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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Tommy Dickson/INPHO Eddie Brennan's goal proved crucial to Graigue-Ballycallan's Leinster Intermediate title win.
# class is permanent
Eddie Brennan's first-half goal the difference as Graigue-Ballycallan claim Leinster IHC title
The veteran forward scored 1-1 in a comfortable win at Nowlan Park this afternoon.

Graigue-Ballycallan (Kilkenny) 2-17

Portlaoise (Laois) 0-15

EDDIE BRENNAN’S FIRST-half goal helped Graigue-Ballycallan claim the Leinster IHC title after an eight-point victory over Portlaoise this afternoon.

Brennan registered the crucial goal in the sixth minute, which gave the Kilkenny side a lead to defend for the remainder of the game.

The 40-year-old forward — who won eight senior All-Ireland medals with Kilkenny — scored 1-1, showing that class is permanent.

Brennan is set to manage Laois in 2019 and Portlaoise competed very well in the opening half but Graigue-Ballycallan were always able to keep their opponents at arm’s length throughout the match.

The teams were level at 0-2 apiece when Brennan got the game’s opening goal after a wonderful run and pass by Sean Ryan.

The game was poor as a spectacle and never got going, in truth, with the atmosphere poor in Nowlan Park considering a Leinster title was at stake.

Conor Murphy was excellent for Graigue-Ballycallan from place balls throughout, ensuring his side were always ahead.

Eddie Brennan James Crombie Kilkenny legend Eddie Brennan during the 2011 All Ireland final. James Crombie

Graigue-Ballycallan led by 1-8 to 0-7 at the interval and the game appeared as good as over midway through the second half after Sean Ryan’s effort left the gap at eight points.

Portlaoise responded superbly though and were determined not to give up and four successive scores left the Laois champions trailing by four points heading into the last five minutes.

Ever-reliable Conor Murphy added a point from play to settle his side and a stoppage-time goal from Aaron Brennan gave his side an eight-point victory.

In the day’s opening game at Nowlan Park, Dunnamaggin were crowned Leinster JHC champions after their impressive 12-point victory over Na Fianna of Meath. Goals from Ryan Coffey and John Fitzpatrick set them on course for a 3-17 to 1-11 victory.

At the Gaelic Grounds this evening, Naomh Éanna became Ulster IFC champions with a 2-11 to 1-10 win over Mullahoran. Goals from Kristian Healy and Joe Maskey helped see off the Cavan champions.

Scorers for Graigue-Ballycallan: Conor Murphy 0-9 (0-8f), Aaron Brennan 1-3, Eddie Brennan 1-1, Sean Ryan 0-4.

Scorers for Portlaoise: Cormac Rigney 0-6 (0-4f), David O’Mahony 0-3, Cathal Duggan and Tommy Fitzgerald 0-2 each, Cian Taylor and Colm Gleeson 0-1 each.

Graigue-Ballycallan

1. Ciaran Hoyne

2. Darragh Egan (C)
3. Bob Murphy
4. Tommy Ronan

5. Conor Flynn
6. Eamon Egan
22. Killian Egan

8. Shane Butler
9. Jesse Roberts

13. Aaron Brennan
10. Billy Ryan
14. Sean O’Dwyer

15. Sean Ryan
11. Eddie Brennan
12. Conor Murphy

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Subs

23. Richard Keoghan for Jess Roberts (38)
21. Willie O’Connor for Sean O’Dwyer (45)
20. Vinnie Teehan for Conor Murphy (58)
19. Tom Dunphy for Eddie Brennan (60+1)

Portlaoise

1. Eoghan Nealon

2. Joe Geaney
4. Frank Flanagan
3. Chris Lynch

7. Ciaran McEvoy
5. Brian Mulligan
6. Cahir Healy

8. Dean Lynch
9. Gary Bergin

12. Cormac Rigney
10. Tommy Fitzgerald (C)
19. David O’Mahony

13. Keith Murphy
14. Cian Taylor
15. Cathal Duggan

Subs

20. Dylan Feane for Joe Geaney (17)
11. Colm Gleeson for Keith Murphy (HT)
18. Aaron Bergin for Gary Bergin (43)
23. Joe Phelan for Dean Lynch (57)

Referee: Gearoid McGrath (Wexford)

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