TJ Reid hits 1-11 as Ballyhale Shamrocks march towards four in a row

The reigning All-Ireland champions brought their big game experience to bear at UPMC Nowlan Park.
TJ Reid hits 1-11 as Ballyhale Shamrocks march towards four in a row

Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final, UPMC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 24/10/2021

Kilkenny SHC semi-final: Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-20 James Stephens 1-17 

It wasn't always pretty, in fact at times it was decidedly scrappy, but Ballyhale Shamrocks ultimately did enough to keep their hopes of a Kilkenny SHC four-in-a-row intact.

Led superbly again by TJ Reid, who struck 1-11, and goalscorer Eoin Cody, the reigning All-Ireland champions brought their big game experience to bear at UPMC Nowlan Park.

James O'Connor's side trailed by a point early in the second-half but moved up through the gears from there on to secure the win and a November 7 final clash with O'Loughlin Gaels.

Reid was typically influential throughout and rose to the occasion in the second-half when his team required inspiration, reeling off three excellent points from play in that period and drilling home a 57th-minute penalty that killed the contest.

Fellow county star Adrian Mullen, a late addition to the team wearing number 30, sniped two points while Ronan Corcoran and Brian Cody were on the mark too.

James Stephens, beaten finalists in 2019 and 2017, fancied their chances of an upset and broke even at the end of an error-strewn first-half, 0-10 to 1-7.

Eoin Cody bundled in Ballyhale's goal in the 21st minute and finished the half with 1-1.

James Stephens points from free-taker Eoin Guilfoyle and Tadhg O'Dwyer after the restart moved them ahead but Ballyhale upped the ante noticeably from there and Reid's move to full-forward was significant.

Shamrocks led 1-15 to 0-15 at the second water break and Reid's goal from a penalty, won by sub Eoin Reid after a foul by Luke Hickey, essentially killed the contest though Guilfoyle pinched a stoppage-time consolation goal for James Stephens.

Ballyhale Shamrocks scorers: TJ Reid (1-11, 7 frees, 1 pen); E Cody (1-3); A Mullen & R Corcoran (0-2 each); B Cody & E Shefflin (0-1 each).

James Stephens scorers: E Guilfoyle (1-3, 2 frees); N Brassil (0-3, 3 frees); Matt Ruth, C Browne, L Scanlon & C Kenny (2 frees) (0-2 each); T O'Dwyer, C Kenny & M Drennan (0-1 each).

BALLYHALE SHAMROCKS: D Mason; D Corcoran, J Holden, D Mullen; E Shefflin, R Reid, B Butler; B Cody, R Corcoran; L Barron, TJ Reid, E Cody; A Mullen, C Fennelly, J Cuddihy.

Subs: E Reid for Barron (39); C Phelan for B Cody (64).

JAMES STEPHENS: S Manogue; L Hickey, D Cody, S Donohue; N Delaney, N Brassil, D Hennessy; L Scanlon, N Mullins; M Ruth, C Browne, W Spencer; E Guilfoyle, T O'Dwyer, C Kenny.

Subs: M Drennan for Spencer (h/t); E Larkin for Hennessy (48); L Murphy for Hickey (60).

Ref: G Quilty.

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