Mattock Rangers braved an early blitz from underdogs Mullinavat to claim the Leinster Intermediate football crown in Drogheda.
Hot favourites with the bookies, it didn’t look good for the Louth champions when the visitors surged into a 0-7 to 0-2 lead after 20 minutes. The Kilkenny kingpins made light of the heavy and blustery conditions, with Ian Duggan particularly impressive.
However, the home side rallied in the closing the stages of the half to turn just a point down, 0-8 to 0-7.
Niall Callan’s side were transformed after the break and with less than three minutes on the clock, they hit the front with a goal from corner forward Brian Corcoran.
There was only going to be one winner from that point on, but Mullinavat kept their hosts honest by battling to the bitter end.
Mattock now face Magheracloone from neighbouring Monaghan in the All-Ireland semi-final in the new year.
Scorers for Mattock Rangers: D Reid 0-7 (5f), B Corcoran 1-0, A O’Brien, S Hickey, A Reid 0-2 each, B Leacy, 0-1.
Scorers for Mullinavat: I Duggan 0-4 (3f), J Fennelly 0-2, G Malone, J Walsh, A Mansfield, M Malone, O Knox 0-1 each.
MATTOCK RANGERS: M Englishby; S Maguire, N McKeown, A Caraher; B Leacy, D Englishby, R Kilbane; A Reid, D Bannon; T Donegan, R Leneghan, S Hickey; B Corcoran, A O’Brien, D Reid.
Subs: C Fleming for Donegan (43), B McKenna for Bannon (44), S Gilsenan for Maguire (46), H Donnelly for Leneghan (58, BC), J Caraher for Kilbane (60), O McKenna for Corcoran (60)
MULLINAVAT: K Dunphy; Shane Kelly, J Fennelly, M Jones; J Walsh, G Malone, M Mansfield; T Aylward, M Malone; C Duggan, I Duggan, A Mansfield; O Knox, J Fennelly, B Phelan.
Subs: P Dempsey for Mansfield (49), L Fennelly for Phelan (49), S Aylward for Jones (51), D Kenneally for C Duggan (58)
Referee: P Maguire (Longford)