Ballyhale Shamrocks showed a never-say-die spirit to fight their way to a share of the points against Danesfort in the Kilkenny senior hurling league on Saturday.
With Gary Tynan (0-6) leading the way Danesfort were cruising (0-20 to 0-12) but two quick goals, from county minor captain Adrian Mullen, and Colin Fennelly, saw Ballyhale close the gap to two points in the closing stages.
Revived by the goals the Shamrocks charged on, scoring late points through Darren and Adrian Mullen to earn a draw.
The only unbeaten record in the league survived as Dicksboro made it four wins from four, but they needed a little luck to do so.
The city side took a big step towards making the league final when a long-range Shane Stapleton free went all the way to the Bennettsbridge net in the final five minutes. The goal edged Dicksboro ahead (2-16 to 1-18) and on their way to victory. The score stunned Bennettsbridge, who looked to be on their way to victory.
Led by a fine scoring performance from captain Nicky Cleere (0-13, 10 frees), the ’Bridge were in control for most of the game. They led by 1-12 to 1-9 at half-time, Cleere shooting eight points, while Liam Blanchfield and Oisín Gough traded major scores.
Bennettsbridge were left reeling when Stapleton struck in the closing stages.
A late Liam Ryan goal helped Clara edge out James Stephens by 1-16 to 2-11.
A goal in either half from Eoin Larkin seemed to give the Village the advantage – they led by three points after 45 minutes – but the 2015 champions rallied, with Chris Bolger picking off 10 points.
A strong second half performance saw O’Loughlin Gaels remain top of Group A as they got the better of the Rower-Inistioge. The city side had to work hard to stop an early Rower charge, but four Martin Comerford points helped them to a 0-10 to 0-7 lead at half-time. Two points from senior county captain Mark Bergin strengthened their lead before a Sammy Johnston goal left them seven clear (1-14 to 0-10) with 15 minutes to play. The Rower rallied, helped by a Ruairi Galavan goal, but they couldn’t prevent O’Loughlin’s from securing a 1-18 to 1-15 win. That result leaves the Rower in the relegation zone with one round of games left – they face bottom side St Martin’s, who are still without a point after they crashed to a 2-28 to 2-12 defeat to Mullinavat, in round five.
Elsewhere, Carrickshock gave themselves a chance of making the Shield final when they beat Erin’s Own by 3-13 to 1-16, leapfrogging the Castlecomer men to take second in the table. Backed by a strong performance from Conor Fogarty (0-4) Erin’s Own led by 0-9 to 1-5 at the break, but a late run which saw Brian Donovan post 1-2, helped Carrickshock earn their second win of the campaign.
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