Three-from-three: Kilkenny’s all-conquering club champs on the way to Croke Park
Kilkenny’s hurling county champions made it three-from-three in their efforts to reach All-Ireland club hurling finals this weekend. And now all face Munster opposition in their repsective finals.
Ballyhale Shamrocks had five points to spare in an absolute belter of a game against Derry’s Slaughtneil at Pairc Esler in Newry.
Ballyhale had something of a squeaky bum moment when Slaughtneil’s Brendan Rogers burst through on 59 minutes and buried the ball in the back of the Shamrocks net to leave just a point in it going into injury time.
But a quick point by Evan Shefflin followed by a goal by Colin Fennelly was enough to get Henry Shefflin’s men over the line.
Slaughneil were not overawed by their illustrious opponents and gave as good as they got and more, sometimes bafflingly whistled up by referee for innocuous calls, which may disappoint the Derry men on the way home tonight.
Ballyhale Shamrocks now go on to face Tipp champions Borris-Illeigh who had seven points to spare thanks to a goal with the last puck of the game in their victory over Galway champions St Thomas.
The final takes place in Croke Park on Sunday, January 19.
Tullaroan will face Fr O’Neill’s of Cork the day before in their decider after an early surge saw them beat Antrim’s Naomh Eanna yesterday afternoon, with Kilkenny legend Tommy Walsh hitting the net twice.
Conahy Shamrocks will also face Cork opposition in the All-Ireland junior hurling decider after beating Derry’s Eoghan Rua by 3-18 to 1-12 yesterday.
They will now face Rebel champions Russell Rovers who beat Galway’s Michael Breathnach’s after extra time earlier this afternoon.