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O'Loughlin Gaels cause an upset to claim Kilkenny senior hurling title

A powerful second half performance saw them past Ballyhale Shamrocks.

 Paddy Deegan and Henry Shefflin in action.
Paddy Deegan and Henry Shefflin in action.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

O’Loughlin Gaels 0-19

Ballyhale Shamrocks 1-12

A POWERFUL SECOND half performance helped O’Loughlin Gaels shoot their way to the Kilkenny senior hurling title.

A year after they were in the losing dressing-room, the city side stormed back to the big stage and made no mistake as they came from behind to beat Ballyhale Shamrocks in Nowlan Park.

The Shamrocks, favourites for the spoils, took control in the early stages and seemed to be on a course for victory when T.J. Reid weaved his way through the Gaels backs for a sixth minute goal.

Reid contributed 1-3 in the opening half but, with Ballyhale giving away needless frees, the accuracy of Mark Bergin meant O’Loughlin’s were just two points behind at the break.

O’Loughlin’s were quickly back on level terms in the second half, Martin Comerford and Bergin striking the opening scores but two from T.J. Reid and a Patrick Reid point soon had Ballyhale ahead again. It was the last time they would have such an advantage, however, as O’Loughlin’s took over the scoring in the final 20 minutes or so.

Bergin got them going with a free and a 65, then turned provider when setting up Danny Loughnane and Martin Comerford for points as they went 0-15 to 1-11 in front with ten to play.

Mark Bergin celebrates at the final whistle O’Loughlin Gaels' Mark Bergin celebrates at the final whistle. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Gaels were the dominant force in the closing stages. The Shamrocks drew level when Eoin Reid found room to grab a point but with momentum moving their way O’Loughlin’s surged ahead.

Loughnane, sub Sean Bolger and Paddy Deegan fired over three points in quick succession, helping their side open up a lead that Ballyhale just couldn’t claw back, before Bergin’s tenth free of the game sealed a fourth senior title for the Gaels.

Scorers for O’Loughlin Gaels: Mark Bergin (0-11, 0-10f, 65), Danny Loughnane, Martin Comerford (0-2 each), Paddy Butler, Paddy Deegan, Sammy Johnston, Sean Bolger (0-1 each).

Scorers for Ballyhale Shamrocks: T.J. Reid (1-5, 0-3f), Bob Aylward, Mark Aylward, Henry Shefflin, Colin Fennelly, Eoin Reid, Patrick Reid, Patrick Mullen (0-1 each).

Ballyhale Shamrocks:

1. James Connolly

2. Kevin Mullen
3. Padraig Holden
4. Darren Mullen

5. Richie Reid
6. Joey Holden
7. Bob Aylward

8. Mark Aylward
9. Henry Shefflin

10. Colin Fennelly
11. Eoin Reid
12. T.J. Reid

13. Ronan Corcoran
14. Patrick Reid
15. Patrick Mullen

Subs:

19. Joe Cuddihy for Corcoran (46)
20. David Hoyne for P. Reid (59)

O’Loughlin Gaels

1.Stephen Murphy

2. Anthony Forristal
3. Andy Kearns
4. Eddie Kearns

5. Alan O’Brien
6. Brian Hogan
7. Huw Lawlor

8. Paddy Butler
9. Paddy Deegan

10. Alan Geoghegan
14. Mark Bergin
12. Danny Loughnane

13. Sammy Johnson
11. Mark Kelly
15. Martin Comerford

Subs:
21. Sean Bolger for Johnston, 48 mins.
Referee: Richard Dowling (Kilmacow)

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About the author:

Trevor Spillane

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