Kilkenny SHC: Champions Clara overcome Ballyhale Shamrocks

Clara made a winning start to the defence of their Kilkenny senior hurling league and championship crowns when they overcame the tough test of Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Kilkenny SHC: Champions Clara overcome Ballyhale Shamrocks

Inspired by Chris Bolger, who helped himself to 11 points, the men in maroon saw off the Shamrocks 0-19 to 0-15.

Bennettsbridge marked their return to the senior scene with a hard-fought draw against James Stephens. Boosted by the return of Eoin Larkin — he had been on peace-keeping duty in Syria — the Village were in fine form, plundering two first-half goals through Matthew Ruth and David Walton as led at the break 2-8 to 0-7.

A third goal from Niall Mullins seemed to edge James Stephens closer to victory but Cleere landed five of the last six points, including a pressure free two minutes into added time, to rescue a 1-19 to 3-13 draw for the ’Bridge.

Rower-Inistioge got their campaign going in the right direction when they saw off Fenians, 1-16 to 1-10.

Helped by the in-form Michael Grace (0-4) and a Richie Leahy goal, the Rower led by eight points at half-time (1-8 to 0-3). Late scores from Grace (2) and Leahy sent the Rower on their way to the points.

St Martin’s nabbed the spoils when a last-minute goal saw them pip Dicksboro by 1-11 to 0-13. The Muckalee side had been in control at half-time, 0-9 to 0-3, but 10 second-half points put the city side in front before they were sunk by that last-gasp goal.

Elsewhere, Mullinavat opened their senior account with a good 3-14 to 1-11 win over Danesfort, the goals coming from Liam and Jamie Fennelly, and Ian Duggan.

The last game of the weekend saw O’Loughlin Gaels edge Erin’s Own (Castlecomer) by 1-10 to 1-9.

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