Ballyhale sharpshooters hot favourites for three-in-a-row after semi scare
Ballyhale Shamrocks will march into the Kilkenny Senior Club Hurling final as hot odds-on shots for a third consecutive crown after grinding it out in a gripping semi-final encounter against James Stephens.
The defending All-Ireland champions edged their way into the decider on Saturday when an upset had looked to be on the cards. But a late free turned the tables and saw Ballyhale emerge narrow winners by 3-22 to 1-27.
The increase in support for another county title has seen their odds cut from 4/7 to 1/3 by BoyleSports, after they ended the challenge of O’Loughlin Gaels by a more comfortable eight-point margin and with a showdown against Dicksboro ahead.
The five-time county champions will be the underdogs in the final but are into 2/1 from 5/1, three years on from their last county crown.
BoyleSports spokesperson Lawrence Lyons said: “James Stephens were 8/1 county outsiders but they gave the favourites a tough examination. The fact that Ballyhale Shamrocks came through it has only enhanced their credentials with punters and we have no choice now but to make them hot 1/3 favourites from 4/7.”