Thursday, November 21, 2019

By Kieran Murphy

GOOD things happen to good guys now and again. Describing Jack Kavanagh as a good guy might rest uneasy with the man himself! But anyone who knows him would agree his heart and soul are completely in the right place. He got himself into trouble in the county semi-final and as a result was suspended for the county final as St Mullins edged out Mount Leinster Rangers by a single point. It had to hurt.

But now he is preparing for a Leinster final and barring injury he is an automatic starter.

“It was heart-breaking to miss the county final,” he said on Sunday, but he quickly steered the conversation away from himself and focussed on those around him.

“This team has grown in belief and heart. Every day we are learning and looking to new challenges.”

St Mullins were hanging on in the first half. Seven wides could have unhinged their challenge but they kept in there with first-half goals from Paddy Boland and Marty Kavanagh.

“We felt we didn’t hurl at all in the first half and when we came out we missed chances. We had left them in the game. This team has heart and when they went a point up we played to the very end. Those last two scores from James Doyle were unbelievable.

Now St Mullins meet Ballyhale Shamrocks in the decider in two weeks. The pain of missing the county final has surely eased.

“It is a new challenge. A great team full of all-stars. We are not going up to fulfil a fixture. We will enjoy this with our team-mates, our club-mates and our families. We will prepare from there.

“Next time out will be a new challenge. We will enjoy tonight and start preparing tomorrow,” said Kavanagh who didn’t watch the other semi-final the previous day.

We didn’t take our eye off the ball. We weren’t worried about Ballyhale or St Martin’s.

Oisin Boland is having a great year. He had an excellent county final and is now a regular in the St Mullins team.

“Ecstasy,” is how he described the feeling of qualifying for a Leinster final. He is not fazed by the challenge Ballyhale will impose.

“All we can do is look after ourselves and there is huge belief in each other. We had some tough games. Three big games. We were fortunate to come out against Ballinkillen and we have built momentum since then.”

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