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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Ryan Byrne/INPHO Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Colin Fennelly scores the second goal of the game.
# Ruthless
Ballyhale Shamrocks land 11th Leinster crown after 27-point hammering of Clough-Ballacolla
It was a tough day at the office for the Laois champions.

Ballyhale Shamrocks 6-23

Clough-Ballacolla 0-14

THIS WASN’T THE day out Clough-Ballacolla had envisaged. 

Appearing in their first provincial decider, the Laois champions encountered a Ballyhale Shamrocks side in a ruthless mood.

They struck six goals in what was arguably Ballyhale’s most complete performance of the season. They landed a record 11th Leinster title and they’ll be hot favourites to land a third All-Ireland crown in succession.

They were minutes away from going out of the competition last weekend against St Rynagh’s and this 27-point victory was far more straightforward for James O’Connor’s side. 

It was a tough afternoon for Clough-Ballacolla. The side that dumped out Kilmacud Crokes in the semi-final never stopped working here, but they were well short of the quality required to put it up to Ballyhale here. 

Ballyhale are blessed with attacking options to rival most county teams. Colin Fennelly scored two goals and could have had four, while Adrian Mullen, Eoin Cody, Brian Cody and Eoin Reid added the other three-pointers.

On a day when TJ Reid was less influential than usual from open play, largely down to an excellent marking job by Diarmaid Conway, the rest of Ballyhale’s attackers had a field day.   

Ballyhale gave notice of their goal threat inside four minutes when Eoin Cody latched onto a pass from his brother Brian and finished to the net.

Utilising Robbie Phelan has an extra man on the half-back line, Clough-Ballacolla were well in the game in the opening quarter.

They were able drive over scores from pockets of space around the middle third, with Aidan Corby firing over three points inside the first 15 minutes. 

The Laois side were level at that stage as Ballyhale relied on Reid’s accuracy from frees to keep the scoreboard moving. It was in the second quarter when Ballyhale made their move, outscoring their opponents by 2-6 to 0-4. 

Both goals arrived from the stick of Fennelly. The first after a lovely crossfield ball inside by Reid. The second saw Fennelly drive at the defence before improvising brilliantly by lobbing the onrushing Cathal Dunne.

Ballyhale led by 3-11 to 0-10 at the interval. Adrian Mullen’s 37th minute green flag put the game beyond doubt, leaving the Kilkenny kingpins 13 points clear. 

Brian Cody added another two minutes later as Ballyhale continued to punish Clough-Ballacolla with every opportunity. Ballyhale boss James O’Connor gave TJ Reid a rest by calling him ashore after the second water break, with Eoin Cody assuming the free-taking responsibilities. 

Substitute Eoin Reid brilliantly turned in Ballyhale’s sixth goal with a flick on a long delivery, while Eoin Cody brought his tally to 1-6 with a flurry of scores. 

Scorers for Ballyhale Shamrocks: Colin Fennelly 2-1, Eoin Cody 1-6 (0-3f), TJ Reid 0-6 (0-6f), Brian Cody and Eoin Reid 1-1 each, Adrian Mullen 1-0, Ronan Corcoran 0-4, Darragh Corcoran, Eoin Kenneally, Liam Barron and Paddy Mullen 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clough-Ballacolla: Aidan Corby 0-4, Willie Dunphy and Stephen Maher (0-3f) 0-3 each, Brian Corby, Lee Cleere, Jordan Walshe and Cillian Dunne 0-1 each.

Ballyhale Shamrocks

1. Dean Mason

2. Darren Mullen, 3. Joey Holden, 20. Kevin Mullen

5. Evan Shefflin, 6. Richie Reid, 7. Darragh Corcoran

22. Paddy Mullen, 8. Ronan Corcoran

15. Eoin Cody, 9. Brian Cody, 10. Adrian Mullen

14. Colin Fennelly, 11. TJ Reid, 12. Eoin Kenneally

Subs

18. Conor Phelan for Shefflin (42)

23. Conor Walsh for Mullen (46)

13. Eoin Reid for TJ Reid (46)

4. Brian Butler for Kevin Mullen (52)

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19. Liam Barron for Kenneally (54)

Clough-Ballacolla

1. Cathal Dunne 

4. Eoin Doyle, 3. Darren Maher, 2. Diarmaid Conway

5. Brian Corby, 6. Michael McEvoy, 7. Lee Cleere

8. Willie Hyland, 9. Aidan Corby

12. Mark Hennessy, 11. Jordan Walshe, 13. Stephen Bergin 

Subs

20. Ronan Broderick for Maher (35)

18. Cillian Dunne for Hyland (42)

21. John Dwyer for Bergin (46)

17. Tom Delaney for McEvoy (47)

19. Sean Corby for Hennessy (53)

Referee: Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly)

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