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Mullinahone Bring Tipperary And Kilkenny Together For All-Ireland Final

Mullinahone Bring Tipperary And Kilkenny Together For All-Ireland Final
By PJ Browne

Forging a consensus between people from Tipperary and Kilkenny about matters on a Gaelic games pitch has never likely, but that is what Mullinahone have done.

The Tipperary club face St Judes in the All-Ireland Ladies Football Junior Club Championship final on Saturday. They do so with several players - like team captain Molly Walsh - from Kilkenny village Windgap on their panel. The two villages sit on the county border with just 12km between them.

"I've been playing football over in Mullinahone since I was 10," Walsh tells Balls.ie.

"I'm here long enough anyway. A few more of the girls have joined in the last few years. It's brilliant.

"It's great to have Mullinahone to play football in because I would have had nowhere to play football in Windgap. It was only in primary school. I came over to Mullinahone then. There's always been a few going over and back playing football there. We have a few playing camogie with us in Windgap.

"It's probably good that we're not in the same county. There's not as much rivalry between each other. We all went out as one the other day [in the All-Ireland semi-final]. The supporters were brilliant. There were loads from Windgap and from Mullinahone.

"[Mullinahone] would be more known for the hurling. The football has been really getting going this year. We've been working away for years."

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This season, two-time camogie Player of the Year, Denise Gaule, joined the Mullinahone panel.

"The camogie finished up early," says Walsh.

"She was looking for a bit more to do. I'd say she'd adapt fairly quickly to anything she put her hand to. I'd be used to playing with her in Windgap."

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In attendance at a photocall at Croke Park ahead of the currentaccount.ie All-Ireland Ladies Club Football Finals are Aoife Keyes of St Judes, Dublin, left, and Molly Walsh of Mullinahone, Tipperary. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

2021 was Mullinahone's first time winning a junior county final. They did so with Tipperary hurling All-Star Paul Kelly as manager.

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"Paul is brilliant," Walsh says.

"We're so lucky to have him. He has so much experience, and knows his stuff. He'd be down there on the field with us every night if he could.

"At the start of the year, our goal was to win the county final.

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"The [Munster] semi-final, we played Castlehaven, a Cork team, and we were definitely underdogs going; no one really expected much from a small little village in Tipp. That was such a tough match. So was the MKL match [in the Munster final]. We were probably underdogs going into all of them. We had enough belief in ourselves. We didn't mind that we were underdogs. It suited us."

In the All-Ireland semi-final, they defeated Galway champions St Brendans by a goal to set up the final against St Judes.

"It's a Dublin team, they'd be much more known for their football than we would be down here," Walsh says.

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"They will be a brilliant side, there's no doubt about that."

See Also: Kilmoyley One Win From Making More History For Kerry Hurling

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