Mitchelstown CBS senior footballers secured their place in the Munster final following a hard-fought but ultimately well-deserved win over MICC Lisdoonvarna at Rathkeale on Saturday last, Feb. 13th.
Ground conditions were understandably quite soft following prolonged rain, but Lisdoonvarna made light of it to get off to a flying start. Within minutes they led by 1-02, the goal coming from a penalty. CBS were further rocked by the loss of Dylan Kent to an injury in the early stages, and Lisdoonvarna’s running game kept the CBS boys under pressure across the field. CBS needed a score to settle them, and it came from the fist of Cathail O’Mahony following good teamwork. Cathail notched his second from a free, following a foul on Sean O’Sullivan, but Lisdoonvarna replied soon after with a point to restore their 4 point lead. Sean O’Sullivan and Cathail O’Mahony combined again to good effect, with Cathail showing great strength to fire over his third point. A Lisdoonvarna free put them 4 ahead again. A fine Colin English point from a Mark Keane pass brought the CBS tally to 4 points, and Mark Keane added a fifth soon after following great work by Colin English. Mitchelstown were rocked shortly after as Lisdoonvarna’s full forward, who was a threat throughout, broke through to score his side’s second goal. Lisdoonvarna now led by 2-04 to 0-05, but immediately from the kick-out Mitchelstown reduced the lead again. Midfielder Sean Walsh, whose fielding prowess was a notable feature throughout the game, set up Cathail O’Mahony, and he made little of the tight angle to fire over the bar. With half time approaching, Sean O’Sullivan made it a 3 point game with an excellent point scored on the turn. Lisdoonvarna led at the whistle 2-04 to 0-07.
The first CBS attack of the second half was repelled, and Lisdoonvarna made the most of their own attacking opportunity in slotting a free to put them 4 ahead again in the opening minutes. Incredibly this was to be their last score of the match. Changes and re-grouping done by the Mitchelstown coaches at half-time had the desired impact, and it was notable that Lisdoonvarna’s running game was much less effective. This was primarily due to the workrate of the Mitchelstown team from defence right through the field. Sean Walsh and Sean O’Sullivan led the way, with Colin English having a strong second half showing. The hassling and harrying of their opponents by the CBS forwards gave them little time to settle on the ball, and the result was a period of dominance for them. An Eoin O’Mahony free was collected by Mark Keane, and his point on the turn signalled the start of a come-back. A pointed free from Eoin O’Mahony followed some excellent work in defence by Lorcan Finn, and Colin English added a further point from the kick-out to leave just one point between the sides. Lisdoonvarna were finding it increasingly difficult to get out of their own defensive area, and when they did their opportunities were limited. Jack Coughlan was doing a fine job on Lisdoonvarna’s full forward, while Eric O’Donoghue relished the freedom of the move to the half-back line. The momentum was with CBS, but the equalising score was hard to find. Indeed, a number of missed opportunities threatened to scupper the good work of the half. They persisted however, and were duly rewarded. The alertness of George Pendle in robbing possession from his opponent created an unexpected opportunity, and Cathail O’Mahony made the most of it to level the game for the first time. It was fitting that the equalising score should come from such a chance, and it epitomised the commitment and application of the Mitchelstown team in the second half. Lisdoonvarna simply could not get the ball out of their half such was the unrelenting pressure. A fisted point from Adrian English put the CBS ahead for the first time in the game with minutes remaining. A rare attack from Lisdoonvarna resulted in a free, which they failed to convert, and Mitchelstown responded to extend the lead to two points. Lorcan Finn did all the hard work with a great break down the left wing, and Mark Keane applied the finish and the final score of the game to leave it Mitchelstown CBS 0-13 to Lisdoonvarna’s 2-05. The reward for CBS is a place in the Munster final in which they will face Kerry side Pres Milltown.
Team: Cathal O’Sullivan, Eoin Gallahue, Eric O’Donoghue, Killian Roche, Dylan Kent, Jack Coughlan, Lorcan Finn, Sean Walsh, Colin English, Eoin O’Mahony, Sean O’Sullivan, George Pendle, Adrian English, Mark Keane, Cathail O’Mahony. Subs used: Ian Butler.