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Brian Cody and uncle Henry Shefflin see Shamrocks into Kilkenny SHC final

TJ Reid and Cha Fitzpatrick also played a major role for Ballyhale.

Henry Shefflin is back into the Kilkenny SHC final.
Henry Shefflin is back into the Kilkenny SHC final.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Ballyhale Shamrocks 1-19

St Martin’s 0-14

BIG GAME EXPERIENCE came to the fore as Ballyhale Shamrocks stormed their way into another Kilkenny senior hurling county final.

The Shamrocks had to weather a storm from St Martin’s, especially when they trailed by four points in the opening half, but they hit back in determined fashion before easing into the final.

It looked like a shock was on the cards when, with 20 minutes on the clock, Martin’s had carved out a solid lead. Inspired by full-forward John Maher they took control of the game, Maher picking off three points as his side went 0-6 to 0-2 in front.

However, the Ballyhale response wasn’t long in coming. Led by T.J. Reid and James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick, who scored a brace apiece, the Shamrocks rattled off the next six points in succesion, enough to push them two clear by the interval (0-8 to 0-6).

Ballyhale didn’t let up in the second half, grabbing more scores as they stretched their lead. A run that saw Shefflin grab a point in the midst of a hat-trick of T.J. Reid frees did the trick. That last Reid free proved even costlier for Martin’s, as Patrick Nolan was dismissed for a second yellow card offence.

Although they were a man down for the last quarter, Martin’s didn’t give up without a fight. With John Maher urging his side on they managed to close to within three points, but Ballyhale weren’t finished yet.

in a well-worked move started by Shefflin and Michael Fennelly, T.J. Reid sent sub Mark Aylward careering through to crash the sliotar to the net in the 48th minute.

There was still time for Martin’s, but the spark was gone. Shamrocks stepped off the gas, but kept posting points from the likes of ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick, David Hoyne and Conor Walsh as they booked their place in the November 16 decider.

Scorers for Ballyhale Shamrocks: T.J. Reid (0-7, 0-7f); Mark Aylward (1-1); James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick and Henry Shefflin (0-3 each); Eoin Reid (0-2); Conor Walsh, David Hoyne and Colin Fennelly (0-1 each).
Scorers for St Martin’s: John Maher (0-8, 0-5f); Joe Maher (0-2); Brian Mulhall, Eoin McGrath, Thomas Breen and John Mulhall (0-1 each).

BALLYHALE SHAMROCKS
1 Richie Reid

2 Alan Cuddihy
3 Joey Holden
4 Tom Coogan

5 Paul Shefflin
6 Michael Fennelly
7 Conor Walsh

8 Bob Aylward
9 David Hoyne

10 James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick
11 Colin Fennelly
12 T.J. Reid

13 Brian Cody
14 Henry Shefflin
15 Eoin Reid

Subs: 17 Mark Aylward for Cody, 46 mins. 25 Keith Nolan for Coogan, 53 mins.

ST MARTIN’S
1 Colin McGrath

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2 James Maher
3 Ollie Walsh
4 Shane Cadigan

5 Brian Byrne
6 Patrick Nolan
12 Thomas Breen

8 James Dowling
9 Canice Maher

10 Brian Mulhall
11 Eoin McGrath
17 Joe Maher

13 John Mulhall
14 John Maher
15 Paul Maher

Sub: 19 Shane Kinsella for B. Mulhall, 59 mins.

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Trevor Spillane

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