All too easy for Ballyhale in Leinster final

All too easy for Ballyhale in Leinster final
Ballyhale Shamrocks Adrian Mullen celebrates scoring a goal. Photo: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

By Brendan O'Brien, Netwatch Cullen Park

Ballyhale Shamrocks (Kilkenny) 2-21 - 0-11 Ballyboden St Enda's (Dublin)

A ninth Leinster senior club hurling title for Ballyhale Shamrocks and, on paper at least, the most straightforward of them.

Though favourites for this decider in Carlow, few foresaw it being so one-sided with the Kilkenny side claiming scores almost at will in the second period. The imbalance in fortunes was enormous, the winners scoring 1-12 against 0-3 after the restart.

Ballyhale started ominously, lording the aerial duels, of which their were many, and establishing a decent cushion on the scoreboard. Central to that was Adrian Mullen's eight-minute goal which emanated from a catch claimed by Richie Reid on the Ballyhale half-back line.

It left the Kilkenny champions 1-2 to a point to the good but the manner in which they would hamstring themselves in that half was already apparent with three of their ten wides posted in that period already come and gone.

'Boden needed to mix it up a tad and they did. A short passing move from goalkeeper Gary Maguire ended with Colm Basquel firing over his first point and the Dublin side gradually found their feet in that middle period of the half.

Ballyboden outscored Ballyhale by seven points to three in this stitch of time but their happy streak burned out after Stephen O'Connor's speculative shot from distance – again, on the back of a clever passing move – was batted away by goalkeeper Dean Mason.

Level at that point, Shamrocks finished the half much the stronger with four unanswered points. And matters were made more difficult for the chasers as conditions worsened during the break with a heavy downpour and ever-darkening skies.

Even worse was the fact that the wind at Boden's backs in that opening half morphed into a raging storm. Ballyhale made the most of it with five of the next six points to double that advantage to eight with just over 15 minutes to play.

Ballyboden's one score at that point of the half came from substitute Niall Ryan who opted for the point when the bounce of the ball had played him in behind the cover. There was the sense that the failure to go for goal was a rare opportunity all too quickly spurned.

That said, it's importance in the overall context of the game was diluted by everything that followed, Ballyhale piling on the points and the misery even as the weather settled into a less apocalyptic drizzle and frigid breeze.

Adrian Mullen claimed his and his side's second goal, this one with seven minutes of normal time to go. A 16-point win to add to the 14-point margin they enjoyed in seeing off Wexford's Naomh Eanna in the semifinal.

Impressive stuff from Henry Shefflin's men.

Next up is an All-Ireland semi-final against Waterford's Ballygunner in the New Year.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda's: P Ryan (0-5 frees); C Basquel and N Ryan (both 0-2); S Durkin and N McMorrow (both 0-1).

Scorers for Ballyhale Shamrocks: TJ Reid (0-9, 8 frees ); A Mullen (2-1); E Reid and E Cody (both 0-3); C Fennelly (0-2); E Shefflin M Fennelly M Aylward (all 0-1).

Ballyboden St Enda's: G Maguire; J Madden, D Curran, S Durkin; S O'Connor, S Lambert, L Corcoran; D O'Connor, D Curtin; N McMorrow, C Keaney, A Mellett; P Ryan, C Dooley, C Basquel.

Subs: N Ryan for C Dooley (30 + 4); P Doherty for A Mellett (37); F McGarry for Curran (48); C McCormack for D O'Connor (49); N Travers for S O'Connor (56).

Ballyhale Shamrocks: D Mason; D Mullen, J Holden, B Butler; E Shefflin, M Fennelly, C Walsh; R Corcoran, R Reid; B Cody, TJ Reid, A Mullen; E Reid, C Fennelly, E Cody.

Subs: G Butler for C Walsh (38); M Aylward for B Cody (45); J Cudihy for E Reid (54); K Mullen for Butler (56); P Mullen for Corcoran (57).

Referee: P Murphy (Carlow).

More on this topic

Cork's home Super 8s game moved as Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch replacement set to beginCork's home Super 8s game moved as Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch replacement set to begin

Fixture clash avoided for Cork's dual starsFixture clash avoided for Cork's dual stars

'It’s time to hand the baton over': Cian O'Neill steps down as Kildare manager'It’s time to hand the baton over': Cian O'Neill steps down as Kildare manager

Ger Cunningham: 'Flaky' is harsh but Cork have no excuses leftGer Cunningham: 'Flaky' is harsh but Cork have no excuses left

More in this Section

Frankie Dettori headlines tomorrow's Killarney cardFrankie Dettori headlines tomorrow's Killarney card

Christiaan Bezuidenhout craving revenge on return to Royal PortrushChristiaan Bezuidenhout craving revenge on return to Royal Portrush

Phil Mickelson claims he lost 15lbs in six-day fast ahead of the OpenPhil Mickelson claims he lost 15lbs in six-day fast ahead of the Open

Northern Ireland’s miserable Netball World Cup run continuesNorthern Ireland’s miserable Netball World Cup run continues


Tea dunking is not just for cosy winter evenings. Biscuits are handy in the summer months for picnics or to keep you going on long hikes.Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Apply sunscreen throughout the day, says Helen O’CallaghanBurning issue: Children's skin needs added protection from the sun

Skincare guru Dr Raj Arora explains how this cleansing technique can make a big difference.Why you should follow the 60 second rule when washing your face, according to an expert

Karen Murray visited the island which is the smallest country in EU.Malta proves the best things come in small packages

More From The Irish Examiner