Mitchelstown CBS senior hurlers gave it their all in their quest to claim the Munster senior B hurling title, but it was not enough to overcome a very strong Abbey CBS challenge in the final at Ballyagran on Thursday last, Feb. 25th.
The strength of the Tipperary team was evident from the off, and they had the first three points of the game. Mitchelstown’s first point came from Cathail O’Mahony following good work by team captain Michael Lewis, but the Abbey pushed on with a further 4 points from play to put them ahead by 7 points to 1. Mitchelstown’s second score came from a pointed free by Cathail O’Mahony following a foul on Mark Keane. Try as they might, Mitchelstown CBS were finding it difficult to make any inroads. The Abbey added a further 1-01 from play and the game was slipping away. Sean O’Sullivan added a point from play, but this was cancelled out by an excellent Abbey point from play to leave them leading 1-09 to 0-03 as half time approached. Mitchelstown then added the final two points of the half. Excellent play from Colin English at centre back provided the basis, and Cathail O’Mahony provided the finish from a free. A further free from Cathail left the score at 0-05 to 1-09 at half time.
The sides exchanged points again at the start of the second half, the Mitchelstown effort coming following an excellent catch and turn from full forward Mark Keane. Cathal O’Mahony added a point from a free, followed almost immediately by a similar score from the Abbey. Colin English, moved to the half forward line for the second half, continued to drive the Mitchelstown effort and delivered a powerhouse display throughout. A typical drive from Colin saw him fouled, and Cathail O’Mahony pointed the resultant free. Good work by Jack Coughlan and Dylan Kent set up Mark Keane for a point from play. Sean O’Sullivan showed great skill in creating an opportunity for himself from distance, and he split the posts to leave the score at 0-10 to 1-11. Since the Abbey goal in the first half, Mitchelstown had outscored their opponents by 8 points to 4. Momentum appeared to have swung, but the Abbey side responded well to the challenge. They went close to a second goal, only to be deprived by heroic blocking by Ian Butler and the Mitchelstown defence. The resultant 65 was pointed, and they added the next 3 points from placed balls to leave 8 between the sides again. Mitchelstown now had to go push forward in search of goals. The Abbey held firm and capitalised to score two goals as the game ebbed towards conclusion. Cathail O’Mahony added the last score, a pointed free, to leave the final score at Mitchelstown CBS 0-11, Abbey CBS 3-15.
This was certainly a game the Abbey deserved to win, but the final margin was not a true reflection of the difference between the sides. It was a tough end to the campaign for the Mitchelstown panel but it has nevertheless been an excellent campaign from this group. Their effort and commitment in the final, even when the game was slipping away, could not be faulted. The achievement of being the first side in the school to qualify for two Munster senior finals in the same year cannot be taken from them, and the focus will now switch to the football final in Rathkeale on Saturday March 5th. We also wish a full and speedy recovery to James Keating, who missed the hurling final through injury.
Team: Ian Butler, Eoin Gallahue, Killian Roche, Jack Coughlan, Colin English, Michael Lewis, Cahal O’Sullivan, Lorcan Finn, George Pendle, Sean O’Sullivan, Eric O’Donoghue, Adrian English, Mark Keane, Cathail O’Mahony. Subs used: Dylan Kent, James Conway, Tadgh Finn, Eoin O’Mahony.
Read Paddy Ryan's account on the road to the final here.
CBS senior hurling panel v. Abbey CBS, Munster final 2016
Jersey presentation to mark qualification for Munster senior finals in both hurling and football
Mitchelstown CBS had support from far and wide at the senior hurling final at Ballyagran!