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South Tipp Senior Hurling Championship: Carrick Swan revive their hopes
Carrick Swan 1-12, Mullinahone C.J.K. 1-12
After two losses to Killenaule and Ballingarry in the South Tipp SH Championship 2012 Carrick Swan revived their season and their championship hopes with a spirited display against red hot favourites Mullinahone C.J.K. in Kilsheelan on Saturday evening.
In the end Swan were forced to settle for a draw, but Mullinahone must know that they got out of jail. The Kickhams must have realised that they were red hot favourites in the eyes of most but it is always difficult to overcome spirit and Swan had this in abundance for maybe the first time this season. They played with a new found belief in themselves and went within an ace of pulling off the shock of the championship so far.
True, some of Mullinahone's difficulties were self-inflicted. They shot a number of careless wides and they spurned a number of goal chances through poor shooting or very poor or non-existent passing. With a minute to go on the clock plus added time Swan who had led for most of the hour were three points to the good.
Alan P. Ryan who had come on as a sub had put them there in 25 minutes. C.J.K. launched an attack from the puck-out, but shot wide from in front of the posts. In 28 minutes Mullinahone were awarded a free about 30m out. Eoin Kelly with the sun behind him tried blasting but somehow the pile-driver was stopped on the line and then cleared. Paul Kelly was sent to the line for a second yellow and it looked curtains for the champions. In the 30th minute Eoin Kelly pointed a free. In the first minute of added time Sean Curran drove over the bar and from the puck-out the Kickhams came raiding again. Alan Curran caught high in the air. He was hauled down and Kelly fired over the equaliser. All expected the referee Paddy Ivors to blow the final whistle on the puck-out, but play continued for a few seconds more before the long whistle allowed spectators to draw their breaths with the two sides locked on 1-12 each.
Swan will claim that they let the game escape, but Mullinahone will counter that they scored when they had to.
Swan began playing into the road goal as if turbo charged. Within 30 seconds Kevin Lanigan pointed from far out with the aid of the breeze. Half a minute later Bill Walsh goaled and Swan were fired up. In two minutes we had a flare up which resulted in yellow cards for Sean Curran (M) and Johnny Grace (S). It was high octane stuff. In three minutes normality was restored somewhat when Eoin Kelly pointed a free. Kelly wasn't as deadly as usual but pointed another free in nine minutes. We had another blow up in 12 minutes which saw A.J. Cronin (M) and Danny O'Hanlon (S) booked. They may not have been the principal culprits. Perhaps events at the other end of the field may have distracted Eoin Kelly when he was wide from a free shortly after. In 16 minutes Paul Kelly was yellow carded and Danny O'Hanlon pointed the free. O'Hanlon repeated the dose two minutes later. In 23 minutes M.J. Walsh pointed and within two minutes Danny O'Hanlon made the gap six from another free. Mullinahone were rattled but Jack Shelly and Edwin O'Meara cooled nerves somewhat with points. In 30 minutes the ball was cleared out straight to O'Hanlon who accepted the gift and pointed. He, however, missed a rather easy free before half time when the score stood Carrick Swan 1-06, Mullinahone C.J.K. 0-04.
Mullinahone began the second half as Swan had begun the first. In the first minute Darren Murphy received a yellow and Eoin Kelly pointed the free. In the next attack Alan Curran, now at full forward, caught, turned and goaled. The perfect big man on the edge of the square. Eoin Kelly with the aid of the breeze pointed a free from long range and in four minutes C.J.K. went ahead when Sean Curran was fouled on his way through and Kelly pointed. We waited for the Swan fadeout, but it never came. Dwayne Fogarty hit Swan level. Mullinahone sent three successive wides to let Swan off the hook. Bill Walsh pointed in 10 minutes and O'Hanlon added another from a free in 11 minutes. The yellows continued in 13 minutes with James Watters the latest to join the club. Eoin Kelly pointed the free but Danny O'Hanlon replied in kind in the next minute. Kevin Lanigan was booked, but the chance of a point was missed. In 20 minutes Alan P. Ryan came on for Swan. Eoin Kelly cut the gap to two points in 23 minutes, this point from play. Alan Ryan restored the gap to three points as the hectic final minutes began. Chances driven wide, frees stopped on the line, a player dismissed, a Swan sub introduced and three C.J.K. points when all seemed lost. It was an exciting ending to a competitive game. Final score: Carrick Swan 1-12, Mullinahone C.J.K. 1-12.
The reasonable crowd of spectators who travelled to Kilsheelan got value for their money. This was the most competitive game of the South championship so far with the surprise result thrown in. It is far too early to write Swan's hurling obituary. Mullinahone C.J.K. will have to ponder how close they came to beating themselves. For Tipp followers Paul Curran was back and Eoin Kelly steadied the ship. With three games to go in the league section of the South Championship there are still things to decide. Killenaule and Ballingarry will decide who tops the group. Swan and Davins will decide who drops out of the championship while Davins and C.J.K. will tie up the odds and ends. A lot of hurling to be done before the real serious hurling begins.
Carrick Swan: Tom Kennedy, Darren Murphy, James Watters, Gerry Walsh, Aaron Walsh, Kevin Lanigan, Johnny Grace, Darren Fahy, Mikey Loughman, Bill Walsh, M.J. Walsh, Danny O'Hanlon, Dwayne Fogarty, Philip Loughman, Shane Hogan. Subs used: Alan P. Ryan, Paul Diffley.
Mullinahone C.J.K.: Alan Walsh, Philip O'Shea, A.J. Cronin, Gary Cronin, Luke Mullally, Paul Curran, Paul Kelly, Edwin O'Meara, James Connolly, Donal Cody, Alan Curran, Sean Curran, Jack Shelly, Eoin Kelly, Kevin Walzer. Sub used: Niall Curran.
Referee: Paddy Ivors (Ballingarry)
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