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Minors get the job done in replay

posted 18 Aug 2012, 14:00 by Tom Duggan
Mullinavat minors advanced to the quarter final of the Roinn B championship when they saw off the challenge of Clara in this replay. Once again the Mullinavat supporters were treated to an excellent display from our minors who found the necessary improvement from the drawn game. Clara started with the aid of the breeze and led by 0-6 to 0-3 after ten minutes. The Mullinavat selectors wisely moved Liam Fennelly out to midfield and this made a big improvement . Still Clara were adding on the points and led by 0-9 to 0-5 after seventeen minutes.Then in the eighteenth minute the game was turned on its head. Mark Mansfield's free struck the post and his brother Adam reacted quickest and whipped the ball to the net. Within a minute John Walsh, fresh from his All Ireland Handball victory in Monaghan, added another goal from a long range free. Mullinavat now had a two point lead and this lead was held when the half time whistle sounded.
 Half time score : Mullinavat 2-7 Clara0-11
Mullinavat began the second half well and added two points from Liam Fennelly and Mark Mansfield within two minutes. Clara came roaring back and Mullinavat were on the defensive. Chris Bolger's 20 metre free thundered off the crossbar in the eleventh minute. Adam Mansfield then made a great catch from a Clara puckout and drove the ball over for a magnificent point. Mullinavat scored their third goal when Mark Mansfield's long range free dropped in the Clara goalmouth and John Walsh finished it to the net. Clara were not lying down and Chris Bolger tore through the Mullinavat defence and buried the ball in the net. It was game on now and Clara were really turning up the heat. Their pressure earned them another penalty  but Chris Bolger's rocket was brilliantly saved by John Walsh at the expemse of a '65 duly converted by Bolger. Mullinavat now had to rearrange their troops and Liam Fennelly was switched to centre back and John Walsh to wing back as they were forced to defend for all their worth. This they did and try as they might, Clara could find no way through a resoloute defence. Both sides added three points to their tallies but Mullinavat ran out worthy winners in the end and advanced to the quarter final where they will meet St. Martin's.
For the winners Mark Mansfield was outstanding and played a real captain's role  covering every inch of grass in Thomastown. John Walsh who had travelled from Monaghan where he had won the All Ireland under 17 handball singles title that morning had an excellent game. Liam Fennelly and Adam Mansfield were also superb.
Mullinavat: Conor Frisby, Ryan Bland, Mikey Jones, Daniel Coughlan, Nathan Malone, Brian Phelan, Conor Duggan, John Walsh (2-0), Micheál Reade, Adam Mansfield (1-3), Mark Mansfield (0-8, 0-3 frees), Patrick Murphy, Niall Mulhern, Liam Fennelly (0-3), Daniel Walsh.
Subs: Killian Dunphy,