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Niall Deasy, Paul Flanagan and Gary Brennan (file photo) played for Ballyea today.
Niall Deasy, Paul Flanagan and Gary Brennan (file photo) played for Ballyea today.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Tony Kelly out through injury but Ballyea cope to reach Clare senior hurling final

A one-point win for the 2016 and 2018 champions this afternoon in Ennis.
Oct 31st 2021, 1:40 PM 10,190 0

Ballyea 1-14

Newmarket-on-Fergus 1-13

DESPITE THEIR STAR man Tony Kelly being ruled out through injury, Ballyea survived their Clare senior hurling semi-final test against Newmarket-on-Fergus in Cusack Park in Ennis this afternoon.

Aaron Griffin’s 50th minute goal was crucial in bringing Ballyea level with Niall Deasy’s point five minutes later proving to be the match-winner, as they booked a place in the decider against Inagh-Kilnamona.

Newmarket-on-Fergus had a late chance to draw level but Colin Ryan’s free from a difficult angle in deteriorating weather conditions, was just off target as Ballyea held on for a narrow success.

Clare talisman Kelly had come on as a sub in the quarter-final win over Kilmaley but had to undergo surgery on an ankle injury after that game and was on the sideline watching this game, while wearing a protective boot.

tony-kelly Tony Kelly was out through injury for Ballyea today. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

He watched his team-mates prevail to ensure they will contest the final for the third time in six seasons, winning their two previous appearances in 2016 and 2018.

A tightly contested game saw Ballyea move 0-5 to 0-2 clear early on, Niall Deasy shooting over four scores, but Newmarket-on-Fergus were level at 0-5 apiece by the first water break with Eanna Crimmins, Eoin Guilfoyle and Colin Ryan pointing the way.

It was 0-9 to 0-8 in Newmarket’s favour at the interval thanks to an injury-time pointed free by Ryan. Then their fortunes got a huge boost early in the second half when Eoin Hayes fired in a goal and they were 1-12 to 0-13 clear by the water break, Colin and Eoin Guilfoyle both hitting key points.

Peter Power pushed Newmarket-on-Fergus in front by three in the final quarter but they failed to register again as scores were hard to come by in the tough conditions. The crucial breakthrough for Ballyea was Griffin’s goal after a superb catch from Gary Brennan and then Deasy was the match-winner.

Scorers for Ballyea: Niall Deasy 0-8 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Aaron Griffin 1-1, Mossy Gavin 0-2, Cathal O’Connor, Pierce Lillis 0-1.

Scorers for Newmarket-on-Fergus: Colin Ryan 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ’65), Eoin Guilfoyle 0-3, Eoin Hayes 1-0, Eanna Crimmins 0-2, Mikey McInerney 0-1, Peter Power 0-1, Colin Guilfoyle 0-1.


1. Barry Coote

2. Peter Casey, 3. Paul Flanagan, 4. Brian Murphy

5. James Murphy, 6. Jack Browne (captain), 7. Brandon O’Connell

8. Gary Brennan, 9. Stan Lineen

10. Cillian Brennan, 11. Pierce Lillis, 12. Cathal O’Connor

13. Mossy Gavin, 14. Niall Deasy, 15. Aaron Griffin


1. Ronan McCormack

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2. Sean O’Connor, 3. James McInerney, 4. Paraic McMahon

5. Niall O’Connor, 6. Enda Barrett, 23. Mark Delaney

8. John Feehily (captain), 9. Frank Melody

10. Colin Ryan, 11. Colin Guilfoyle, 12. Eoin Guilfoyle

13. Eoin Hayes, 14. Mikey McInerney, 21. Stephen Kelly

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