AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling Championship Semi-Final – Mayfield (Cork) 1-14 Calry St Josephs (Sligo) 1-7

Mayfield (Cork) defeated Calry St Josephs (Sligo) by 1-14 to 1-7 in the AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling Championship Semi-Final on Sunday January 29th at O’Connor Park Tullamore.

Nicky Kelly turns on power to fire Mayfield into final

Report by Daragh Ó Conchúir for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Mayfield (Cork) 1-14 Calry St Joseph’s (Sligo) 1-7: Mayfield are one step away from AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling Championship glory after this workmanlike victory over dogged Calry St Joseph’s.

They recovered from a slow start to lead at the break 0-8 to 0-5 and the Cork City outfit pulled away in the second-half as the game fizzled out to an inevitable end despite Conor Griffin’s goal in the sixth minute of injury time for Calry.

Once again, Nicky Kelly’s class shone whenever he was in possession but the centre-forward, who finished with a goal and five points and had a hand in a couple of other scores, was very ably supported in the scoring stakes by David O’Neill and Kevin Punch, who scored four and three points from play, respectively.

The persistent drizzle made for a very scrappy affair but Calry began confidently and with Keith Raymond slotting three frees, were full value for their early two-point lead. They had a couple of half-chances for goals in the early exchanges that might have altered proceedings but were unable to avail of them.

Instead Punch, Kelly and David Malone hit points to settle Mayfield as they themselves went two ahead. Griffin and Raymond ensured the sides were level at 0-5 apiece by the 22nd minute but St Joseph’s failed to score for the next 24 minutes, while Mayfield upped the tempo and managed to create more space, having initially struggled with the conditions.

O’Neill, Punch and Kelly all hit the target before thei nterval, while Podge Duggan was only denied a goal by a smart save from Chris Madden. The game was decided by two events early in the second-half that left Calry with too steep a mountain to climb. In the 33rd minute, by which stage O’Neill had already raised a white flag, Kelly won possession and jinked clear but mishit his strike for a point from about 35 metres. Unfortunately for Madden though, the custodian misjudged the flight of the sliotar and it went all the way to the net to open a seven-point lead.

Punch had made it eight by the time Kevin Gilmartin received his second yellow card seven minutes later and there was no way back.

Mayfield were in cruise control from there and without being spectacular, saw the game out professionally. Raymond ended the Sligo champions’ drought from another placed ball but they needed goals and Griffin’s booted finish came much too late.

Scorers for Mayfield: N Kelly (1-5, 0-3 frees); D O’Neill (0-4); K Punch (0-3); D Hayes, D Malone (0-1 each)

Scorers for Calry/St Joseph’s: K Raymond (0-6 frees); C Griffin (1-1)

MAYFIELD: R O’Keeffe, K Brosnan, D Lucey, G Lehane, D Hayes, S O’Donovan, C Bond, K Punch, C O’Sullivan, D Malone, N Kelly, D O’Neill, S Duggan, K Walsh, P Duggan
Subs: I Looney for Malone (54); M Barry for Walsh (60), J O’Donovan for Hayes (60+4)

CALRY/ST JOSEPH’S: C Madden, T Kelly, J Kenny, J Kerwin, D Keown, C Behan, L Reidy, R Cox, K Raymond, K Gilmartin, D Collery, C Griffin, E McCarthy, J Gilmartin, M Gilmartin
Subs: F Coyne for Reidy (27-29); Coyne for Kerwin (57); N McDermott for Keown (60), D Cox for O’Callaghan (60)

Referee: G McGrath (Wexford)

Fixture Details

29.01.2017 (Sun)
AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Finals
O’Connor Park, Tullamore 12.30
Calry/St Joseph’s (Sligeach) v Mayfield (Corcaigh)
Referee: Gearoid McGrath (Loch Garman)
(E.T. if Necessary)