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Stapleton's 1-10 guides Dicksboro into Kilkenny hurling decider as holders Ballyhale also advance

Dicksboro are into their first county final since 2017.

O'Loughlin Gaels’ Mikey Butler fends off Chris Kavanagh of Dicksboro.
O'Loughlin Gaels’ Mikey Butler fends off Chris Kavanagh of Dicksboro.
Image: ©INPHO

Updated Sep 12th 2020, 8:21 PM

DICKSBORO ARE BACK in their first county final since 2017 after seeing off O’Loughlin Gaels, while defending champions Ballyhale Shamrocks scored a late win over James Stephens to keep their title defence on track.

Dicksboro secured a 2-16 to 0-14 win over O’Loughlin Gaels while Ballyhale were 3-22 to 1-26 winners against James Stephens.

Second-half goals from Aidan Nolan and Shane Stapleton drove Dicksboro to an impressive victory over the 2016 champions.

The eight-point win was a big statement by Dicksboro, who played a nice brand of hurling and looked physically impressive over the hour. 

Stapleton finished the game with 1-10 and his shooting was almost flawless all afternoon.

The sides were deadlocked 8-8 at the interval following an entertaining half.

Stapleton lit up the game with a pair of delightful scores from sideline cuts and he was equally accurate from frees for Dicksboro.

Kilkenny panellist Bill Sheehan was a constant menace and clipped over a brace, while Paddy Butler was O’Loughlin Gaels’ top marksman in the first-half with 0-3 to his name.

There was little between the sides until Nolan’s superb goal in the 36th minute. Nolan showed fantastic wristwork to avoid a hook and finish past Stephen Murphy to send Dicksboro 1-9 to 0-9 in front.

He was then forced off with injury but Dicksboro found the net a second time through Stapleton to leave them in firm control. 

Mark Bergin brought his tally to four with a free but O’Loughlin Gaels couldn’t find the goals they needed to force the issue. 

Meanwhile, TJ Reid hit 1-8 as Ballyhale Shamrocks pulled off a late victory against James Stephens to book their place in the final against Dicksboro. 

The tie looked like it was heading for extra-time before a free was awarded to Ballyhale which Reid converted to put them back in the ascendancy.

Colin Fennelly added a point shortly after before Eoin Guilfoyle responded for James Stephens to bring it back to a one-point game.

Eoin Coady then had the final say with a decisive point to send Ballyhale into the decider.

It liked the holders were on course for a big victory after goals from Fennelly and a Reid penalty pushed Ballyhale into 2-8 to 0-6 lead in the first half. But James Stephens rallied to grab nine points in-a-row.

Fennelly and Guilfoyle traded goals as James Stephens went ahead but Ballyhale responded once more to seal the win.

Scorers for Dicksboro: Shane Stapleton 1-10 (0-8f, 0-2 sideline), Aidan Nolan 1-1, Bill Sheehan 0-2, Tom Kenny, Liam Moore and Oisin Gough 0-1 each.

Scorers for O’Loughlin Gaels: Eoin O’Shea and Mark Bergin (0-4f) 0-4 each, Paddy Butler 0-3, Sean Bolger 0-2, Lawlor 0-1.

Dicksboro

1. Darragh Holohan

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2. Conor Fitzpatrick
3. Evan Cody
4. Evan Carroll

5. Ollie Walsh
6. Cillian Buckley
7. Tom Kenny

8. Chris Kavanagh
9. Robbie Fitzpatrick

10. Liam Moore
11. Shane Stapleton
12. Aidan Nolan

13. Bill Sheehan
14. Eoin Gough – captain
15. Mark Nolan

Subs

17. Oisin Gough for Aidan Nolan (41)
20. Martin Gaffney for Kavanagh (blood sub, 56-61)
19. Michael Fagan for Fitzpatrick (56) 

O’Loughlin Gaels

1. Stephen Murphy

2. Mikey Butler
3. Huw Lawlor – captain
4. Eddie Kearns

5. Jordan Molloy
6. Paddy Deegan
7. Tony Forristal

8. Jack Nolan
9. Mark Bergin

10. Eoin O’Shea
11. Paddy Butler
12. Luke Hogan

13. Owen Wall
24. Conor Heary
15. Sean Bolger

Subs

19. Robbie Buckley for Wall (48)
17. Conor Kelly for Bolger (51) 
20. Oisin Murphy for Butler (58)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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