Clonkill face St Mullins in Leinster Championship

Pictured in attendance at the Leinster GAA Club Championship launch 2015 were Paudie Kehoe, left, St. Mullins GAA Club, Co Carlow, and Paddy Dowdall, Clonkill GAA Club, Co Westmeath. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Pictured in attendance at the Leinster GAA Club Championship launch 2015 were Paudie Kehoe, left, St. Mullins GAA Club, Co Carlow, and Paddy Dowdall, Clonkill GAA Club, Co Westmeath. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Delighted to have reclaimed the Westmeath senior hurling title, Clonkill will now be hoping to make an impact in the Leinster Championship when they face Carlow outfit St Mullins at Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday afternoon.

It will be a difficult assignment for Clonkill, who produced a fine and spirited display when dethroning a fancied Raharney in the county decider. That was an encouraging success for Clonkill, who are quietly confident about taking a scalp or two in the provincial competition now.

When defeating Raharney, Clonkill showed admirable composure as they led 0-7 to 0-5 at the break before two Brendan Murtagh frees edged them four clear. Raharney, though, replied with a good burst, which included a 42nd-minute goal that left Clonkill trailing by a point.

Serious questions were being posed about Clonkill’s resolve, but they found positive answers as the inspirational Paddy Dowdall rifled over a brilliant equalising score. Niall Dowdall subsequently added the decisive goal, and Clonkill will be hoping to display similar levels of grit and determination this weekend.

St Mullins surprised a highly rated Mount Leinster Rangers side in the Carlow final to claim a second consecutive title, winning on a 1-14 to 0-10 scoreline. Leinster champions in 2013, Mount Leinster Rangers were expected to return to the summit of the Carlow game again on Sunday, October 18, but St Mullins were ready for a battle.

Captain Paudie Kehoe was outstanding at centre back as St Mullins frustrated Mount Leinster Rangers. St Mullins did most of the damage on that occasion in the second period as they only held a 0-6 to 0-5 interval lead. James Doyle and Marty Kavanagh were excellent in attack for St Mullins, who finished with a flourish.

Doyle’s late goal sealed a memorable triumph for them, and another lively clash with Clonkill awaits. Last Monday, Clonkill beat Raharney in the rescheduled Westmeath minor hurling final, which turned into a thrilling match at Cusack Park, by 1-15 to 1-13.

On Sunday, Athlone will be hoping to continue their Leinster Intermediate Football Championship adventure, but they face a tricky test against Carlow’s O’Hanrahans. It promises to be an interesting quarter-final in the Midlands, with Athlone buoyed up by their convincing victory over Wicklow’s Ballymanus.

Athlone’s nice mix of youth and experience has been evident throughout the year with Fergal Murray, John Stapleton, Paul Bannon, Ray Connellan, and John Connellan all contributing effectively. Sunday’s fixture with O’Hanrahans will be revealing as Athlone will be seeking to advance to the penultimate round in the province. The match kicks off at 2pm on Sunday, November 1 in Páirc Chiarain.

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