Conor Kane reporting in Mallow
DECLAN PRENDERGAST ANCHORED the defence and Seamus Prendergast led the scoring as Ardmore captured the Munster junior club hurling title despite playing the second half with 13 men and the last five minutes with 12.
The Waterford junior champions looked superior throughout but had some worrying moments either side of half-time as Ballybacon-Grange chased down an earlier six-point lead and drew level early in the second period.
Seamus Prendergast got his second goal of the match shortly after that leveller, a brilliant catch followed by an equally brilliant turn and finish to the net, and that score seemed to re-energise Ardmore.
Seconds later James Flavin was the provider for their third goal of the game, passing nicely to David Gartland who could shoot to the net from point-blank range, and further points from Prendergast and Flavin opened up more daylight between the teams.
Despite a late, brilliantly executed goal from a free by Ballybacon goalkeeper Brendan Cummins, Ardmore looked home and dry once that blast of scoring was done.
The first half had opened in very encouraging fashion for the Waterford champions, as they raced into a six-point lead by the time 12 minutes had elapsed, Seamus Prendergast capitalising on a rebound after a fine save by the luckless Cummins from James Kennedy.
However, after struggling with the early rhythm of the game, Ballybacon-Grange got into contention with Aaron Lonergan pointing three frees in the first half, Cummins getting one from long range, and Declan Walsh scrambling home a goal in injury-time.
Ardmore finished with 12 men after Wayne Hennessy and goalkeeper Jack Walsh got straight red cards late in the first half while Seamus Prendergast got a second yellow card five minutes from time, while Ballybacon’s full-back Eoin Walsh got a straight red before the end of an often hot-tempered match.
Scorers for Ardmore: Seamus Prendergast 2-5 (2 frees), David Gartland 1-1, James Kennedy 0-2, Janes Flavin 0-2, Eoghan O’Shea 0-1
Scorers for Ballybacon-Grange: Brendan Cummins 1-2 (2 frees, 1’65’), Declan Walsh 1-0, Daniel O’Regan 0-3, Aaron Lonergan 0-3 (3F)
1 Jack Walsh
2 Niall Hennessy
3 Declan Prendergast
4 Daniel Power
5 Gavin Williams
6 Seamus Keating
7 Richie Hennessy
8 Kenny Murphy
9 Wayne Hennessy
20 James Kennedy
11 David Gartland
12 John Gartland
10 James Flavin
14 Seamus Prendergast
22 Kieran Conway
James O’Donnell for K Conway (HT)
Eoghan O’Shea for J Kennedy (HT)
Eoin Conway for J Gartland (61m)
1 Brendan Cummins
2 Philip Walsh
3 Eoin Walsh
4 Craig Carrigan
5 Michael Barlow
6 Colin O’Gorman
7 Sean Nagle
8 Michael O’Sullivan
9 Brian Dillon
12 Gerry Cronin
11 Billy Hewitt
13 Aiden Savage
10 Daniel O’Regan
14 Declan Walsh
15 Aaron Lonergan
Stephen Lambert for P Walsh (15m)
Gavin Whelan for G Cronin (HT)
Johnny English for A Savage (49m)
Colm O’Shaughnessy for C Carrigan (54m)
James O’Mahoney for M O’Sullivan (59m)
Referee: Nathan Wall (Cork)
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