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All-Ireland champions Ballyhale hit 5-19 to claim third Kilkenny title on the trot

The defending champions were comprehensive winners in today’s final against Disckboro.

Ballyhale Shamrocks 5-19
Dicksboro 1-10

BALLYHALE SHAMROCKS ROMPED their way to a third consecutive Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship title this afternoon at UPMC Nowlan Park.

A dominant first-half display against Dicksboro laid the foundations for the defending champions, who were ruthless in suppressing any hint of a second-half resurgence from the 2017 winners.

eoin-cody-scores-a-goal-despite-conor-fitzpatrick Eoin Cody scores a goal for Ballyhale Shamrocks despite the efforts of Dicksboro's Conor Fitzpatrick. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Dicksboro took an early lead when Bill Sheehan pointed on three minutes. Having been wasteful when presented with opportunities, just over half an hour passed before they registered another score from play.

Ballyhale stormed into the game by hitting 1-5 without reply, their goal coming with 13 minutes on the clock. As Tom Kenny sought to break from defence for Dicksboro, the ball was swiped by Brian Cody, who proceeded to apply an emphatic finish that beat Darragh Holohan.

A brilliant Holohan save then prevented Eoin Reid’s kicked effort from ending up in the net, but the Dicksboro goalkeeper could do nothing to deny Colin Fennelly moments later.

After superbly controlling Patrick Mullen’s long delivery as it dropped, Fennelly muscled his way beyond Evan Cody and scored from close range to put the reigning All-Ireland champions 2-7 to 0-2 ahead in the 21st minute.

With their momentum briefly halted by three unanswered Shane Stapleton frees, Ballyhale responded well with points from Brian Cody and Ronan Corcoran.

Dicksboro then grabbed a couple of confidence-boosting scores before the interval, as another Stapleton free was followed by a long-awaited point from play courtesy of substitute Andy Gaffney, which cut Ballyhale’s half-time lead to eight points (2-9 to 0-7).

However, Dicksboro didn’t get any closer as a comeback failed to materialise when play resumed. The scores continued to come much easier for Ballyhale, who increased their cushion to 13 ahead of the second-half water break.

The closing stages were a procession, with three Ballyhale goals in quick succession leaving Dicksboro trailing by 5-16 to 0-9 with little more than seven minutes remaining.

richie-reid-celebrates-winning-with-teammates Ballyhale Shamrocks captain Richie Reid is carried by his team-mates as he celebrates with the cup. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

For the first of his two goals, Eoin Reid punished the Dicksboro defence for failing to get the ball clear, before he was on hand to sweep home a rebound when Holohan saved an Eoin Cody effort.

Cody did put a goal to his name on 53 minutes, latching on to a high delivery from Evan Shefflin to poke the ball past Holohan with a clever one-handed finish. 

Andy Gaffney’s late goal was scant consolation on a disappointing day for Dicksboro, as Ballyhale Shamrocks claimed their 18th Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship title.

Scorers for Ballyhale Shamrocks: TJ Reid 0-8 (0-3 frees, 0-3 ’65s); Eoin Reid 2-2; Brian Cody and Eoin Cody 1-1 each; Ronan Corcoran 0-3; Colin Fennelly 1-0; Patrick Mullen, Joe Cuddihy, Darragh Corcoran and Conor Walsh 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dicksboro: Shane Stapleton 0-7 (0-6 frees, 0-1 ’65); Andy Gaffney 1-1; Bill Sheehan and Evan Carroll 0-1 each.

Ballyhale Shamrocks

1. Dean Mason

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2. Darren Mullen
3. Joey Holden
4. Brian Butler

5. Darragh Corcoran
6. Richie Reid
7. Patrick Mullen

8. Evan Shefflin
9. Ronan Corcoran

10. Brian Cody
11. TJ Reid
12. Joe Cuddihy

13. Eoin Reid
14. Colin Fennelly
15. Eoin Cody


24. Conor Walsh for Joe Cuddihy (50)
19. Eoin Kenneally for Eoin Reid (54)
17. Gavin Butler for Brian Butler (55)
20. Mark Aylward for Brian Cody (58)
18. Kevin Mullen for Patrick Mullen (58)


1. Darragh Holohan

2. Conor Fitzpatrick
3. Evan Cody
4. Evan Carroll

5. Ollie Walsh
6. Cillian Buckley
7. Tom Kenny

8. Conor Doheny
9. Robbie Fitzpatrick

10. Liam Moore
11. Shane Stapleton
12. Chris Kavanagh

13. Bill Sheehan
14. Eoin Gough
15. Mark Nolan


17. Oisin Gough for Chris Kavanagh (26)
24. Andy Gaffney for Mark Nolan (29)
25. Aidan Nolan for Eoin Gough (33)
18. Martin Gaffney for Liam Moore (45)
19. Michael Fagan for Ollie Walsh (48)

Referee: Ray Byrne (Glenmore).

About the author:

Paul Dollery

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