Ballyhale Shamrocks capture third successive Kilkenny crown

Club senior hurling titles in Kilkenny, Clare, Meath, Kildare, Mayo, Wicklow and London were up for grabs this afternoon, with Ballyhale Shamrocks amongst those tasting victory as they captured their third successive Kilkenny crown.

Ballyhale joined Mooncoin and Bennettsbridge on 12 Kilkenny SHC titles each following their 2-11 to 0-12 win over James Stephens at Nowlan Park.

A strong all-round display earned the South Kilkenny outfit their third title in succession - first half goals from Eoin and Patrick Reid were the catalyst for this win.

Level at 0-2 apiece after seven minutes, an eighth-minute goal from Eoin Reid put Ballyhale in front, despite strong defending by the James Stephens backs.

Reid's goal was the main difference between the sides, until a 23rd-minute Patrick Reid goal ensured a 2-5 to 0-4 advantage as the interval approached.

However, both sides swapped a brace of points, with Gary Whelan and Eoin Larkin on target for the city-based James Stephens.

James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick and Henry Shefflin took points for Shamrocks, who held a 2-7 to 0-6 interval lead.

Despite James Stephens outscoring their opponents in the closing half-hour, Ballyhale had done enough in the first half to warrant the win.

Stephens hit six points on the restart to their opponents' four, with Eoin Larkin, Donnacha Cody, Matt Ruth and Philly Larkin all raising white flags.

Shamrocks were not going to be denied silverware, with Eoin Reid finishing with 1-2.

His brother Patrick scored 1-1 and Shefflin amassed three points.

Meanwhile, a 1-12 to 1-9 victory over Newmarket on Fergus earned Clonlara their first Clare SHC success since 1919 at Cusack Park in Ennis.

A Tommy Lynch goal helped the eventual winners to a 1-5 to 1-4 interval lead in an absorbing contest.

Just a point separated the sides with 11 minutes remaining, but Clonlara stayed on top in the closing stages thanks to the free-taking accuracy of Donal Madden.

Paul Collins became the first Clonlara captain to lift the Canon Hamilton trophy, following his side's first success in 89 years.

At Pairc Tailteann, Navan, a first Meath SHC title since 2004 arrived for Kilmessan, following their 0-13 to 0-8 replay win over Kildalkey.

Four unanswered points in the second quarter from Nicky Horan (3) and Anton O'Neill gave Kilmessan an 0-8 to 0-4 half-time lead, after the sides had been level for much of the opening half.

Kildalkey doubled their tally in the second half, however it was not enough as two late points from Joey Keena secured a 27th Meath crown for Kilmessan.

Confey secured back-to-back Kildare SHC titles thanks to their 3-13 to 1-15 win over Ardclough in Newbridge.

A brace of goals from Darren Nolan and a third from the stick of Ciaran Divily saw Confey claim their second title in only their third ever Kildare senior championship final appearance.

Ballyhaunis captured their fourth Mayo SHC title win in five years, following a 0-15 to 2-7 victory on home soil.

Leading by 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval, Ballyhaunis looked convincing throughout. They held a 0-14 to 0-7 as second half injury-time approached.

Despite leaking two late goals - these came against the run of play - Ballyhaunis held out for a two-point win.

In Wicklow, defending champions Glenealy will have to meet Carnew Emmets for a replay following a 1-12 to 1-12 draw at Aughrim.

Meanwhile, in Ruislip, Robert Emmetts were crowned London senior hurling champions for the third year in succession after their 3-13 to 0-7 win over Sean Treacys.

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