Mitchelstown rally back to see off Kilshannig and reach IAFC final

Six points behind and without Cathail O'Mahony and Mark Keane, Mitchelstown showed true grit to set up a showdown with Iveleary
Mitchelstown rally back to see off Kilshannig and reach IAFC final

Mitchelstown centre-back Shane Beston drives out of defence past Kilshannig's Kieran Twomey and Tom Cunningham, during their IAFC semi-final at Kildorrery. Picture: David Keane.

Mitchelstown 2-11 Kilshannig 1-13 

MITCHELSTOWN booked their place in Bon Secours Intermediate A Football Championship final against Iveleary after this thrilling comeback win over Kilshannig in Kildorrery.

This was a victory where Mitchelstown showed what they were made of when backed into a corner, as Kilshannig were in the lead for large portions.

Mitchelstown, six points down at one stage in the second half, without Mark Keane who has returned to Australia and despite losing Cathail O'Mahony to injury, delivered when it seemed this game was slipping away. 

It means a number of their players, who landed a Junior A hurling title with Ballygibblin last weekend, will have the chance to secure a double next Sunday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh against Iveleary, last season's junior champions.

Cork senior manager Keith Ricken, who was in attendance, would have been impressed by the first-half showing by Cathail O’Mahony, scorer of four points, who unfortunately had to be taken off on the stroke of half time.

Kilshannig began the game brightly and they had a penalty by Cork U20 star Eanna O’Hanlon saved before he hit the net from close range soon after. O'Hanlon finished with 1-5, all bar one from play, though it ultimately wasn't enough.

 Kilshannig's Eanna O'Hanlon crashes the ball to the Mitchelstown net. Picture: David Keane.
Kilshannig's Eanna O'Hanlon crashes the ball to the Mitchelstown net. Picture: David Keane.

Kilshannig had all the early momentum and pointed through a fine Brian Guerin effort from distance, while Tom Cunningham maintained his composure to slot over a pair of scores midway through the opening half.

Mitchelstown were right back in the contest when Dave Dineen finished impressively to the back of the net: 1-5 to 0-6.

The Avondhu side nearly had another goal early in the second half, when Sean O’Sullivan saw his strike come back off the crossbar.

Kilshannig, already down injury Cork senior midfielder Killian O'Hanlon, were reduced to 14 men in the second half. However, they extended their lead through O’Hanlon and Darragh O’Sullivan, opening a six-point advantage.

Although Mitchelstown kept in touch, Kilshannig still led by four points with just seven minutes remaining on the clock at 1-12 to 1-8.

But with the finishing line in sight, Mitchelstown rose to the occasion, Molloy grabbing their second goal before Mikey Walsh levelled. 

Sean O’Sullivan then slotted over what turned out to be the match-winning score to spark wild Mitchelstown celebrations.

Scorers for Mitchelstown: C O’Mahony (0-2 f) 0-4, D Dineen, P Molloy 1-0 each, S Cahill, J Sheehan 0-2 each, S O’Sullivan, D Flynn, M Walsh 0-1 each.

Kilshannig: E O’Hanlon (0-1 f) 1-5, T Cunningham 0-3, D O’Sullivan 0-2 B Guerin, J Twomey, J Kearney 0-1 each.

MITCHELSTOWN: L Hanna; K Roche, D Dineen, L Finn; P Molloy, S Beston, G Carroll; S Walsh, P Magee; J O’Sullivan, C O’Mahony, C Hyland; J Sheehan, S Cahill, D Reidy Price.

Subs: D Flynn for Walsh (20, inj), S O’Sullivan for O’Mahony (30, inj), F Herlihy for Reidy Price (h-t), M Walsh for O’Sullivan (41), A O’Brien for Hyland (59).

KILSHANNIG: G Creedon; P Walsh, E Burke, S Murphy; B Guerin, B Curtin, C Murphy; J Twomey, C O’Sullivan; K Twomey, E O’Hanlon, J Kearney; D O’Sullivan, B O’Shea, T Cunningham.

Subs: R O’Mahony for Murphy (45), E Healy for O’Shea (46).

Referee: Cormac Dineen (Douglas).

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