Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-28 St Thomas 2-11
Ballyhale Shamrocks hammered Galway side St Thomas’ in the All-Ireland Hurling club final at Croke Park on Sunday. It was a day to forget for the Galway men as they were hammered by 17 points, in the process giving the Kilkenny man their seventh All-Ireland title.
Man of the match Colin Fennelly was star of the show as he hit 2-04 into the Hill 16 end which gave the Kilkenny and Leinster champions a five point lead at the break despite playing into the wind. It was the second half then when the team managed by Henry Shefflin hit points for while the Galway men had no answer. TJ Reid and Adrian Mullen coming to the fore.
Ballyhale took a three point lead with TJ Reid pointing a free and a point, either side of a Mullen score. Darragh Burke got a free to get the Galway champions up and running, before Fennelly struck his first goal to make it 1-04 to 0-01 after just five minutes. Darragh and Bernard Burke narrowed the gap, before Conor Cooney slotted home a penalty low and hard to the net and the gap was 1 point, 1-04 to 1-03. Mullen stretched the lead to two once more, while Reid extended it further with a pointed free. Darragh Burke hit over a free and McGlynn also pointed with the aid of Hawk Eye. James Regan knocked over the leveller on 20 minutes. Fennelly could have had another goal but it went over the bar, however he did score on 22 minutes with a fantastic goal which he was flicked to the net, 2-07 to 1-06. Burke hit a free but Shefflin extended the Ballyhale gap. TJ Reid tapped over the Ballyhale’s men 9th of the half, before Burke replied with a long range free. Brian Cody restored the five point gap however before the break.
Eoin Cody and Darragh Burke swapped scores on the resumption. But from that moment the Kilkenny men took complete control. The gap was out to six when Reid tapped over a 8 minute free, before Patrick Mullen, Colin Fennelly and Brian Cody registered white flags. It was 2-15 to 1-09 20 minutes left. Patrick Mullan knocked over the 6th unanswered point after a lengthy break due to knee injury to Fintan Burke. Brendan Farrell stopped the rot with a nice score for Thomas’ but Adrian Mullen, Richie Reid and Colin Fennelly left 12 points between the sides with sweet scores. It was double scores then when Fennelly scored another point , 2-20 to 1-10, Adrian Mullen pointed a brace, while Ronan Corcoran extended the gap to 16 points. Reid and Burke swapped frees, before Reid superbly pointed from open play in the first minute of added time. Mark Aylward pointed before David Burke raised a green flag. Reid added another point but it was time up and Michael Fennelly climbed the steps of the Hogan Stand to lift the trophy in which he dedicated the success to the late Eoin Doyle.