Ballyhale blast Dublin champions aside

Ballyhale Shamrocks 4-18 Ballyboden St Enda's 0-18

Ballyhale Shamrocks 4-18 Ballyboden St Enda's 0-18

AIB Leinster Club SHC champions Ballyhale Shamrocks rammed home four goals at Nowlan Park as they continued their march towards back-to-back provincial honours with a victory over Ballyboden St. Enda's.

Qualifying for the Leinster final, the South Kilkenny outfit certainly looked sharper throughout as their experience shone through, with quick-fire goals at the beginning of each half from Colin Fennelly and TJ Reid proving vital.

Hurling-football double chasers Ballyboden started strongly with four quick-fire Paul Ryan scores from placed balls giving them a 0-4 to 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.

However, Ballyhale brilliantly found their rhythm with goals from Henry Shefflin and Eoin Reid powering them to a 3-8 to 0-13 interval advantage.

Top scorer Shefflin let his hurling do the talking with a well-taken 13th minute goal after he shook off the challenge of Stephen Perkins.

Shefflin's goal pushed his side into a 2-1 to 0-4 lead, with Ballyboden forced to dig deep for a 17th minute point from David Curtin.

A fourth Ballyhale goal from the hurley of TJ Reid arrived inside 30 seconds of the restart, with Ballyhale opening up an eight-point lead inside two minutes of the restart following a score from TJ's brother Eoin.

The Shamrocks went on to score four of the next five points with Fitzpatick, Shefflin and TJ Reid on target, with their side looking likely winners at this stage.

Ballyboden attempted to strengthen their challenge with the introduction of James Doody and Darragh Spain.

Although Liam Hogan's charges scrapped for every ball with Spain, Conal Keaney and David Sweeney giving their all, Ballyhale's greater experience helped seal their qualification for their third Leinster final in four years.

Scorers:

Ballyhale Shamrocks: H Shefflin 1-6 (0-4f, 0-1 '65'), E Reid 1-3, TJ Reid 1-2, C Fennelly 1-0, J Fitzpatrick, P Reid 0-2 each, M Fennelly, D Hoyne, M Aylward 0-1 each

Ballyboden St. Enda's: P Ryan 0-8 (0-5f, 0-3 '65'), D Sweeney 0-4 (0-1sl), C Keaney 0-2, M Travers, D Curtin, N McMorrow, E Carroll 0-1 each

BALLYHALE SHAMROCKS: J Connolly; A Cuddihy, A Cummins, P Holden; P Shefflin, E Walsh, B Aylward; J Fitzpatrick, M Fennelly; TJ Reid, H Shefflin, C Fennelly; P Reid, E Reid, D Hoyne.

Subs used: M Aylward for C Fennelly (49 mins), K Nolan for Cuddihy, B Costelloe for E Reid (both 53).

BALLYBODEN ST. ENDA'S: G Maguire; J Duffy, S Perkins, M O'Sullivan; S Hiney, T Sweeney, M Travers; S Durkin, C McCormack; D Sweeney, D Curtin, C Keaney; P Ryan, S Lambert, N McMorrow'.

Subs used: D O'Connor for T Sweeney (15 mins), J Doody for Durkin (47), D Spain for Ryan (49), E Carroll for C McCormack (50).

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath).

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