Midfielder Alan Curran was the toast of Mullinahone with a goal deep in injury-time to give his side victory over Croom in a nail-biting finish to a thrilling Munster Club JFC semi-final at Bansha.
The contest looked to be heading for extra-time when Curran popped up on the edge of the Croom square to fist Kevin Walzer’s free from distance to the net.
It was a late sucker-punch that caught Croom but Mullinahone, despite a poor start, were the better side and had they taken their chances would never have required such a dramatic finale.
Though the Tipp lads had the opening score, it was Croom who did best near goal in the first half and they were leading 0-8 to 0-2 approaching half-time thanks to some neat points from Jamie Graves (3) and Mickey Cahill (2). Mullinahaone finished with points from Eanna Ryan and Kevin Walzer but the Limerick champions were 0-8 to 0-4 at the break.
Mullinahone started the second half in a blaze and Eanna Ryan had a goal and two pointed free, and Sean Curran a point, as they surged 1-7 to 0-8 ahead inside five minutes. It took Croom some time to steady the ship but Mark Reidy’s goal after 47 minutes had them 1-8 to 1-7 in front. As the game moved into injury time the sides were level 1-10 each, but in the 62nd minute, Curran applied the finishing touch to Kevin Walzer’s free to clinch victory for the Tipp lads.
While Curran was Mullinahone’s hero, Martin Kehoe was their top performer ably abetted by Jack Shelly, Kevin Walzer, Sean Curran, and Daire O'Brien.
For Croom, Mark Reidy was a big threat early on with Eoin Cregan, Mickey Cahill, Jamie Graves, and John Quirke also prominent.
Scorers for Mullinahone: E Ryan (1-4, 4fs), A Curran (1-0), M Kehoe (0-3), K Walzer (0-2,1f), S Curran (0-1).
Scorers for Croom: J Graves (0-4, 2fs), M Reidy (1-1, 1f), M Cahill (0-2), D O Farrell, R O Shea, M O Riordan (0-1 each);
MULLINAHONE: B Kearney; M Cody, E Fennelly, D O'Brien; M Kehoe, L Mullally, C Shelly; P Curran, A Curran; J Shelly, S Curran, K Walzer; E Keane, E Ryan, M O'Shea.
Subs: D Walzer for Cody (41), G Horan for Keane (53), G Cronin for Ryan (63).
CROOM: S Bourke; P Brennan, A Morrissey, D Hayes; D Woulfe, E Cregan, J Quirke; K Laffan, M O'Riordan; D O Farrell, J Graves, R O'Shea; M Cahill, M Reidy, J Malone.
Subs: E O'Farrell for Laffan (41), S Lucey for Malone (49), C Laffan for Cahill (57), T Lyons for Quirke (63).
Referee: A Long (Cork)