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Ballyragget heading to Croke Park after dashing dreams of Mayo's Tooreen

The Kilkenny champions booked their place in the All-Ireland intermediate club hurling final on 4 February.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

St Patrick’s Ballyragget (Kilkenny) 3-14
Tooreen (Mayo) 1-9

Páraic McMahon reports from Cusack Park, Ennis

ST PATRICK’S BALLYRAGGET recorded an 11-point victory over a gallant Tooreen this afternoon, becoming the seventh Kilkenny club in nine years to reach the AIB All-Ireland intermediate club hurling final.

Minus the services of county senior hurler Kevin Kelly due to a knee injury, Ballyragget didn’t let it affect them. With a strong wind behind them in the opening half, they built up a six-point advantage.

Confidence in their own ability to score from distance saw the umpires reach for the white flag following shots from Michael Brennan, Brian Phelan, Joseph Brennan, Eoin Bergin, Barry Staunton and Seoirse Kenny in the opening 30 minutes.

Struggling to win their own puckouts against the wind, Tooreen were under pressure on each restart. All-Ireland U21 football medallist David Kenny, in the sweeper role, and full-back Michael Morley did their utmost to limit their concession of scores.

At the other end, Shane Boland scored with two placed balls. The first came in the 19th minute and gave their large contingent of supporters reason to cheer.

Three scores in succession on the restart brought Toureen to within three points. Their cause was severely dented when Eoin Bergin – starting in place of the injured Kelly — struck for goal on 39 minutes. Two further green flags via Joseph Brennan effectively ended the contest.

Ciaran Charlton picked up a late consolation goal Toureen, who were the first non-Galway club to win the Connacht title. The Mayo side’s tendency to afford their opponents a couple of yards at crucial stages proved costly as their Kilkenny counterparts took full advantage.

In the final at Croke Park on 4 February, Ballyragget will take on the winners of tomorrow’s second semi-final between Kanturk (Cork) and Middletown Na Fianna (Armagh).

They’ll be joined at Croker on All-Ireland final by Fethard St Mogues. The Wexford champions were 0-18 to 0-9 winners over Sylane of Galway in today’s AIB All-Ireland junior club hurling semi-final at Parnell Park.

Scorers for St Patrick’s Ballyragget: Joseph Brennan 2-2, Michael Brennan 0-7 (5 frees, 2 ’65), Eoin Bergin 1-1, Bill Staunton 0-2, Brian Phelan and Seoirse Kenny 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tooreen: Shane Boland 0-4 (4 frees), Ciaran Charlton 1-0, Kenny Feeney 0-3 (3 frees), Cathal Freeman 0-2.

St Patrick’s Ballyragget

1. Michael Gannon

2. John Mooney
3. James Gannon
4. Mark Staunton

7. Robert Healy
6. Stephen Staunton (c)
5. Geoffrey Brennan

8. Seoirse Kenny
9. Bill Staunton

12. Barry Staunton
11. Michael Brennan
10. Patrick Brennan

20. Eoin Bergin
13. Brian Phelan
15. Joseph Brennan.

Subs:

17. Oisin Brennan for P Brennan (45)
18. Patrick McEvoy for Phelan (57)
19. Patrick Gannon for S Kenny (62)
21. Sean Mooney for Barry Staunton (62)
25. Alan Ruth for Bill Staunton (63)

Tooreen

1. Stephen Lenehan

2. Daniel Huane
3. Michael Morley
4. Aidan Henry

5. Conor Henry
6. Stephen Coyne (c)
7. David Kenny

8. Cathal Freeman
9. Conor English

10. Brian Morley
11. Fergal Boland
12. Ciarán Charlton

13. Kenny Feeney
14. Seán Regan
15. Shane Boland

Subs:

21. Sean Kenny for B Morley (19, inj)
17. Shane Morley for C Henry (HT)
19. Niall Robinson for Huane (49)
20. David Harrison for English (54)
18. Bobby Douglas for S Kenny (61)

Referee: Rory McGann (Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare)

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About the author:

Páraic McMahon

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