Despite wind assistance in the first half, the Tipperary champions, who boasted a few All-Ireland senior hurling medallists in their ranks, looked off the pace and struggled against the short-passing game of Mountcollins. However, late scores from Mullinahone pair Seán Curran and Paul Kelly left it four points apiece at the break.
Mullinahone looked a more purposeful physical unit after the interval, however, and three unanswered points in the opening eight minutes gave them a lead they never relinquished. Their eighth point came from Eoin Kelly shortly after the 2010 All-Ireland captain’s introduction as substitute.
A minute later Sean Curran found Cronin and the latter’s superb goal gave Mullinahone a five-point lead. Points from Tom and Mike McCarthy closed the gap but there was no denying the Tipperary men.
Scorers for Mullinahone: P Kelly 0-3, A Doheny 0-3 (0-2 frees), N Cronin 1-0, J Connelly 0-1, S Curran 0-1, E Kelly 0-1.
Scorers for Mountcollins: M McCarthy 0-3, T McCarthy 0-2 (0-1 free), P Delee 0-2 (0-1 free), S Gleeson 0-1, J O’Connell 0-1.
MULLINAHONE: M Lonergan; J O’Meara, M Costello, B Treacy; K Walzer, N Curran, J Connelly; P Curran, A Curran; S Curran, E Phelan, E O’Meara; P Kelly, AJ Cronin, A Doheny.
Subs: N Cronin for E Phelan, E Kelly for E O’Meara, G Cronin for AJ Cronin, R Morrissey for A Doheny, Ciaran O’Shea for P Kelly.
MOUNTCOLLINS: J Brouder; T Walsh, C Begley, S Lyons; J Moroney, K Garvey, T Begley; T McCarthy, S Gleeson; P Delee, J O’Connell, M McCarthy; A Hartnett, S Gleeson, M Brouder.
Subs: J O’Connell for C Begley, DJ Gleeson for T Begley, D Gleeson for A Hartnett, D Dillane for J O’Connell.
Referee: R Hickey (Clare).