St Mullin’s has earned the right to take on Ballyhale Shamrocks in this year’s Leinster Club SHC decider.
The Carlow champions backed up their quarter-final victory over Cuala with a thrilling 2-17 to 1-19 success over Rathdowney-Errill in a pulsating semi-final fixture at Netwatch Cullen Park today to qualify for their first ever provincial decider.
An end-to-end first-half finished with the Laois champions ahead by the bare minimum – 1-10 to 2-6.
Rathdowney-Errill captain Paddy Purcell fired home the game’s opening goal from the edge of the large rectangle in the 10th minute after a storming run right through the heart of the St Mullin’s defence.
The Niall O’Donnell managed home side responded immediately through Paddy Boland and Marty Kavanagh netted their second in the 25th minute.
The Carlow representatives enjoyed the better of the third quarter exchanges and led by 2-12 to 1-14 with 15 minutes left on the clock.
With seven minutes to go, the sides were deadlocked – 2-14 to 1-17 – after an inspirational score from Rathdowney-Erril’s Mark Kavanagh and the stage was set for a grandstand finish.
Marty Kavanagh and Ross King subsequently exchanged points and extra-time looked a distinct possibility with 57 minutes gone on the clock.
Substitute Shane Madden had placed the John Delaney managed Rathdowney-Errill in the driving seat but ‘man-of-the-match’ James Doyle’s switch from full-forward to midfield proved to be an inspired move.
The number 14 produced two moments of magic late on to raise white flags and send his team into the provincial decider which is fixed for Sunday, December 1.
Doyle sent over five points for the winners while Marty Kavanagh top scored with 1-9.
St Mullin’s - K Kehoe; J Doran, P Doyle, G Bennett; C Kavanagh, G Coady, O Boland; M Walsh, J Kavanagh; S Murphy (0-2), M Kavanagh (1-9, 0-5f), P Walsh; J O’Neill (0-1), J Doyle (0-5), P Boland (1-0). Sub: P Connors for P Walsh.
Rathdowney-Errill - D Madden; J Corrigan, B Campion, J Purcell; J Fitzpatrick, J Kelly (0-1), E Killeen; J Keane, P Purcell (1-1); J Ryan (0-1), M Kavanagh (0-12, 5f, 1'65), S Dollard; P McCane (0-1), R King (0-2), B McGinley. Subs: K O’Dea for J Keane, S Madden (0-1) for S Dollard, R Bowe for B McGinley.
Referee - S Cleere.Tweet