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All-Ireland winners Ballyhale turn to Waterford native to take over from Shefflin

James O’Connor managed Fr O’Neill’s in last month’s All-Ireland intermediate club final.

BALLYHALE SHAMROCKS HAVE appointed Waterford native James O’Connor as their senior hurling coach to fill the void created by the departure of Henry Shefflin.

henry-shefflin-celebrates-at-the-final-whistle-with-colin-fennelly Henry Shefflin celebrating the 2019 All-Ireland club final success with Colin Fennelly. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The Kilkenny great stepped down a few days after last month’s All-Ireland club final success over Tipperary’s Borris-Ileigh and the Irish Examiner have today reported that O’Connor is the replacement.

O’Connor has built up an impressive coaching CV at club level. Last month he was at the helm of East Cork side Fr O’Neill’s when they lost out in an epic All-Ireland intermediate decider against Kilkenny’s Tullaroan. Fr O’Neill’s had picked up Cork and Munster intermediate hurling crowns in 2019.

Back in 2011 O’Connor was in charge of Carrigtwohill when they belied their outsider tag to claim Cork senior hurling honours for the first time in 93 years. He also had a spell over the Dungarvan side in the Waterford county championship.

james-oconnor James O'Connor managed Cork club to success in 2011. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Ballyhale enjoyed an extraordinary run of success under the guidance of Shefflin. After retiring from playing in 2017, he guided the club to titles on the Kilkenny (2018 and 2019), Leinster (2018 and 2019) and All-Ireland (2019 and 2020) stages. They are the leading club side in the country with eight All-Ireland titles.

In the draw for this year’s Kilkenny senior hurling league, which feeds into their championship, the Shamrocks have been drawn in Group A with James Stephens, Danesfort, Bennettsbridge, Tullaroan and Mullinavat.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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