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Dublin: -1 °C Sunday 18 March, 2018

Ballyragget crowned Leinster champions after last-gasp free completes comeback

Kevin Kelly held his nerve at the death to land the match-winning free for the Kilkenny club.

Kevin Kelly was the star of the show for Ballyragget.
Kevin Kelly was the star of the show for Ballyragget.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

St Patrick’s Ballyragget 0-19

Glenealy 1-15

SENIOR INTER-COUNTY player Kevin Kelly was the saviour for Ballyragget as his ice-cool nerve earned the Kilkenny side the Leinster intermediate hurling club title this afternoon.

Kelly kept his composure to convert an injury-time free that sealed a second provincial title for the Saints (they won the junior title in 2012 on their way to the All-Ireland crown), but it was wretched luck on their beaten foes Glenealy.

The Wicklow men came to Nowlan Park for Saturday’s encounter and showed no fear as they took the game to their hosts.

Such was their confidence they led by three with 10 minutes to play (1-13 to 0-13) with top scorer Jonathan O’Neill leading the Garden County side’s charge.

Glenealy were impressive in the first half. They took the lead on two separate occasions and were level three times.

Ballyragget knew they had a battle on their hands, and needed a Joe Brennan score to to edge ahead by the break (0-9 to 0-8).

The Wicklow visitors were an even greater force to be reckoned with in the second half, and seemed to be on the cusp of pulling off a major shock when Wayne O’Gorman plundered a goal in the 45th minute to push his side ahead (1-11 to 0-12).

That goal acted like a spur to Ballyragget, who raised their game and kicked on.

Kelly struck three frees in the final quarter, with Seoirse Kenny adding another, before Brian ‘Brooky’ Phelan levelled the game in the dying seconds of normal time.

The Saints found an extra gear, however, as Kelly hit the free that secured the silverware.

Ballyragget scorers: Kevin Kelly (0-11); Seoirse Kenny, Michael Brennan, Brian ‘Brooky’ Phelan (0-2 each); Joe Brennan, Paddy Brennan (0-1 each).

Glenealy scorers: Jonathan O’Neill (0-8); Wayne O’Gorman (1-0); Roberet Byrne (0-2); John Manley, Jamie Byrne, Enan Glynn, Leighton Glynn, Gavin Weir (0-1 each).

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