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Friday 24 January 2020

Kilbrin prove Millstreet's nemesis in championship

John Tarrant takes a look back on the hurling year that was in Duhallow GAA

THE second part of the Millstreet GAA review focuses on hurling where a number of teams came up short in both league and championships.

Dwelling on the JAHC, a powerful surge in extra time allowed Kilbrin pull away from a gritty Millstreet to secure a 422 to 5-15 win in a dramatic first round played in Banteer. From a hotly competitive and a pulsating encounter, the pace and the tempo of the game was frantic from the outset and with 46 scores in total registered confirmed those in attendance received value for money.

Thereafter, Millstreet flattered to deceive where a sharper Freemount possessed too much firepower for Millstreet on recording a 3-12 to 2-12 triumph in the 2nd round qualifier played in Kanturk. At the end of the hour, Millstreet yielded to the greater stickwork and greater combined play of Freemount.

Earlier in the season, Millstreet came within touching distance of outright success but again failed to seize the moment on faltering to Tullylease 0-14 to 0-13 in the Duhallow Junior A Hurling League Final played in Kanturk.

The good sized attendance were treated to hurling tension rather than open and stylish play. Matching each other stride for stride, the sides matched each other. And though Tullylease edged ahead, Millstreet began to create inroads to trail 0-7 to 0-6 at the break.

As Millstreet spurned a number of chances from play and placed balls, Tullylease posed a new set of questions on increasing the tempo to jump four points ahead. Millstreet rallied strongly and three consecutive points cut the deficit to the minimum. However, Millstreet's efforts to gather a reprieve were thwarted by a stubborn Tullylease defence who hung on to collect the spoils.

Croke Rovers put back to back Duhallow Minor A Hurling Championship titles together after overcoming Millstreet 1-12 to 1-8 in a keenly contested encounter in Millstreet. The ground stood up remarkably well to the incessant rain earlier in the day. At the end of the hour and despite Millstreet's best intentions, Croke Rovers were full value to retain their crown.

At U21hurling, Millstreet swept to a convincing 1-13 to 0-2 win over Meelin in the initial assignment. However A battling Millstreet came up short to Kilbrin on a 0-15 to 2-4 defeat in the semi final. A chilly wind cut through the proceedings yet at least, the hurling warmed the dedicated patrons viewing the fare on offer where despite Millstreet's best efforts, Kilbrin hurled with a far greater purpose.

Millstreet put together a decent account of themselves and though goals brought them back into contention, Kilbrin held a facility to respond.

Millstreet remain involved in the JBHC following two wins over Dromtariffe and victory against Lismire. A meeting against Banteer in the decider is awaited.

At Scór, Millstreet maintained its run of success with divisional and county honours secured. Additionally, Millstreet's stage talents cloaked themselves in glory in the Munster Scór na nÓg finals hosted in Mallow.

Brillant talent took to the stage as competing teams featuring the province's foremost cultural fare in music, song and dance sought eagerly sought honours.

Cork teams continued their positive run of successes with Millstreet completing a merited victory in the Novelty Act to follow up on their previous win from 2003.

Hopes of national honours in the All-Ireland Scór na nÓg finals in Athlone were dashed on a brave Millstreet effort denied, succumbing to overall winners Mountbellew-Moylough of Galway.

The Millstreet cast members featured Laura Dennehy, Donal Linehan, Conor Linehan, James Linehan, Diarmuid Fraser, Emma Hickey, Neidín Spillane and Kelly Murphy.

Millstreet made the trip to Cappoquin to retain their provincial Scór Sinsear question time title with a team of Liam Flynn, Pat Sheehan and John Tarrant. Victory gained Millstreet their fifth Munster title in eleven years.

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