Ballyhale Shamrocks were crowned Leinster Champions for a 10th time after a 1-21 to 0-15 over Carlow champions St Mullins.
Henry Shefflin’s charges were full value for their 9 point win in Portlaoise. Colin Fennelly got the only goal of the game after 32 minutes which powered the Kilkenny outfit into a 7 point lead. Ballyhale will now face Ulster champions Slaughtneil in the All-Ireland semi-final in January. They will be favourites to win that and go and retain their crown. You would be a wise man to back against them doing so.
The Carlow side were two points ahead after 12 minutes. However, in fact Marty Kavanagh knocked over three frees as well as knocking a nice score over from play. Jason O’Neill knocked over a sumptuous score from a sideline ball also. Moreover. it was Ballyhale who took control from here knocking over five scores in a row to take a three point lead. TJ Reid, Brian Cody and Eoin Cody coming to the fore. Above all, It was a superb opening 25 minutes with th teams sharing 15 scores between them, Ballyhale leading 0-09 to 0-06. Additionally, Reid and Mullen had goal chances but th Mullins defence held firm. James Doyle was denied a goal at the other end.
Within 2 minutes of the restart that man Doyle bore down on the Shamrocks goal. The Carlow forward got the better of Dean Mason but not the better of the post as his volleyed effort hit the post and out wide. Therefore, that was a massive turning point in the game. Why? Because Ballyhale went down the other end and got a goal after some slick play from TJ Reid and Colin Fennelly. It ended in Fennelly finishing past Kevin Kehoe.Furthermore, Eoin Cody and TJ Reid both added points, therefore, Ballyhale coasted into a 9 point lead. Ballyhale were not going to be denied and they were crowned Leinster Champions.
In conclusion, a meeting with Derry’s Slaughtneil is next for Henry Shefflin’s men in the All-Ireland semi-final in January. Another humdinger of a game awaits there.
Ballyhale Shamrocks: Dean Mason; Brian Butler, Joey Holden, Darren Mullen; Evan Shefflin (0-01), Michael Fennelly, Darragh Corcoran; Ronan Corcoran, Conor Phelan (0-01); Brian Cody (0-03), TJ Reid (0-09, 0-08f), Adrian Mullen (0-03); Eoin Reid (0-01), Colin Fennelly (1-00), Eoin Cody (0-02).
Subs: Joey Cuddihy for Eoin Reid (43), Conor Walsh for Phelan (46), Gavin Butler for Darragh Cocroran (55), Mark Aylward (0-01) for Eoin Cody (57), Jason Devereux for Brian Cody (61).
St Mullins: Kevin Kehoe; Garry Bennett, Paul Doyle, John Doran; Gerard Coady, Michael Walsh, Christopher Kavanagh; Oisin Boland, Jack Kavanagh; Seamus Murphy, Marty Kavanagh (0-12, 0-08f, 0-01 65), James Doyle (0-01); Paidi O Se, Patrick Boland, Jason O’Neill (0-02, 0-01 s/l).
Subs: Patrick Walsh for Jack Kavanagh (50), Philip Connors for Boland (55), John Murphy for Christopher Kavanagh (57), Oisin Ryan for Bennett (57), Paul Kehoe for O’Neill (60).