Rathdowney-Errill 1-19 St Mullin’s 2-17
AIB Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Semi Final
Rathdowney-Errill’s dreams of making a first ever Leinster final is over after they were beaten in cruel circumstances by St Mullin’s in Netwatch Cullen Park.
The Laois side thought they had done the business when Shane Madden put them ahead as we entered two minutes of injury time.
However, St Mullin’s full forward James Doyle had other ideas as he scored two superb points in the time that remained to win the for the Carlow men.
Rathdowney-Errill had a late chance to force extra time when a ball broke to Paddy Purcell but his shot from 35 metres just went wide and the game was up.
The first half was real tit for tat with Rathdowney-Errill going into the lead early on and – despite St Mullin’s drawing level three times – they never headed the Laois team in the opening thirty.
The story of the first half for St Mullin’s was their inaccuracy. They fired seven wides to Rathdowney-Errill’s two and also had two goal clear goal chances thwarted by Rathdowney-Errill keeper Damian Madden.
The sides traded points to begin before the game sparkled into life after nine minutes when Jack Kelly released Paddy Purcell in midfield and he pumped the legs to rampage through and score a goal.
However, St Mullin’s response was emphatic as straight from the resulting puck-out they went down the field and Paddy Boland smashed the ball to the net.
Mark Kavanagh and Marty Kavanagh traded points to leave it 1-5 to 1-4 at the midpoint of the half before Rathdowney-Errill enjoyed a purple patch with James Ryan, Ross King and Paddy Purcell all pointing to move them four clear after 23 minutes.
However, St Mullin’s struck for another goal through Marty Kavanagh and then drew level for the second time with a point from Jason O’Neill.
We traded points then before Mark Kavanagh’s seventh point of the half brought the opening period to a close as Rathdowney-Errill led 1-10 to 2-6 at the break.
St Mullin’s made a blistering start to the second half – scoring four of the first five points through James Doyle, Seamus Murphy and Marty Kavanagh to take a two point lead with Paddy McCane replying for Rathdowney-Errill.
Mark Kavanagh cut the gap to the minimum after 40 minutes before Paddy Purcell and Seamus Murphy exchanged scores but a Marty Kavanagh free for St Mullin’s left them 2-12 to 1-13 ahead as we entered the final quarter.
The two Kavanagh’s traded two frees before Mark Kavanagh’s eleventh point of the game left it 2-14 to 1-16 with ten minutes to play.
St Mullin’s remained in front until the very end when a run of Rathdowney-Errill points from Kavanagh and sub Shane Madden gave them the lead with 59 minutes on the clock.
But they couldn’t hold on as St Mullin’s advance to face Ballyhale Shamrocks in two weeks time.
SCORERS – Rathdowney-Errill: Mark Kavanagh 0-12 (seven frees, one 65), Paddy Purcell 1-1, James Ryan 0-1, Ross King 0-2, Jack Ryan 0-1, Paddy McCane 0-1, Shane Madden 0-1 St Mullins: Marty Kavanagh 1-9 (seven frees), James Doyle 0-5, Paddy Boland 1-0, Jason O’Neill 0-1, Seamus Murphy 0-2
RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL: Damien Madden; Jimmy Corrigan, Brian Campion, John Purcell; Joe Fitzpatrick, Jack Kelly, Eric Killeen; John Keane, Paddy Purcell; James Ryan, Shane Dollard, Mark Kavanagh; Paddy McCane, Ross King, Brandon McGinley. Subs: Kevin O’Dea for Keane (40), Shane Madden for Dollard (45), Ray Bowe for McGinley (51)
ST MULLINS: Kevin Kehoe; John Doran, Paul Doyle, Garry Bennett; Chris Kavanagh, Ger Coady, Oisin Boland; Mick Walsh, Jack Kavanagh; Seamus Murphy, Marty Kavanagh, Paddy Walsh, Jason O’Neill, James Doyle, Paddy Boland. Sub: Philly Connors for Walsh (40)
Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny)