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IT WAS THE biggest day in the club hurling calendar with the Kilkenny champions Ballyhale Shamrocks going up against Limerick champions Kilmallock.

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Result: Ballyhale Shamrocks 1-18 Kilmallock 1-6


Happy St Patrick’s Day all and welcome along to Croke Park. It’s the 2015 AIB All-Ireland senior club hurling final with Kilkenny’s Ballyhale Shamrocks going up against Limerick’s Kilmallock.

Here’s the Kilmallock starting team:

1. Barry Hennessy

2. Liam Hurley
3. Mark O’laughlin
4. Aaron Costello

5. Liam Walsh
6. Philip O’Loughlin
7. Kevin O’Donnell

8. Bryan O’Sullivan
9. Paudie O’Brien

10. Jake Mulcahy
11. Gavin O’Mahony
12. Robbie Egan

13. Graeme Mulcahy
14. Kieran Kenneally
15. Eoin Ryan

And here’s the Ballyhale Shamrocks team:

1. Richie Reid

2. Keith Nolan
3. Joey Holden
4. Alan Cuddihy

5. Paul Shefflin
6. Michael Fennelly
7. Aidan Cummins

8. Conor Walsh
9. Bob Aylward

10. James Fitzpatrick
11. Henry Shefflin
12. TJ Reid

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

Referee today is Wexford’s James Owens.

The managers on both teams are well used to big days. Clare’s Ger O’Loughlin is at the helm of Kilmallock while Tipperary duo Andy Moloney and Colm Bonnar are overseeing the fortunes of Ballyhale.

Ballyhale Shamrocks won All-Ireland club hurling crowns in 1981, 1984, 1990, 2007 and 2010. Kilmallock have never won this title but they lost the 1993 final to Galway’s Sarsfields.


Kilmallock 0-1 Ballyhale 0-0
Flying start for Kilmallock as Paudie O’Brien points.


Kilmallock 0-1 Ballyhale 0-1
Now we’re level thanks to another midfielder as Bob Aylward hits a lovely score for Ballyhale.


Kilmallock fans think their team has found the net but it’s been disallowed for a square ball.


Ballyhale 0-2 Kilmallock 0-1
TJ Reid knocks over a free after Colin Fennelly is fouled.


Stray shooting on both sides with Ballyhale’s TJ Reid and Colin Fennelly shooting wide while Kevin O’Donnell’s long-range shot for Kilmallock is off target.


Ballyhale 0-3 Kilmallock 0-1
Eoin Reid gathers a high ball before smacking over a point for Ballyhale. The Kilkenny side on top, Joey Holden mopping up a lot of ball at full-back.


Kilmallock struggling to make headway in attack. Gavin O’Mahony with a point chance from distance there but Richie Reid did well to catch and clear. Moments before that Graeme Mulcahy charged through but his shot for goal under pressure was blocked and cleared.


Ballyhale 0-4 Kilmallock 0-2
Ballyhale are far more economical up front with Henry Shefflin just tapping over his first point of the game. Kilmallock do respond though with the boost of a Robbie Egan point after he fetched the puckout.


Yellow card for Colin Fennelly after he point in a heavy challenge on Paudie O’Brien.


Ballyhale 0-4 Kilmallock 0-3
Better from Kilmallock as Eoin Ryan points a free after that foul on O’Brien.


Ballyhale 0-5 Kilmallock 0-3
Colin Fennelly comes outfield and gathers before turning to strike a fine point off his left for Ballyhale.


Ballyhale 0-6 Kilmallock 0-3
Second point of the day for Eoin Reid and it’s now a three-point advantage for Ballyhale.


Ballyhale 0-6 Kilmallock 0-4
Lovely play from Graeme Mulcahy as he’s quick off the mark to grab a loose ball and he clips over a point off his left.


Sub: Paddy O’Loughlin is on for Kilmallock for Kieran Kenneally.


Goal for Ballyhale Shamrocks!


Ballyhale 1-6 Kilmallock 0-4
That could be a decisive breakthrough for Ballyhale. Colin Fennelly races clear into space and picks his spot with a shot to the top corner of the net.

Half-time: Ballyhale 1-7 Kilmallock 0-4

So that’s it at the break with Ballyhale ahead by six points. TJ Reid converted a free for them just before the interval. Ten wides so far for Kilmallock.


Back underway here for the second-half.


Sub: Ballyhale have brought on Mark Aylward at the break for Patrick Reid.


Ballyhale 1-9 Kilmallock 0-4
Henry Shefflin off the mark in the second-half as he taps over a point and then Mark Aylward knocks one over. Ballyhale go eight clear and they’re cruising.


Ballyhale 1-10 Kilmallock 0-4
Eoin Reid on target as Ballyhale go in clear. Another wide for Kilmallock at the other end from Brian O’Sullivan, 14 so far for the Limerick champions.


Ballyhale 1-11 Kilmallock 0-5
Kilmallock pull a point back through a converted a free from Eoin Ryan but then TJ Reid cancels it out with a free for Ballyhale after he’s fouled himself.


Sub: Robbie Hanley in for Kilmallock for Robbie Egan.


We’re entering the final quarter and it’s difficult to see Kilmallock turning this around. Ballyhale’s superiority has been unquestionable so far as they close in on a sixth All-Ireland senior club hurling crown.


Ballyhale 1-12 Kilmallock 0-5
TJ Reid’s accuracy from frees has been impressive and he’s just launched over another from distance.


Ballyhale 1-13 Kilmallock 0-6
Gavin O’Mahony is fouled, Eoin Ryan pops over the free but it’s goals that Kilmallock badly need here. Then TJ Reid lofts over a great score and Ballyhale are ten to the good.


Ballyhale 1-15 Kilmallock 0-6
They’re turning on the style now. Couple of great long-range points for Ballyhale from Colin Fennelly and Alan Cuddihy.


Ballyhale 1-16 Kilmallock 0-6
It’s all too easy for Ballyhale at this stage. TJ picks out Colin Fennelly and he fires over a simple point.


Ballyhale 1-17 Kilmallock 0-6
TJ Reid again, he’s been magnificent in this second-half.


Goal for Kilmallock from Robbie Hanley!


Subs: Ballyhale bring in Tom Coogan for Keith Nolan, Kilmallock introduce Conor Barry for Bryan O’Sullivan.


Sub: David Hoyne on for Ballyhale for the injured Conor Walsh.


Ballyhale 1-18 Kilmallock 1-6
Mark Aylward with the latest point for Ballyhale.

All over and Ballyhale are All-Ireland club champions!

Full-Time: Ballyhale Shamrocks 1-18 Kilmallock 1-6

A sixth All-Ireland senior club hurling title for Ballyhale Shamrocks. 13th All-Ireland senior hurling medal for Henry Shefflin.

Thanks for joining in today, a disappointing game for the neutrals but no doubting the superiority of Ballyhale Shamrocks. Niall Kelly will be here soon with the club football final coverage as Corofin take on Slaughtneil. Throw-in at Croke Park is 4pm.

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole