Ballyhale Shamrocks are Kings of Leinster again
Ballyhale Shamrocks (Kilkenny) 1-21
St Mullins (Carlow) 0-15
Henry Shefflin’s Ballyhale Shamrocks are just two games away from being crowned All-Ireland club champions for a second successive season.
The Kilkenny and All-Ireland kingpins are AIB Leinster club champions for a record tenth time after they showed true grit to secure back-to-back titles against a gutsy St Mullins side in a tensely fought derby battle at MW Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise today.
The nine-point margin of victory was harsh first time finalists St Mullins, who really put it up to their illustrious near neighbours from the other side of the Barrow.
Colin Fennelly’s 32nd-minute goal would ultimately prove decisive as it gave Ballyhale a seven-point cushion they could fall back on during a closely fought second-half.
The Carlow men certainly lost no face in defeat, coming up just short of a Shamrocks side inching closer to retaining their crown.
The Shamrocks will return to action on the first weekend of January as favourites to overcome Ulster champions Slaughtneil and to secure a place in the All-Ireland final for the second year in a row.
Ballyhale Shamrocks: Dean Mason; Brian Butler, Joey Holden, Darren Mullen; Evan Shefflin (0-01), Michael Fennelly, Darragh Corcoran; Ronan Corcoran, Conor Phelan (0-01); Brian Cody (0-03), TJ Reid (0-09, 0-08f), Adrian Mullen (0-03); Eoin Reid (0-01), Colin Fennelly (1-00), Eoin Cody (0-02).
St Mullins: Kevin Kehoe; Garry Bennett, Paul Doyle, John Doran; Gerard Coady, Michael Walsh, Christopher Kavanagh; Oisin Boland, Jack Kavanagh; Seamus Murphy, Marty Kavanagh (0-12, 0-08f, 0-01 65), James Doyle (0-01); Paidi O Se, Patrick Boland, Jason O’Neill (0-02, 0-01 s/l).
Referee: Sean Stack (Dublin).