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  • GAA

Newport rue what might have been

Thursday, 10th September, 2020 11:25am
Newport rue what might have been

Newport captain Conor Floyd is challenged by Kevin Walzer. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Newport rue what might have been

Newport captain Conor Floyd is challenged by Kevin Walzer. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

GAA: FBD Insurance Tipperary Senior Hurling - Seamus O Riain Cup Semi Final


Mullinahone 1-22 
Newport     1-21 

Report: Liam Hogan at Semple Stadium
Photos: Bridget Delaney

Player of the Match:
Martin Kehoe (Mullinahone)
SCORERS - Mullinahone: Eoin Kelly 0-9 (8 frees, 1’65); Martin Kehoe 1-3; Sean Curran, Kevin Walzer 0-3 each; Michael O’Shea 0-2; Enda Keane, Jack Shelly 0-1 each. 
Newport: Darragh Carroll 0-8 (6 frees); Colin Floyd 1-2; Daniel Carew, Pa Ryan 0-3 each; Conor Floyd 0-2; Aaron O’Neill, Conor O’Mahony, Cian Flanagan 0-1 each. 

In a thrill a minute game from start to finish, Mullinahone’s proved to be their trump card as they successfully chased down a well-coached Newport side in a thrill a minute Seamus O Riain Cup semi-final on Saturday.

It was level for the second time at 1-20 each after 63 minutes when Mullinahone finally broke the shackles of a well marshalled Newport side with points by Eoin Kelly (free) and one from play by the excellent Kevin Walzer. Darragh Carroll’s free a minute later brought the game to an exciting climax before Newport’s Sean O’Brien’s bore down on goal but was knocked off his stride by corner back Daire O’Brien. Amidst calls for a penalty, Mullinahone cleared their lines to the sound of the final whistle.  

It was a great comeback by the Mullinahone men who at one stage looked punch drunk as Newport went seven points clear after 22 minutes. Hurling with speed and accuracy the Mulcaire men had Mullinahone blinded by the headlights as they raced into a 1-10 to 0-6 lead. 

However Mullinahone’s experience shone where Eoin Kelly from frees, especially in the first half, plus great defending by Eoin Fennelly and Paul Curran after they swapped positions in a bid to curb the brilliant Colin Floyd as Paul Curran found him too hot to handle in the early stages.

Experience was one factor but youth also had its way as Mark Kehoe, Sean Curran and Kevin Walzer combined to score 1-9 from play and along with some excellent second half scores by the trio it was Mark Kehoe’s goal in the 53rd minute that brought Mullinahone level at 1-17 each. Three minutes later Sean Curran moved Mullinahone in front for the first time and while Newport came level in the closing minutes, Mullinahone’s experience won the day.  

Newport will feel very disappointed. They had prepared so well. Conor Mahony glided all over the field at half back. Cian Flanagan had a great first half while Conor Floyd, Sean O’Brien, Darragh Carroll; Daniel Carew, Colin Floyd and Pa Ryan could do no more. Mike Flannery was brilliant in goal. He came to Newport’s rescue on two occasions denying Eoin Kelly in the fifth and 23rd minutes, the second needed Flannery at his very best. A 65 was the end result which Kelly converted to make it 1-10 to 0-7 at the time. 

Full forward Colin Floyd led the way for Newport giving Paul Curran a hard time and he found the net in the seventh minute to make it 1-1 to no score. With Mike Flannery’s puckouts on the button it was one-way traffic in terms of scores as Colin Floyd, Pa Ryan, Darragh Carroll and Daniel Carew continued to find the goalposts with ease as Newport found so much room and freedom. 

In the 12th minute Sean O’Brien was denied by Mullinahone goalkeeper Alan Walsh. As play continued Conor Floyd struck a great point and Newport were 1-6 to 0-2 in front. Mikey Dunne replied but Newport went seven clear through Darragh Carroll from half way and after Mullinahone responded again, Carroll stretched the lead to seven for the third time with another score in the 16th minute.

A Sean Curran point made it 1-8 to 0-5 as the first water break arrived. Mullinahone were glad to see it. On resuming Eoin Kelly pointed a free but points by Conor O’Mahony and Pa Ryan had Newport seven in front again before Eoin Kelly was denied by Mike Flannery. The six time All star followed up with the resulting 65 but at the other end Daniel Carew stretched Newport’s lead to six 1-11 to 0-8 as the Newport full forward line had contributed 1-6 from play by then. 

However the final minutes of the half went Mullinahone’s way as Newport’s concession of needless frees was a concern and after points from Kevin Walzer and Mikey Dunne it was Eoin Kelly’s pair from placed balls that left the minimum between the teams before Conor Floyd’s last act of the half had Newport 1-12 to 0-13 in front at the break. 

The second half began with Newport going four clear thanks to Colin Floyd and Pa Ryan. But Sean Curran’s influence was increasing and he pointed in the 35th minute after fielding Alan Walsh’s puckout. Seconds later there was a scare in the Newport goalmouth when Eoin Kelly forced Mike Flannery to save twice. Kelly was fouled in the aftermath and converted from close range. 

The fast-moving Martin Kehoe added another point before Newport wing back Cian Flanagan scored from the right wing closely followed by a Darragh Carroll free in the 45th minute to leave Newport three in front 1-16 to 0-16. Mark Kehoe’s quick reply was matched by another Carroll free before the final water break arrived in the 50th minute. 

Similar to the first break, Mullinahone appeared to come out the stronger and in the 53rd minute a final pass from Jack Shelly saw Martin Kehoe race through for a final goal to bring the sides level. Points from Sean Curran and Kehoe then put Mullinahone two in front. Both Darragh Carroll (free) and Jack Shelly swapped scores before Colin Floyd and another Carroll free had the sides level at 1-20 each in the 63rd minute.  

Six minutes of added time had been announced and as play continued it was Kelly and Walzer who moved Mullinahone two clear but not before Darragh Carroll’s free in the 66th left the minimum between the teams. As play continued Newport produced one final move as Sean O’Brien bore down on goal before O’Brien’s intervention which decided the outcome.

TEAMS – Mullinahone: Alan Walsh (7); Colin Shelly (7), Paul Curran (7), Daire O’Brien (6; Eanna Ryan (6), Eoin Fennelly (8), Alan Curran (7); Kevin Walzer (8), Sean Curran (8); Enda Keane (7), Jack Shelly (7), Martin Kehoe (8); Eoin Kelly (7), Mikey O’Shea (6), Michael Dunne (6). 
Subs: Garry Cronin for O’Shea (blood 40-42); Luke Mullally (6) for O’Shea (50); Garry Cronin (6) for Keane (52). 
Newport: Mike Flannery (8); Rob Houlihan (7), Odhran Floyd (7), Aidan Ryan (7); Cian Flanagan (7), Conor O’Mahony (8), Andrew Hickey (7); Peter O’Sullivan (6), Conor Floyd (7); Aaron O’Neill (6), Sean O’Brien (7), Darragh Carroll (7); Daniel Carew (7), Colin Floyd (8), Pa Ryan (7). 
Subs: Martin Carey (6) for O’Neill (30+3); Eoin Shinnors (6) for Carew (47); Jack Delahunty (6) for Carey (56). 
Referee: Seamus Delaney (JK Brackens)

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