Village stars edge O’Loughlin rival Gaels

IT WAS a bad weekend for the 2010 county finalists as both O’Loughlin Gaels and Carrickshock suffered defeat in the fourth round of the Kilkenny senior hurling league.

Leinster and county champions O’Loughlin’s were undone by city rivals James Stephens, who won by four points in Nowlan Park on Friday.

A David Walton penalty helped the Village take a 1-8 to 0-7 lead by half-time. O’Loughlin’s fought back into the reckoning but late scores from county men Matthew Ruth and Eoin Larkin helped James Stephens secure a 1-15 to 0-14 win.

Carrickshock suffered a heavier loss, going down by 16 points at the hands of Erin’s Own (Castlecomer) on Saturday.

Although the North Kilkenny side only led by just a point at half-time (2-4 to 0-9) they turned on the style in the second half, scoring 1-14 while a strong defensive performance limited the losers to just two points.

Elsewhere it was business as usual for Ballyhale Shamrocks, who beat Graigue-Ballycallan without the rested Henry Shefflin.

Star shows from Eoin and TJ Reid, coupled with a first-half goal from Michael Fennelly, helped the Shamrocks take a seven-point lead by half-time (1-10 to 0-6).

Further scores from James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick, as well as a late Colin Fennelly goal, saw them stretch their advantage to 13 points by the final whistle (2-19 to 1-9).

St Martin’s (Muckalee) got the better of a tough battle with Fenians (Johnstown) to ease any relegation worries.

The Saints won by five points (1-15 to 0-13), a result which leaves Johnstown rooted to the bottom of Group B with just one game to play.

That game in August will be against Dunnamaggin, who were denied a win by an injury-time point from Clara’s Neal Prendergast.

Dunnamaggin looked to have done enough to snatch the spoils when a 60th-minute Noel Lahart goal, followed by a Ken Moore point, edged them ahead (2-10 to 0-15) in Bennettsbridge.

However Clara, who had led by three going into the last minute of normal time, snatched a draw when Prendergast pointed two minutes into injury-time, a result which leaves them a point clear of the Fenians with one round to play.

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