Mayfield 2-16 Mooncoin 1-18

Mayfield of Cork claimed the All-Ireland Club JHC title with a thrilling 2-16 to 1-18 win over Kilkenny’s Mooncoin at Croke Park.

Patrick Duggan and David Malone hit the net, with John Fitzgerald responding for Mooncoin, and five Nicky Kelly scores helped Mayfield to a 2-9 to 1-6 interval lead.

Kevin Crowley and Kelly battled it out in a shot-out throughout the second half, but three Eamon Hennebry scores edged Mooncoin closer.

However, it was the brilliant Kelly who won it for Mayfield with his 11th point in stoppage time.

Mooncoin raced into an early lead, with Kevin Crowley, Michael Grace and Alan Walsh all firing over points in an electrifying opening.

But once skipper Shane O’Donovan and Kevin Punch began to get their running game going, Mayfield flexed their muscles, with Punch opening their account, before David O’Neill finished off a searing run with a point.

Nicky Kelly made his first intervention with a fine score, before drifting deep to send in the searching delivery that led to the Cork side’s 15th minute goal.

Panic in the Mooncoin defence saw the ball spilled in the direction of Patrick Duggan, who finished low from close range.

The lead lasted only two minutes, though, for John Fitzgerald rifled a loose ball to the bottom corner of the net at the other end to put the Kilkenny men back in front.

A third goal in the space of four minutes went Mayfield’s way, with David Malone smashing a crisp shot past Eoin Purcell.

The Kilkenny men responded with scores from Crowley and Ray Wall, but the Cork side was inspired in the closing minutes of the half, hitting five without reply, three of them from Kelly, to lead by 2-9 to 1-6 at the interval.

Skipper Ethan Ryan came off the bench to spark Mooncoin’s revival, and they closed the gap to three points within seven minutes of the restart, Crowley adding two more to his tally.

But Kelly remained determined to showcase his skills, dancing through for a delightful point, which was followed by a David Malone effort.

Cormac Daly and Eoin Hennebry prompted from the back as Mooncoin made their move once again, and when Crowley converted a ’65', they were level with ten minutes to play.

Once again, Kelly cancelled out the score, but substitute Patrick Walsh equalised again in the 58th minute.

In a thrilling finish, almost inevitably, it was that man Kelly who won it for his side with another brilliant score.

Mayfield: R O’Keefe; K Brosnan, D Lucey, B O’Leary; G Lehane, S O’Donovan, G Looney; K Punch (0-01), D Hayes; D O’Neill (0-01), N Kelly (0-11, 6f, 1 ’65), D Malone (1-02); S Duggan (0-01), S Kelly, P Duggan (1-00).
Subs: I Looney for S Duggan (52), C O’Sullivan for Punch (56), K Walsh for S Kelly (56)

Mooncoin: E Purcell; C Brophy, N Mackey, L Henebry; C Daly, E Henebry, S Kearns; C Fleming, K Crowley (0-08, 5f, 1 ’65); S Walsh, A Walsh (0-02), R Wall (0-02); M Grace (0-1), E Henebry (0-03), J Fitzgerald (1-01).
Subs: E Ryan forFleming (h-t), K Kirwan for S Walsh, P Henebry for Grace (48), P Walsh (0-01) for Wall (50)

Referee: C Cunning (Antrim).