For the sixth time in seven seasons, and the seventh in the club’s history, Mullinavat are once more the JJ Kavanagh & Sons Kilkenny senior football champions.
This year’s senior county decider took place at UPMC Nowlan Park on Friday evening, over a month on from its original intended date. For the third season in a row, Mullinavat and Thomastown were the final pairing, tied at 1-1 in the trilogy series going into Friday night’s game, Thomastown having stopped Mullinavat from doing an unprecedented five-in-a-row in the 2021 championship.
Mullinavat raced into an early lead, hitting the back of the net with five minutes on the clock but Thomastown kept pressing, clawing their way back up the scoreboard towards the end of the first half and into the second, hitting a goal of their own to tie proceedings at 1-05 apiece.
With 15 minutes to go, momentum was swinging Thomastown’s way as they pulled two points clear but the never-say-die attitude that carried Mullinavat through to a Leinster intermediate semi-final last season prevailed with two late goals making sure the senior title stays with the holders.
Mullinavat won their first senior county title in 2007, going on to complete a four-in-a-row between 2017 and 2020. Losing out to Thomastown in the 2021 decider, the champions bounced back with sixth club title in 2022.
Thomastown: Luke McNena, Ned Kirwan, Richard O’Hara, Pauric Kirwan, Jack Cullen, Peter Connellan, Johnny Barron (C), Jonjo Farrell, Zach Bay Hammond, Naoise Dempsey, Luke Connella, Brian O’Hanrahan, Adam Power, Davy Prendergast, Rory Monks. Subs/extended panel: Alex Cass, Liam Treacy, Rory Connellan, Paul Barron, Eddie Donnelly, Brian Staunton, Oisin O’Reilly, Cormac Moore, Cian Moore, Sean O’Keeffe, Diarmuid Galway.
Mullinavat: Mullinavat: Mark McNamara, Mikey Jones, Joe Fennelly, Ian Mansfield, Shane Kelly, Ger Malone, Simon Aylward (C), James Culleton, Tom Aylward, Conor Duggan, Michael Malone, Ian Duggan, Adam Mansfield, Liam Fennelly, Pádraic Gahan. Subs/extended panel: Killian Dunphy, Sean Fitzpatrick, Darren Kenneally, Michael Walsh, Oisin Knox, Fiachra Knox, Jonathan Cawley, Richard Devine, Conor Power, Shane Aylward, Ryan Bland, Robin David, Gavin Maher, David Maher, Jack Walsh, Conor Walsh, Peter McDonald (inj)