Monday 23 October 2017

Kelly magic swings it for Mayfield

Mayfield 2-16 Mooncoin 1-18

Mayfield's Shane O'Donovan lifts the cup. Photo: INPHO
Mayfield's Shane O'Donovan lifts the cup. Photo: INPHO

Nicky Kelly inspired Mayfield to a first All-Ireland title with a scoring master-class at Croke Park yesterday. The maestro hit 11 points as the Cork side held off a furious challenge from opponents bidding to make it a fifth title in six seasons for Kilkenny sides.

Mayfield, the homeplace of Roy Keane, made another claim to fame in a roller-coaster of a decider which could have gone either way. Fittingly, it was Kelly who came up with a brilliant winner deep into stoppage time.

Mooncoin's Ethan Ryan in action with Mayfield's Kieran Brosnan. Photo: INPHO
Mooncoin's Ethan Ryan in action with Mayfield's Kieran Brosnan. Photo: INPHO

The Kilkenny men had raced into a three-point lead in the opening minutes, but Kevin Punch's opener was a rallying call for the Munster champions, and they went in front with a 15th-minute goal. Kelly delivered long and when the defence failed to clear, Patrick Duggan nipped in to finish from close range.

The lead lasted just two minutes, for John Fitzgerald rifled a loose ball to the bottom corner of the net at the other end, but almost immediately, Mayfield grabbed a second goal, David Malone applying a sweet finish with an angled shot which flew past Eoin Purcell.

Mooncoin had scores from Kevin Crowley and Ray Wall, but an inspired Mayfield side applied a thunderous finish to the half, hitting five points without reply, three of them from the mercurial Kelly, including a splendid effort from play. Shane Duggan and Malone also hit the target to send the Cork men in to the break with a 2-9 to 1-6 advantage.

Skipper Ethan Ryan came off the bench to spark a Mooncoin revival, and Crowley continued to hit the target form placed balls.

Ray Wall and Eamon Hennebry added scores as they inched closer, but at the other end the artistry of Kelly was a constant, and he danced through for a delightful solo point, added to by David Malone's effort as Mayfield kept their noses just in front.

Mooncoin kept coming, though, and Crowley steered over a '65' to bring them level with ten minutes to play.

That man Kelly quickly responded, but substitute Patrick Walsh had the sides level again heading into stoppage time. However, Kelly had the last say as he fired over a wonderful winner in the 63rd minute.

Scorers - Mayfield: D Malone 1-2, P Duggan 1-0, N Kelly 0-11 (6f), S Duggan, D O'Neill, K Punch 0-1 each. Mooncoin: J Fitzgerald 1-1, K Crowley 0-8 (5f, 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 Hennebry, 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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