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Doyle the hero as two stunning injury-time scores book first-ever Leinster final for St Mullin's

There was thrilling late drama at Netwatch Cullen Park as the Carlow champions marched on at the death.

James Doyle and Jack Kavanagh celebrate at the final whistle.
James Doyle and Jack Kavanagh celebrate at the final whistle.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

St Mullin’s 2-17

Rathdowney-Errill 1-19

Alan Hartnett reports from Netwatch Cullen Park

JAMES DOYLE WAS the St Mullin’s hero as he scored two magnificent points in injury time to put the Carlow champions through to the Leinster hurling final for the first time in their history.

They become just the second-ever team from the county after Mount Leinster to reach the provincial showpiece and they will face Ballyhale Shamrocks in the final in two weeks’ time.

james-doyle-celebrates-at-the-final-whistle Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

paddy-purcell-and-john-purcell-dejected-at-the-end-of-the-game St Mullin's James Doyle celebrates (top) while Rathdowney-Errill's Paddy Purcell and John Purcell contemplate heartbreaking defeat (bottom). Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

This was a game that swung one way and then the other for the course of the 60 minutes and Laois champions Rathdowney-Errill, who were also seeking to reach the final for the first time, thought they had done enough when sub Shane Madden gave them the lead as two minutes of injury time were signalled.

However, St Mullin’s had other ideas and Doyle scored two wonderful individual points to see them through.

It looked for a long time like it would be a battle of the two Kavanaghs as Rathdowney-Errill’s Mark and St Mullin’s Marty engaged in a point swapping fest for much of the game.

Mark ended the game with twelve points while Marty scored 1-9 and his goal, which came in the first half, was followed by another from Paddy Boland.

Paddy Purcell got Rathdowney-Errill’s only goal in the opening period, too, and that helped them to a 1-10 to 2-6 lead at the interval.

paddy-purcell-on-his-way-to-scoring-a-goal Paddy Purcell en route to his goal for Rathdowney-Errill. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

St Mullin’s began the second half with four points in three minutes and they held onto that lead right to the end of normal time where they fell behind before Doyle worked his magic.

Rathdowney-Errill did have a late chance to force extra time but Joe McDonagh Player of the Year Paddy Purcell blazed a shot wide with the final puck of the game.

st-mullins-players-and-supporters-celebrate-after-the-game St Mullin's players and supporters celebrate after the game. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Scorers for Rathdowney-Errill: Mark Kavanagh 0-12 (0-7f, 0-1 65), Paddy Purcell 1-1, Ross King 0-2, James Ryan, Jack Ryan, Paddy McCane and Shane Madden 0-1 each

Scorers for St Mullins: Marty Kavanagh 1-9 (0-7f), James Doyle 0-5, Paddy Boland 1-0, Seamus Murphy 0-2, Jason O’Neill 0-1

RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL

1. Damien Madden

2. Jimmy Corrigan
3. Brian Campion
4. John Purcell

5. Joe Fitzpatrick
6. Jack Kelly
7. Eric Killeen

8. John Keane
9. Paddy Purcell

10. James Ryan
12. Shane Dollard
11. Mark Kavanagh

13. Paddy McCane
14. Ross King
15. Brandon McGinley

Subs

20. Kevin O’Dea for Keane (40)
19. Shane Madden for Dollard (45)
17. Ray Bowe for McGinley (51)

ST MULLINS

1. Kevin Kehoe

2. John Doran
3. Paul Doyle
4. Garry Bennett

5. Chris Kavanagh
6. Ger Coady
7. Oisin Boland

8. Mick Walsh
9. Jack Kavanagh

10. Seamus Murphy
11. Marty Kavanagh
12. Paddy Walsh

13. Jason O’Neill
14. James Doyle
15. Paddy Boland.

Subs

17. Philly Connors for Walsh (40)

Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny)

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About the author:

Alan Hartnett

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