Mayfield delight as they collect All-Ireland junior title in classic

Mayfield (Cork) ... 2-16; Mooncoin (Kilkenny) ... 1-18: Mayfield wrote a momentous new chapter in the history of a club that has had its share of challenges in recent times.

They faced another daunting challenge at Croke Park in the form of a cultured and driven Kilkenny outfit, but faced them down in the manner that has seen them overcome virtually every obstacle placed in their way in recent times.

Boundless courage, unflappable pride and an unbreakable spirit drove these men to their finest hour and an achievement which will inspire an emerging generation back in their north-east suburb of Cork city.

Nicky Kelly led the way with 11 glorious scores, but all around him stood heroes who would have died for the jersey on Jones’ Road.

A classic final went right to the wire, required a stoppage time winner, and Kelly was the man to deliver the killer blow with a glorious finish right at the death.

The mercurial Kelly saved his finest hour for the most important occasion of his career to date. He was a class apart as he laid on a scoring master-class, hitting 11 points, including a glorious stoppage-time winner.

All three goals came in a remarkable four minute spell early in the second quarter.

Patrick Duggan and David Malone netted for the Cork men, either side of a John Fitzgerald strike, and there was little to separate the sides at that stage.

But Mayfield hit the last five points of the half to lead by 2-9 to 1-6 at the break.

The Leinster men came out for the second period with intent, pulling back points through Kevin Crowley, Ray Wall and Eamonn Hennebry.

Mayfield kept their noses in front, but their opponents got level twice, through Crowley and substitute Patrick Walsh, who tied it up with two minutes to play.

But Kelly rose to the occasion in magnificent fashion, firing over a brilliant winner deep into stoppage time to seal a first All-Ireland title for his club.

Scorers for Mayfield: D Malone (1-2), P Duggan (1-0), N Kelly (0-11,6 frees), S Duggan, D O’Neill, K Punch (0-1 each).

Scorers for Mooncoin: J Fitzgerald (1-1), K Crowley (0-8, 5 frees, 1 ’65), E Hennebry (0-3), A Walsh, R Wall (0-2 each), M Grace, P Walsh (0-1 each).

Mayfield: R O’Keefe; K Brosnan, D Lucey, B O’Leary; G Lehane, S O’Donovan, G Looney; K Punch, D Hayes; D O’Neill, N Kelly, D Malone; S Duggan, S Kelly, P Duggan. Subs: I Looney for S Duggan (52), C O’Sullivan for Punch (56), K Walsh for S Kelly (56)

Mooncoin: E Purcell; C Brophy, N Mackey, L Henebry; C Daly, E Henebry, S Kearns; C Fleming, K Crowley; S Walsh, A Walsh, R Wall; M Grace, E Henebry, J Fitzgerald. Subs: E Ryan for Fleming (h-t), K Kirwan for S Walsh, P Henebry for Grace (48), P Walsh for Wall (50)

Referee: C Cunning (Antrim).


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