Ballyhale and Crossmaglen march on

Two of the country’s most successful GAA clubs enjoyed success yesterday as they progressed in their 2012 campaigns.

Ballyhale Shamrocks players celebrate with the cup.
Ballyhale Shamrocks players celebrate with the cup.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

GIANTS OF THE club game were successful yesterday in Nowlan Park and the Athletic Grounds.

Ballyhale Shamrocks, five-time All-Ireland senior club hurling champions, won their 14th county title in Kilkenny with a 0-16 to 0-12 victory over Dicksboro.

They now go forward to meet Wexford’s Oulart-The-Ballagh in a fortnight’s time in the Leinster semi-final in Wexford Park.

While Armagh’s Crossmaglen Rangers were victorious in their opening tie in the Ulster senior club football championship with a quarter-final win over St Eunan’s of Donegal by 3-11 to 1-7.

The six-time All-Ireland senior club football champions will now face Tyrone’s Errigal Ciaran at the provincial semi-final stage next Sunday afternoon in St Tiernach’s Park in Clones.

Kilkenny SHC Final
Ballyhale Shamrocks 0-16 Dicksboro 0-12
Ballyhale Shamrocks were crowned the kingpins on Noreside once more with a four-point win over Dicksboro despite star attacker Henry Shefflin seeing two penalty efforts saved in the first-half.

Ballyhale Shamrocks, who last won a county title in 2009, surged into an early lead by 0-4 to 0-0 against a young Dicksboro team who were representing the club in it’s first county senior final in 18 years. Gradually Dicksboro came back into contention thanks to the accuracy of freetaker Martin Gaffney, a member of the Kilkenny U21 squad this year.

By the interval they only trailed Ballyhale Shamrocks by 0-9 to 0-7. The deficit could have been greater but for full-forward Shane Maher being the man on the line who stopped goalbound efforts by Shefflin from penalties in the 20th and 29th minutes.

Dicksboro’s Shane Maher saves a Henry Shefflin penalty. Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

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Before an attendance of 8,652 in Nowlan Park, Ballyhale Shamrocks began the second-half strongly with Colin Fennelly and James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick amongst their point-scorers as they lead by 0-14 to 0-8 by the 40th minute.

They still enjoyed a healthy advantage, 0-15 to 0-1, when Michael Fennelly pointed in the 53rd minute and despite Dicksboro trimming the gap to three points, an injury-time point by Mark Aylward sealed Ballyhale Shamrocks victory.

Ulster Club SFC Quarter-Final
Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) 3-11 St Eunan’s (Donegal) 1-7
Crossmaglen Rangers swept aside St Eunan’s by ten points in their opening provincial clash of the year in the Athletic Grounds. Crossmaglen, who are bidding for their tenth Ulster club title this year, proved too strong for the Letterkenny-based club who had only won the Donegal county final the previous Sunday against Naomh Conaill.

The Armagh champions got off to an ideal start when Kyle Carragher found the net after six minutes to push them into a 1-1 to 0-1 lead. St Eunan’s fought back and when Ross Wherity pointed in the 13th minute, they were level at 1-1 to 0-4. But they failed to score for the remainder of the half as Crossmaglen took control and added five points without reply.

St Eunan’s got an early boost in the second-half when full-forward John Haran found the net in the 36th minute. That cut the gap to 1-7 to 1-4 but six minutes later St Eunan’s wing-back Mark McGowan was dismissed when he was shown a second yellow card.

From there Crossmaglen Rangers took over with Aaron Kernan in the 45th minute and Paul Grant in injury-time both raising green flags to ensure a comfortable success.

Crossmaglen Rangers’ Jamie Clarke with St Eunan’s Mark McGowan and Peter Devine. Pic: INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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