Kilkenny SHC: Ballyhale claim 17th title with 2-21 to 1-15 win over James Stephens

Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-21 James Stephens 1-15

Ballyhale Shamrocks claimed their 17th Kilkenny senior hurling title on Sunday with a superb 9 point win over James Stephens at UPMC Nowlan Park.

It was the underdogs, James Stephens, that made the dream start with a goal inside 2 minutes. It was Tadhg O’Dwyer who rattled the ball past Mason in the opposition goal. However, Henry Shefflin’s side remained in touch when Colin Fennelly knocked over a nice point, that was responded to by Eoin Guilfoyle. Shamrocks then took the game by the game by the scruff of the neck and went ahead. Colin Fennelly setting up the impressive Eoin Cody for an 11 minute goal, Ballyhale ahead 1-03 to 1-01. Ballyhale could have and probably should have been ahead by more only for some poor wides. 8 in the first half alone, TJ Reid with four of them. Ballyhale ahead 1-12 to 1-07 at the break.

On the resumption James Stephen came all out all guns blazing. Conor Browne and Eoin Guilfoyle narrowing the gap down to three. TJ Reid then missed a couple of scores you would expect him to get, but he was probably just having an off-day. In saying the Ballyhale dynamo supplied the killer pass to Eoin Cody for Ballyhale’s second goal of the game which clinched the game.

In the post game speech Michael Fennelly dedicated the win to the Aylward family. He said”Hopefully this will bring some comfort to the family”. Ballyhale Shamrocks will now play the Westmeath senior hurling Champions Clonkill in the Leinster senior club quarter-final.


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