When St Mary's sat down to analyse how they lost this Séamus Ó Riain Cup tie at Cashel's Leahy Park on Saturday evening they will surely have wondered how and why it all went so wrong for them in the second half.
Tipperary Water Séamus Ó Riain Cup
JK Bracken's 2-16 St Mary's Clonmel 1-11
There was little to choose between the teams in the opening half at the end of which JK Bracken's were ahead by 1-8 to 1-6 after the teams had been level three times. However, the Mid team were much the stronger on the turnover as they pulled clear for a convincing victory.
The Clonmel side played their best hurling during the opening period. They took the lead in the seventh minute (1-0 to 0-1) when Darren Cass found the net after a good move which involved Seamus Kennedy and Stephen Buckley.
The advantage was short-lived, however, as JK Bracken's regained the lead two minutes later when goalie Darren Russell's puck-out broke for Lyndon Fairbrother and he gave St Mary's 'keeper Shane O'Neill no chance.
After their opening goal JK Bracken's soon added points through Lyndon Fairbrother ('65) and Shane Scully from play.
St Mary's fought hard to stay in the game and drew level with four unanswered scores - Seamus Kennedy, Sean Kennedy (free) and further scores from play from Dean Fitzgerald and Darren Cass.
The scores were still level by the 21st minute (1-6 each) before points from Shane Doyle and Jordan Moloney gave JK Bracken's the edge at the mid-way stage.
SCORES DRIED UP
The scores dried up for St Mary's on the turnover when their performance fell flat. By contrast JK Bracken's were much more clinical. And, scores from Paddy Cadell, Andrew Ormond and Lyndon Fairbrother (free) soon pushed them five clear.
Sean Kennedy replied with a converted free, but that score was quickly answered by two further points from Andrew Ormond.
JK Bracken's were ahead by five points when Cadell cut through the Clonmel defence far too easily to score their second goal twelve minutes from the finish.
Seamus Kennedy had a shot at goal from a free blocked by the JK Bracken's net minder Darren Russell while his younger brother Sean had a similar effort from another free deflected over the bar in the dying moments.
St Mary's lost the second half 1-8 to 0-5 with just one point coming from play when Jason Lonergan scored four minutes from the end of normal time.
St Mary's must win their remaining game against table toppers Burgess to keep their qualification hopes alive. Meanwhile JK Bracken's will play their final group tie against Ballingarry who are bottom of the table after two defeats.
JK Bracken's: Darren Russell, Jordan Moloney (0-1), Keith Kennedy, Jack Fogarty, Eanna McBride, Tom Murphy, Cathal Scully, Aidan Fogarty (0-1), Paddy Cadell (1-2), Shane Doyle (0-3), Adrian Bourke, Shane Scully (0-2), Andrew Ormond (0-5), Lyndon Fairbrother (1-2, 0-1 free, 0-1 '65), Jack Kennedy. Subs: David O'Shea for Jack Kennedy (ht), Dean McEnroe for Adrian Bourke (53rd), Paddy Delaney for Shane Doyle (60th).
St Mary's Clonmel: Shane O'Neill, Joe Gunne, Gavin Ryan, Paul Nolan, John Ryan, Jamie Peters, Sammy Ryan, Eric Walsh, Stephen Buckley, Dean Fitzgerald (0-1), Seamus Kennedy (0-2 frees), Jason Lonergan (0-1), Darren Cass (1-1), Gearoid Buckley, Sean Kennedy (0-6 frees). Subs: Michael Murphy for Gearoid Buckley (50th), Adam Peters for Joe Gunne (57th).
Referee: John O'Grady (Rosegreen).