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Ballinkillen take Iverk Jun. A League Title to Carlow for the first time

By Mary Morgan Sun 3rd Jun

First South Junior A Iverk Prduce League Title Goes To Carlow! Ballinkillen, powered by 10 U-21 players, prevailed against a strong second-half comeback by Mullinavat to win this South A Hurling League title 1-18 to 1-13. After a very tentative opening 10 minutes, in which saw the Carlow men failing to convert easy point scoring opportunities as well as clear goal chances, it was Paddy Raftice who pointed Mullinavat into the lead from a free. Once Ballinkillen levelled with a Michael Murphy point they never looked back and were well worth their half-time lead 1-12 to 0-2. Their half-backs dominated during this period, ably led by David English, grandson of the great Jim English(Wexford) at centre-back, with James Kinsella commanding at full-back. Craig Wall & Darren Dalton impressed at midfield and Daryl Roberts led a lively forward unit up front. Tommy Holden had a great goal chance for Mullinavat towards the end of the half but their only other score came from  a pointed Paddy Raftice free.In the second half Mullinavat fought hard to get back into the game and a Ger Malone goal gave them hope. Led by Paddy Raftice, Nicky Anthony, mid-field, and with Andy McGovern and Ger Malone gaining a foothold up front they tacked on the points. Ballinkillen’s response was good as they managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over as Mullinavat, despite having a couple of more goal opportunities, just couldn’t get close enough to give them a chance of making it a very exciting finish. Ballinkillen key men. apart from full-back James Kinsella, are in the U-21 age bracket and the future of this team looks very promising especially as their very high standard of  hurling and commitment would indicate they may have many good days ahead. Both teams were missing regulars but Mullinavat clearly struggled due to the absence of Thomas Aylward(centre-back) and Michael Murphy(full-forward) and will be very disappointed with their below par performance in the opening half. Their undoubted ability, as evidenced in the semi-final and the second half of this encounter, should see them bounce back in the forthcoming championship.Ballinkillen:Martin Minchin;John Ryan(Capt.);James Kinsella;Lauren Kinsella;Dermot Foley;David English(o-3f);Sean Murphy(0-1);Craig Wall(0-4);Darren Dalton;Michael Murphy(0-2);Vincent Meaney;Peter Minchin(0-2);Dion Wall(0-2f);Derek Murphy(1-1);Daryl Roberts(0-2). Subs:Marty Dalton(0-1);Sean Minchin;Andrew Gaule;Joe Roberts;Tommy Cummins;Keith Lennon;Shane Farrell;Thomas Kinsella;Ciaran Canavan;John Hughes.Mullinavat:Paddy Jones;Michael Jones;Derek Aylward;Darren Kenneally;Simon Aylward(0-2f);Ger Anthony;Liam Murphy;Nicky Anthony(0-5-2f);Paddy Raftice(0-4f);Joe Gahan;Ger Malone(1-0);Tommy Holden(0-1);Eoin Maher;Andy McGovern(0-1);Brian Kenneally. Subs. Joe Wall;Conor Frisby;Damien Aylward;Mossy Jones;Micky Jones;Shane Frisby;Richie Cunningham; Jim McDonald;Brian Phelan;Stephen Ryan.Referee: Eoin Hayes (Thomastown)Linesmen: John Kennedy(Ballyhale Shamrocks); Richard Dowling (Kilmacow) Paul Brophy (Managing Director,Iverk Produce) presented the Iverk Produce South Junior A Hurling Shield to John Ryan,Captain of the Ballinkillen team. Great credit to Ballyhale Shamrocks who hosted this final in splendid fashion and their clubman, Dave Gallagher, for producing a fine programme for the occasion.

By Mary Morgan Sun 3rd Jun

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