointed to reduce the margin to three.
Tom Aylward (Mullinavat) and Monks exchanged further points to make it 0-9 to 0-6 on 40 minutes.
Adam Mansfield added a Mullinavat point and then the game clinching goal by Brian Phelan after a fine passing move. 1-10 to 0-6 as we headed into the last quarter.
Jon Jo Farrell and Conor Duggan then exchanged points.
In the last 10 minutes there was just two further scores, a Brian Staunton (45) for Thomastow and the final point of the game was by Adam Mansfield for the winners.
Full-Time: Mullinavat 1-12 Thomastown 0.08.
Thomastown had good performers in O’Hara, Staunton, both their midfielders and the Monks also performed well. They made a gallant defence of their 2021 title in reaching another final just falling short at the final hurdle.
Mullinavat star man on the day was Michael Malone, but as with the recent successes at the club, it’s more about the collective than the individual.
Mullinavat can now look forward to representing Kilkenny in the Leinster Championship in a couple of months time.
Mullinavat- Killian Dunphy (0-2); Joe Fennelly, Simon Aylward, Mikey Jones (0-1); Shane Kelly, Ger Malone, John Walsh; Jim Culleton, Tom Aylward (0-1); Conor Duggan (0-1), Michael Malone (0-3), Adam Mansfield (0-2); Brian Phelan (1-1), Liam Fennelly, Padraic Gahan (0-1).
Subs- Sean Fitzpatrick for Pádraic Gahan, Peter McDonald for Ger Malone.
Thomastown- Paddy Khan; Ned Kirwan, Richard O’Hara (0-1), Ciaran Sutton; David Griffin, Brian Staunton (0-1), Eddie Donnelly; John Jo Farrell (0-1), Peter Connellan (0-1); Luke Connellan (0-1), Diarmuid Galway, Brian O’Halloran; Danny Monks (0-1), Daithi Barron, Rory Monks (0-2).
Subs- Danny Prendergast, Thomas O’Hanrahan, Robbie Donnelly and Jack Cullen.
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